Most of us like to think that we know a lot of history stuff. We’re great at Trivial Pursuit, Heads Up, and You Don’t Know Jack. We love reading non-fiction. We enjoy poking holes in the plots of “historical” movies and generally annoy our friends with random historical facts, Cliff Clavin style.
And, in the back of our minds, we’re always a bit concerned that someone else might just know more about history than we do. So we also are always on the hunt for additional history trivia bits.
A great place to find those cool history tidbits and extra background for your class is the Stuff You Missed in History podcast. Sponsored by the How Stuff Works network, SYMHC is hosted by Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey – longtime How Stuff Works staffers who are closet history nerds. Every few days they post a 20-30 minute podcast about some incredibly interesting but almost always little-known historical event, fact, or person.
Yes, it’s fairly random. But there is a handy Categories list for browsing and a search function that lets you be more specific. But they’ve been doing this awhile – there’s a lot in there so I’m pretty sure you’re gonna find what you need.
I was curious about what they had on civil rights and race relations. A quick search turned up a powerful piece on the Tulsa, Oklahoma race riots. Seems like a perfect opener for a current events class.
Their website is a good place to start because you can get the actual podcast and their show notes. The podcast is obviously the main attraction but don’t ignore the show notes. Tracy and Holly share a bit of context, a few helpful websites, and wait for it . . . a bibliography. That’s a powerful piece because you and your students can use that for further research. (It’s a lot like the bib and end notes in a Wikipedia article. The article is helpful but it’s the extra sources that make your day.)
But there are other ways to access the goodness. You can listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class via iTunes and the Stuff You Missed in History Class RSS feed. Follow them on Twitter at @missedinhistory and on the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page. They also have Tumblr and Pinterest pages
(Don’t blow off the Pinterest link. Tons. Seriously. Tons of links there.)
How could you use SYMHC?
- Use the podcasts as part of your flipped classroom resources.
- Use them to supplement your own interactive lectures.
- Have kids listen to them and then create their own “show notes” as a summary activity.
- Have a podcast act as a entry point for extended research and have kids develop an annotated bibliography.
- Many state standards, including those in Kansas, encourage kids to connect the past with contemporary events. Use a podcast as an assessment writing prompt that asks students to find connections between past and present.
And I know you. You’re a history nerd. You’ll come up with five more great ideas for using SYMHC by tomorrow. Be sure to share ’em with the rest of us!