From the Inspired Learning Community: Earth Day Ideas!

Happy Earth Day, readers!

As we all reflect and act on ways to improve our natural environment, teachers are faced with the challenge of helping young people understand the importance of conservation.

If you’re an educator and struggling to find ways to get kids actively engaged in Earth Day, why not try an idea submitted to our Inspired Learning Community?

Clear Writing and Clean Water: April Themes At Inspiration

“Take a course in good water and air,” wrote John Muir. “And in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own.”

GUEST POST: Using Mind Mapping to Foster Divergent Thinking

Using Mind Mapping to Foster Divergent Thinking

The biggest challenge facing our educational system today is the traditional learning model that leads our children to think irrationally. Thankfully, mind mapping has emerged as an incredible tool that gives students the skills they need to think creatively and logically.

The process of mind mapping inherently encourages multilateral thinking, rather than the linear type of reasoning that is prevalent in the current educational system. Here I will cover some of the benefits of mind mapping, as well as instances where educators could incorporate Inspiration Maps into their lessons to make them more interesting and engaging to students.

Critical Thinking and Changing: March Themes at Inspiration

“The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality,” as Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said.

At Inspiration we understand that learning can be a struggle for many students. Like the stories of women and minorities, at times ideas are buried beneath the surface, just waiting for the proper vehicle to bring them to light. 

Beloved, Phenomenal Women (TEMPLATE & LESSON PLAN)

“The caged bird sings/with fearful trill/of the things unknown/but longed for still.” –Maya Angelou

A caged bird may be how many teachers feel when it comes to implementing the Common Core State Standards, but for today the image is the basis for showcasing some of our most powerful tools–the Compare and Contrast templates/accompanying lesson plans.

GUEST POST: Writing An Evidence-Based Essay

Hi Readers!

Since this week’s Social Media theme has been Analyzing Primary Sources, we’re taking it to the next level and examining how to apply those Inspiration tools to writing. Please welcome Steve Aedy from to the blog with a piece for all high school writers!

How to Write an Evidence Based Essay

At various times in your high school career, you will be asked to write an evidence based essay. This may sound like a difficult task; however, it isn’t as daunting as the name implies.

Reading and Reflecting: February Themes at Inspiration

Happy February, readers!

As it’s the first full week of our shortest month we’ve got some previews to share with you. This month you’ll notice two intertwining themes in not only our blog content but the rest of our social media work as well.

Inspiration’s Common Core theme of the month is Close Reading. It’s an oft-used buzz phrase these days, and with good reason! The very first anchor standard of the Common Core State Standards dictates that students need to be able to “Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.” This takes on even more importance when you consider how drastically the volume of student-read material will increase under the CCSS.

Inspiration’s full slate of tools will be on display as we work to equip teachers with what they need to help students read–and then interpret what they’ve read.

The World of Words: “Visualizing Vocabulary” (TEMPLATE & LESSON PLAN)

What difference can one word make?

Political history provides us with some memorable examples of a single word’s power: from Dan Quayle’s misspelling of “potato” to the (incorrect) report that John F. Kennedy labelled himself a German jelly donut, tales of language gaffes from elected officials abound.

But today we at Thinkspiration want readers to go deeper than news sound bites–to really consider how one word affects the tone, intent and meaning of any informative or narrative text.

Common-Core Aligned Dreams: Persuasive Speeches

 ”This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”

GUEST POST: How Reliable Is The Internet As A Learning Resource?

Greetings, readers! As January continues onward, we’re continuing our series of learning tools that pair well with Inspiration products. The post below comes from Rob James, a teacher in the United Kingdom. 


How Reliable is the Internet as a Learning Resource?

by Rob James

Most people now rely on the Internet as a learning resource, whether that means checking facts on Wikipedia or using extensive Google searches. However, while there is a huge potential for finding information online, as a learning resource the Internet can have its problems. When encouraging students on how to best use the Internet for their research, it’s important to emphasise critical thinking, and being able to evaluate different sources. At the same time, it’s worth considering the benefits of apps that can help you to organise and compare different sources as part of projects and revision. 

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