Some fun tech tools for teaching citizenship
care of Andrew Shapira
Today I'm presenting a guest post by citizenship teacher and tech wizzard Andrew Shapira. He has kindly put together examples of apps that he uses to help students learn/review citizenship prep content so that I could share them with CitizenshipNew readers. Take a look!
Distance Learning Tools for Citizenship
Teaching an online citizenship class during the pandemic, I’ve become familiar with some excellent resources, such as the Preparing for the Oath and USA Learns websites and the US Citizen Pod and USCitizenshipTest.org YouTube channels. I’ve also created some of my own activities using a variety of distance learning tools. Here are a few tools that I recommend.
Quizizz allows you to create fun, interactive quizzes, including multiple-choice, short-answer, and open-ended questions. (You may be familiar with Kahoot, which is similar, though I think Quizizz is better in some ways.) Quizzes can be played live or assigned to students as homework; if the latter, students can do them as many times as they would like, and the order of questions and answer choices can be randomized.
A basic Quizizz account offers all the basic question types; however, with a paid account, you can also record audio questions, which I think is especially helpful for citizenship students, who will need to listen to the questions and respond orally at their interview. Here are a few other features that I find useful:
Quizizz makes it easy to find and import questions from quizzes that other teachers have created (or copy entire quizzes and adapt them as you see fit), so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
After a quiz has been played, Quizizz creates reports with lots of assessment data. This helps you determine which students need more support and which topics need reinforcement.
You can also integrate questions with slides in order to both teach material and assess students’ understanding.
Here are some examples of quizzes related to citizenship:
Edpuzzle is a popular tool for turning YouTube videos (or videos that you record yourself) into interactive lessons. The lessons can contain multiple-choice and open-ended questions, which appear at whatever points in the video you would like. You can also add written or audio notes and remove portions of the video that you don’t want. With a free account, you can store up to 20 videos at any one time; with a paid account, you can store an unlimited number.
For open-ended questions, you’ll need to assign the lesson to a class, which can be on the Edpuzzle site or a platform like Google Classroom. Once you’ve assigned it, you’ll be able to see students’ individual responses and provide feedback. I’ve used Edpuzzle with videos from the aforementioned YouTube channels focused on citizenship. Here are two examples:
With Flippity, you can create a variety of activities, ranging from a Jeopardy-style quiz show to scrambled sentences to printable word searches. The website is free, and no sign-up is required.
All the activities can be created through a Google spreadsheet (for which you’ll need a Google account); Flippity’s clear instructions help you set up the spreadsheet and turn it into a classroom-ready activity. Some can also be created more easily, with the “Skip the Spreadsheet” option. For example, creating a “Manipulatives” activity (see example below) requires simply typing a sentence into a box and clicking a button.
There are too many activities to discuss them all here, so I’ll just give a few citizenship-related examples:
Quiz show based on civics questions
Manipulatives activity with a sentence from the writing test (potentially useful for low-literacy students)
Matching activity with key numbers from the civics test
Flash cards with vocabulary from the N-400
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
Posted: to Citizenship News on Tue, Jun 22, 2021
Updated: Tue, Jun 22, 2021