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Century46 Century46 is offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 520
Senior Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 520
Senior Member
Old 09-22-2012, 03:59 PM
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We take the Science and Social Studies Standards for the Trimester and create Units of Study and it is called Theme in the schedule (because it can be either). This trimester, the Social Studies Unit of Study is Native Americans. We will also do one called Coming to America (Exploration and Colonies) and the American Revolution this year.

Each one takes about 6 weeks (1/2 of a trimester, with the other half being a science-themed Unit). During this time, I use most of the day to teach in an integrated way. For example, in Theme (40 min), they will reasearch, write and untimately build a Native American Museum for the rest of the study body to visit. They will also use Writing Workshop time for brochures, plaques and historical fiction pieces. During Reading Workshop, we will have book clubs with books set in these time periods, shared reading with fiction and non-fiction books about the topic and so on.

So, though my time might look like 40 minutes a day during a social studies theme and 0 during a science theme, it can really include and additional 2 1/2 hours with reading and writing workshops.

As to how important I think they are...they are the hook to engage kids in reading and writing. I don't know whether I prefer our science themes or social studies themes, but I cannot imagine teaching without using one or the other as the foundation.
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