Stuff for Teachers

This part of the site is for teachers, although students and parents are welcome to browse here as well. We have nothing to hide here at MrKersey.Org. This is where I will post my small contributions to the world of teaching, and perhaps even help or inspire others. The best teachers pilfer eachother's ideas, and so I feel I must contribute. Feel free to contact me with feedback or ideas if there's anything here that strikes your fancy or makes you angry. Feel free to modify these to fit your needs. These are in no particular order.

Those Darned Navigation Acts! - A Colonial Economic Simulation (PDF) - This is an activity I created to simulate the effects of the Navigation Acts on the colonial economy. It does a pretty good job of demonstrating the effects of a real market economy and a limited supply of cash in the colonies. The download includes a brief introduction for students, a price list, a list of events that occur during the simulation, job assignments for students, coupons representing goods, and some pretty lame fake money. It DOES NOT yet include in-depth written directions for students or teachers, since a lot of it is in my head. I am working on these and hope to have them included soon. Until then, you'll just have to wing it or figure it out on your own. Of course, you should also feel free to modify it to fit your own needs or preferences (as long as you don't try to sell it).

Project: A Super Cool Research Project 2005 (PDF) - This is the whole shootin' match. This packet contains directions, important dates, and rubrics for completing a Super Cool Geography Research Project. This project was designed for my 7th grade geography students, but feel free to modify it to fit your own needs. You'll obviously want to change the standards to meet your own state's requirements, and don't forget to change the dates as well.

Create a Country Project (PDF) - This project has been around since my first year of teaching. I have tried several times to get rid of it, but each year the legend of the project grows and each year my new seventh graders ask me on the first day of school, "Are we creating our own countries this year?" I just can't break their little hearts. In this project students create their own country. They are given a set of guiding questions to answer, maps to create, and boy do they run with it. One year I had a kid create his own language and alphabet. I got a sixty page paper from one group before I eliminated the written portion of the project. (And yes, that's from seventh graders). Two years ago I had a student sing his fictional national anthem in a fictional language while saluting a fictional flag. It was one of the few times I actually got anything from that kid. This is the new revised version with streamlined instructions and no written portion. The original version follows this if you'd like to look at that as well. The project also contains a research portion to hone those library and social studies skills.

Create a Country Project - Sample Map - This is a sample map I show my students to help them understand the sorts of things I want to see in the maps that they create of their fictional countries. I chose to create a digital image, but of course students are allowed to use whatever media they wish. I usually try to show them something cool so that they might be inspired to try new things or do just a little bit more. In this case, I created a bitmap and linked to other images of fictional locations around my country.

Create a Country Project (TXT) - The 2007 version of the project mentioned above, new and improved.

Forging a Nation Project (PDF) - This is the original version of the Create a Country Project listed above. The directions are more detailed, but more difficult to follow for many students. This also includes a written portion to the assignment, which I have since eliminated due to the shear length of the papers I tend to receive. In many ways this was a great project but it just became overwhelming to manage in a short period of time.

Forging a Nation Project - Rubric (PDF) - Here is the rubric for the Forging a Nation Project above, circa 2004

Forging a Nation Project - Example Answer (PDF) - This is an example answer I distributed to my students for the Forging a Nation Project. It demonstrates the kind of thought and detail that I was looking for in their answers to the questions contained in the project. It was also kind of fun to write.

Washington's Advice to the Nation (TXT) - This activity includes excerpts from Washington's farewell address. Students are asked to restate the excerpts in their own words. This may be somewhat difficult for younger students as the reading level is somewhat high. The second part asks students to find three present day examples of how we have not followed President Washington's advice. This document is in .txt format so please forgive any formatting errors.

American Revolution Game (TXT) - This group project has students create a game using facts about the Revolutionary War. Students can create a quiz game, board game, card game, or whatever. I borrowed this idea from a teacher I met at a convention. She did the same thing, but with the Civil War. I just didn't want to wait that long to try it out. Kids have a blast playing their games when they are finished, and it's easy to grade, since it becomes very obvious very quickly which games work and which do not. It can be easily adapted to fit all manner of content areas and one could also make it an individual project as well. (In fact I usually give that option to those who ask). This document is in .txt format so please forgive any formatting errors.

Writing an Olive Branch Petition (TXT) - This is a fun, quick little group activity. I usually let my students have about two 45 minute class periods to work together on this, allowing them to use resources from the library or on the internet. The students are required to write their own version of the Olive Branch Petition to try to avoid full scale war. A fun addition to this is to have a group share their petition with the class, and allow the rest of the class debate about whether or not the petition would convince the king to keep the peace. This document is in .txt format so please forgive any formatting errors.

Advertising the Colonies (PDF) - Students create advertisements in the form of posters or brochures trying to convince would-be English settlers to come to the New World. Includes a rubric.

A Colonist's Journal Project (PDF) - Students seem to like this one. They create an authentic looking journal from the early 1700's documenting their experiences as a settler from the crossing of the Atlantic to their first days in the New World. Includes a rubric.

Indian Empires Tic Tac Toe (Google Docs) This will help your students review some basic facts about the Mauryan and Gupta Empires in ancient India. Link will take you to Google Docs. Feel free to borrow and edit as you see fit.

Create a Kingdom Project (PDF) - This is a newer project introduced for the 2009-2010 school year. In years past I taught a geography course for 7th grade and had students create their own countries (see projects above). This project, though substantially different, builds on that idea for my World History course, also for 7th grade. If you are a fan of differentiated instruction, then this is a project you should definitely check out for your class. Students are given a range of tasks from which to choose. You'll notice the rubric is designed for our standards-based curriculum, so you may have to create a new one for your districts course of study. Enjoy!

U.S. Expansion Trading Cards Project (PDF) - For this project, students create historical trading cards complete with pictures, statistics, and even wrappers. They then trade their cards with classmates to learn more about U.S. expansion. The students always create some really neat cards, and I am often amazed at the level of detail I get. Some kids even include bubble gum, just like baseball cards.

Bill of Rights Worksheet (PDF) - I have my students use this to review the rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Enlightenment Salon Simulation (PDF) - This is the assignment sheet I give my students for our salon simulation. It's not that much different from others on the internet, but I like it.

Vocations Advertisement Project (PDF) - When God calls you to serve, will you be ready to answer Him? This project has my 8th grade religion students create advertisements for three different Catholic vocations - the laity, religious, and the clergy. They get a chance to use modern day marketing tricks, which are so often aimed at them, to attract attention to the many ways to serve God and the Church.

The Willy-Nicky Telegrams (Google Docs) This is a little worksheet I put together for my students on the Willy-Nicky Telegrams. Nothing super special here. It contains the original text of the telegrams, a few notes and definitions for my students, and some review questions. Feel free to modify this for your own use.

Primary Source Reading Activity - Einhard's Life of Charlemagne - Read these excerpts from Einhard's biography of our favorite Holy Roman Emperor and answer the questions. (This will take you to Google Docs).

Primary Source Reading Activity: Mutual Duties of Vassals and Lords - This will take you to Google Docs.

This is the cleanest teacher's desk I've ever seen.