Interactive Learning Journals: Engaging History Students

Use Numbers as a note-taking tool to engage students with a unique digital spin on the traditional KWL strategy using Numbers to create a digital learning journal. This file can be used both on Macs and iPads.

The attached file is fully customizable for whatever subject or unit you use. You can add slides, or delete slides as needed for your needs. I have used colors in the background so that I can quickly monitor, in Apple Classroom, the progress of the students.

The Learning Journal

The description below is a brief overview of what I am looking for in each section of this learning journal. Below the descriptions is a video sample of what the journal will look like for students.


In this section, students will see the title of the unit and a brief overview, pictures, and/or video to share before the learning begins.

Essential Question

The students write out the essential question(s) for the unit in this space. In my personal experience when students write out the question, they carry it over throughout their learning, and gives them an understanding of why we are studying the unit.

What do you know about

Students have the opportunity to share what they know about the unit topic. I like to see what they know before I start teaching a unit so that I can adapt my teaching to their prior experience and understanding.

What do you want to know?

This section gives the students a chance to share what they want to learn about the unit. Like their prior knowledge, I can adapt my teaching to what the students want to know about the unit.

Interesting Facts

This section gives the students a chance to do some independent exploration and find things about the unit that excite them. I like the students to share their facts with their peers.


As a teacher, you can decide what you want your students to add to this section. I will have them post maps, and pictures, and will include fun Pop art projects in this section.

Societal Impact

I ask the students to research how the topic of study has impacted our current society so they can see why we study history.

Share what you learn

Students will have a final project to share their learning. I give students a choice in how they want to share their learning. They can create an iMovie/Clips video, Keynote presentation, essay, etc... It is up to the students how they want to share.

Short video sharing a sample of possible student work in the learning journal


I have attached a simple rubric that I use below to assess the students learning journals.

Thank you!




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