With LaunchPacks, students and educators can make reading active with digital highlighting and note-taking. Watch a video about annotating articles in Packs.
To get started, use the toggle at the top of any article to switch from read mode to annotate mode. Next, click and drag to highlight the specific text that you would like to focus on in the article. When the pencil icon appears, click the icon to open a space in which to write a note and select one of the six colored labels from a drop-down list: comment, question, vocabulary, evidence, summary, and connection. The labels and colored highlighting will help you organize your notes. (On touch-enabled screens, double tap to highlight, then tap the Annotate button to write a note.) You may edit your notes, relabel them, or delete them permanently. Your annotations will be automatically saved as you create and edit them, so your work will not be lost. Find your annotations any time in My LaunchPacks. Look for the orange pencil icon next to Pack titles that contain annotated articles. A pencil icon will also appear on a Pack page next to the titles of articles with annotations.
Check your progress by selecting the “All Categories” drop-down list to see counts of your annotations by label. Organize your view by filtering to a single type of annotation.
Share your annotations with others by clicking on the envelope icon in annotate mode and inputting the e-mail addresses of your recipients plus your own name and e-mail address. Britannica will share a link to the article with a read-only view of your annotations on your behalf.
Download your annotations to a document or PDF file by clicking on the down arrow icon. The file will contain all of your comments, labels, and highlighted text. The file will also contain an MLA citation and URLs for the article and Pack.
Use Delete All annotations to reset your view of the article to its original state. You will be prompted to verify this action before all annotations are actually deleted.
In order to use the Annotation features, you must create a personal account. Personal accounts are free for all LaunchPacks users and are easy to create. When prompted, follow the onscreen instructions to create an account. Learn more about personal accounts.
In order to schedule a LaunchPack, you’ll need to have a personal educator account and be logged in. Personal accounts are easy to create if you don't already have one.
LaunchPacks provides educators with a personalized calendar to schedule Packs for future use and receive reminders as the date approaches. Set your notification preferences from your personal account dashboard, and export your LaunchPacks schedule to your preferred calendar program or app (e.g., Google, Outlook, or iCalendar). Watch a video about scheduling Packs content.
To get started, find and click on the calendar icon.
It appears in the lower right corner of every Pack card. It also appears within each Pack page near the top. Clicking the calendar icon brings up the month’s calendar. Next, drag and drop the Pack you selected the icon from to any calendar date. When it’s time to use your scheduled Pack, Britannica will notify you with a link to the Pack for easy access!
Drag and drop a new Pack onto a date that already contains a Pack to create a collection of Packs for that date. Your reminders will include easy access to all Packs within the collection.
Visit your schedule dashboard anytime from the notifications menu in the header. Here you can change the scheduled date of an existing Pack or a collection of Packs, remove a single Pack from a collection, or completely remove scheduled Packs from your calendar.
Based on your personal account profile and preferences, Britannica may schedule recommended Packs for you about topics that interest you. If you’ve set up a personal account, you can change your preferences anytime in your account settings.
In order to use the Schedule features, you must create a personal educator account. Personal accounts are free for all LaunchPacks users and are easy to create. When prompted, follow the onscreen instructions to create an account. Learn more about personal accounts.
With a personal LaunchPacks account, educators and students can save their work and sign in from anywhere. Personal accounts are completely FREE and add extra features on to the basic access provided by your institution. Clicking on Sign In at the top right of the page will show you the name of the institution providing your access. From there you can also create a personal account, sign in to an existing personal account, or go to your personal account dashboard.
Keep your personal information up to date as changes occur.
(Educators only) Provide preference options for content, such as grade levels and topics that interest you. Your account settings help Britannica provide you with the right Packs at the right time. You can also opt in to additional notification methods, such as notifications via e-mail.
Find Packs that you have favorited (saved), customized, or annotated. They’re all collected here for fast, easy access.
(Educators only) Modify your schedule as quickly as your lesson plans change. Learn more about how to use LaunchPacks’s schedule tools.
New LaunchPacks notifications will automatically appear on the top right corner of the site when you’re signed in. Your recent notifications history is also available.
Britannica LaunchPacks: Social Studies are designed to help teachers systematically meet learning objectives specified in PreK-12 Social Studies content standards. LaunchPacks offer targeted coverage of topics that directly relate to the different strands of PreK-12 Social Studies: history, geography, civics, and economics. Each Pack contains a variety of resources that have been thoughtfully selected by Britannica editors to meet the curriculum needs of students at all grade levels. These resources include articles, photographs, maps, videos, speeches, letters, and more.
The topics for LaunchPacks were determined through several rounds of careful review of the national C3 and Common Core English Language Arts frameworks and various state Social Studies frameworks. Britannica editors methodically analyzed individual standards for relevant topics, including important figures, events, eras, places, and concepts. Teachers may feel confident that LaunchPacks directly support their work in Social Studies classrooms and can serve as a key tool in helping their students master required instructional goals.
LaunchPacks are intended to provide teachers and students access to high-quality, rich, and diverse content sets that are easily found and used. The content in each Pack relates to a specific Social Studies topic that is vital to instruction in a given grade range. Each Pack offers resources that allow teachers great flexibility in their use. Teachers may choose to present a Pack as is, or they may choose to customize a particular Pack to make it align more closely to their specific students’ needs. Teachers may add or remove content pieces, insert notes or questions to guide students’ work and thinking, or upload additional documents or Web sites to make a Pack their own. Learn more about how to use LaunchPacks’s customization features.
For example, a fifth-grade teacher might use the various resources in the Pack on John F. Kennedy to discuss the U.S. presidency. Alternatively, he or she may also use them to help meet national standards such as these: “Summarize how different types of historical sources are used to explain events in the past.” (C3-D2.His.9.3-5) and “Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.” (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9)
Although comprehensive, the collection of Packs is not static, and neither are the individual Packs themselves. We respond to requests from users for additional Pack titles and content. Also, resources in LaunchPacks are updated as necessary to keep up with an ever-changing world, keeping content fresh, current, and relevant.
Have a look at these other examples to see how LaunchPacks address the different strands of Social Studies.
G6-8—The Middle Ages: The Holy Roman Empire (World History)
G9-12—Martin Luther King, Jr. (U.S. History)
Take a two-minute tour of the site:
See how to Customize & Share with LaunchPacks:
The Britannica LaunchPacks Vimeo channel for educator professional development has short, engaging, and informative videos that can show you what’s possible with LaunchPacks in your classroom.
See how to Differentiate Instruction with LaunchPacks:
Watch a video about favoriting, customizing, and sharing Packs.
Clicking the Favorite button with the star icon from the Pack page is a simple way to save a Pack you want to quickly return to in the future. The star icon will turn solid orange when the Pack has been favorited. Clicking on the My LaunchPacks link in the header will take you to a page with all of your favorite Packs. Just look for the orange stars!
Clicking the Customize button with the wrench icon from the Pack page opens up an edit mode that allows you to personalize any Pack. Upload document files of your own, add external links, add a Pack Note or notes about individual content items, remove individual content items from your customized Pack, and/or retitle the Pack. When you’ve finished editing, click the Save Changes button to store your Custom Pack. Clicking on the My LaunchPacks link in the header will take you to a page with all of your Custom Packs. Just look for the green banners!
Clicking the Share button with the envelope icon from the Pack page provides you with two great options for sharing your own Custom Packs (or Britannica Editors’ Packs.) You can choose to copy a shortened URL link or send it via e-mail.
Copy Link is perfect for reaching others through your existing channels for sharing. For example, you may wish to write it on a physical classroom board, embed it on your class web page, include it in assignment directions, or integrate it into shared electronic documents.
Send allows Britannica to share the Pack link with others on your behalf. You may select this option after you provide the e-mail addresses of your recipients and your name and e-mail address.
In order to use the Favorite and Customize features, you must create a personal account. Personal accounts are free for all LaunchPacks users and are easy to create. When prompted, follow the onscreen instructions to create an account. Learn more about personal accounts and My LaunchPacks.
Please note that not all tools are available for all types of content, grade levels, and/or user devices.
Use the toggle to switch an article from read to annotate mode to highlight text and take notes. Learn more about how to use LaunchPacks’s annotation tools.
Access alternate versions of the same core article content by clicking on the purple numbers.
Use the play icon at the top of each section to hear it aloud. Follow along with a visual highlighting cue and use pause, skip backward, and skip forward icons to control the reader.
Learn the meanings and pronunciations of words in an article by double clicking on them. Definitions provided by Merriam-Webster.
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