Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Teachers can use the pre-made stories, construct their own, or create assignments (like an exam review study guide or final assessment) that require students to build multimedia-rich stories. Teachers should definitely take time to search through both the developer's pre-made stories and the community stories to see what may be relevant for their specific classroom needs. For example, “A History of Immigration of the USA” highlights the experiences of immigrants; “Franz Ferdinand’s Assassination” gives students the opportunity to follow a journalist through a turbulent period. Teachers should encourage students to compare how different stories portray the same issue or events: how does one author's portrayal of events differ from another author's account of the same event? How is that important?
Sutori lends itself to solo, partner, or small-group assignments. However, if you're interested in having students build stories together, you'll need to opt in for a Premium account (which allows collaborative pairs) or an Unlimited account (which allows for group projects and class stories).Continue reading Show less
Sutori (formerly HSTRY) was initially marketed as a tool for viewing and creating interactive timelines, but is now positioned as a tool to create interactive stories. The reality is that Sutori has much of the same functionality (and look) as its previous incarnation, but the shift toward stories is understandable since the tool can be used to present all sorts of information. The developer's pre-made stories still lean toward timelines, however, but the community contributions cover all subject areas. To get started, teachers can create classes and then send students codes to access shared timelines and to create their own. The timeline template walks users through the creation process, and the timelines are easy to edit and share. There are a number of features available, including text, images, videos, “Did You Know” call-out boxes, click-to-reveal text links, and multiple-choice quiz questions.
The site has both free and paid features. For free, teachers and students can create up to 200 stories and use community stories created by other teachers and students. For an annual fee, there is no limit to student projects and teachers can access developer-created stories that are organized into bundles by subject (like the American Revolution or American Civil War), each with multiple stories and lesson plans. Stories include lesson plans (with an overview and time estimate) and CCSS alignment specifics. Students can also collaborate in pairs on stories with premium access.
Overall, this is an imaginative, flexible resource for teachers to encourage their students to explore historical events, consider the perspectives of the people who experienced them, and research and collect media to illustrate the story they hope to tell. The content on the site continues to grow both in terms of pre-made and community stories and teachers in all subject areas can find or make engaging interactive tools.
There are ample options to embed media, and students will appreciate getting instant feedback on the quiz questions and exploring the videos, images, and pop-up text in their own stories and within those their classmates create. The developer-created stories are solid. Students can imagine what Thomas Jefferson must have felt as he wrote the Declaration of Independence or experience the excitement of Paul Revere's famous ride from the patriot's perspective.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.