Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shmoop Adds Civics and Biographies

Shmoop is a great provider of online study guides, content summaries, and vocabulary lists. I was impressed with Shmoop when it launched and it has continued to impress by adding more quality content. The latest rounds of updates include a section for civics and a section of biographies.

Shmoop's biography section offers brief biographies and study guides of famous authors and former US Presidents. The new Shmoop Civics section offers charts, explanations, and key-point lists about the branches of US Government. The civics section also includes discussion guides and background sheets about civil rights topics.

Shmoop offers more than just summaries of information. If students create an account and log-in, they can use the integrated dictionary to find the meaning of any word in the content they're reading. Students can also create folders where they can store sticky notes of information they record while reading a Shmoop article.

Applications for Education
In literature courses Shmoop is a good reference to supplement the reading that students do for your courses. Shmoop's summaries are not nearly long enough to be a replacement for students to soly rely on instead of doing the assigned reading. As a frame of reference, Shmoop's summaries are far shorter than those found in Cliffs Notes or Spark Notes.

Shmoop's history and civics sections are good places to locate fact sheets and charts to use in class or for students to study on their own.

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