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HELP - New to Social Studies and Terrified!
Old 07-28-2011, 03:20 AM
 
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Hi. I am new to teaching Social Studies, and frankly I am a little worried about it. My memories of Social Studies classes growing up are not positive. I remember alot of round-robin reading and then answering the textbook questions that corresponded to the reading. I remember constantly being bored in Social Studies. Now that I will be teaching Social Studies, I know that I do not want my class to be like this but I do not know how to go about teaching Social Studies any other way. I thought I could possibly use powerpoints for some of the topics, but I don't want to just show slides everyday, either. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (This is at the middle school level). Thanks!


 

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Old 07-28-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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Can you be more specific on your subject matter....Ancient World Hist, Us Hist, geography,etc ???

Meanwhile, check out Mr Donn's website and pppst.com.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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Social Studies at the middle school level is awesome! There are so many hands-on, partner, and small group projects you can do. There so much that you can do with this age other than the textbook.

Powerpoints, student-created plays, re-enactments, debate (debate and debate and debate..this age love to argue) analysis of historical music, there are so many excellent Social studies movies...I do tons of partner and small group projects throughout the year, too...the kids make their own plays about the battles of the revolutionary war, we write a "break up letter" to Britain when we study the Declaration, we create a mini-courtroom during our study of the Constitution and they become lawyers and argue different cases, we do a choose-your-own-adventure game for manifest Destiny, they debate the pros and cons of going to war with Mexico,they create facebook page for historical people, the create and film presidential primary ads for the presidents we study, we write diaries of Civil War soldiers, we read picture books about slavery and create giant class story quilts....

I teach the American Revolution- Civil War, and my unit is typically laid out with a grabber/background information activity, 2-3 days of power point notes scattered throughout the unit, 3-4 days of some activity that reinforces that material, 2-3 days of skills practice with the material (maps, timelines, outlining, reading for main idea, etc...) a quiz, current events, and then review games, a long term project (for example, create and perform a play that shows that major events and outcome of the Battle of Bunker Hill) or a test. Most of my units are only 2-3 weeks long since there is so much material to cover.

PT is a great place to start looking for resources and ideas....good luck!
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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I am teaching ancient world history this year.

Wow - those sound like great ideas! I am sure I can modify some of them to fit in with the content I am teaching. Debates sound like a good idea...you are definitely right about them being fans of arguing at that age level! I like the way that you break down the unit with notes, activities, skills pradctice, etc., too. I think that sounds like a great way to handle the many units I need to cover!
 
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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I teach Ancient World Hist too. We start with basic map skills and talk about what archaeology is and what archaeologists do. We do a virtual tour of the Cave of Lascaux in France and then make our own cave paintings. We also do an activity where the kids try to discover info about people based on their trash (clean and appropriate).

Pull up the Houghton Mifflin web page and look at the textbook for Ancient World Hist. They have online activities and links, but you would also get some additional info about what units to do...


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Old 07-28-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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I would suggest doing a search on interactive notebooks - they are really great for organizing and you can do so many creative assignments.

Also, I recommend www mrdonn org ( put dots in the spaces) and www mrroughton com for some really great ideas.

You will love teaching this content if you make it hands on.
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same situation!
Old 07-28-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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i am teaching 7th social studies and it starts at recorded history (cave drawings) and works up to the renaissance. www mrdowling com is a great site i've found. some cool audios to play for the kids. i'm gona use a lot of the same sites recommended to you on this. i'm terrified as well. social studies was always so boring. i thought "well, at least i will have a text book to guide me" but no, i have no book. (i know it's probably for the best, but when you've never taught it before and the curriculum is so new, it's a little scary without a guide.) if you come up with any other ideas, let me know. i plan to do a lot of mimio activities, group work, and any chance to draw i can find.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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I used to teach Ancient civ...I LOVED the book Hands-On History:Ancient Civilization activities...I did several of the activities in there and I was amazed at (1) how much fun the kids thought they were and (2) how much they retained and the connections they made as result of the activities. I only wish the US history version was a good May be a place for you to start....
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Thank you!
Old 07-29-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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Thank you so much for all of the ideas! I will definitely incorporate many of them into my teaching. Thanks also for the websites - they look like great resources for me!
 
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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Are you teaching Ancient Egypt? I did a unit where we mummified a chicken and went through an entire funeral for the fallen chicken pharaoh. We actually buried the pharaoh in a corner of the school field. The kids loved it and learned a lot about religious beliefs, culture, and the science of mummification.

http://www.nashua.edu/walshly/Ancien...mification.htm


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