Teaching Daily Life in the Past: Using Essential Questions in Chronological Units

January 23, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

The history of ordinary people and everyday life appeals to students. However, teachers struggle to squeeze it into a social studies curriculum dominated by stories of wealthy elites and political chronology. Narrowly defined disciplines and state-mandated teaching standards often leave little room for social history. However, essential questions focusing on daily-life themes relevant to student’s lives are the perfect solution for introducing more social history in social studies curriculum.

3 Books to Support Geography and/or Civics in the Classroom

January 16, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

 

My last post was about quality novels to teach in the American history classroom. I would like to follow it up with some books teachers can include in their geography and civics class. In Alabama, we devote a semester each to geography and civics during the seventh grade. Often, it can seem that there is not enough time to fit in everything that we need to cover during that time frame. However, the following books are short enough to read in these classes, but “pack a punch” of information.

Reading Strategies for Middle School Novels in Social Studies

January 9, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

When I implement a novel study in social studies, there are a few activities that really work for me in terms of aiding student comprehension. I'll go into what these strategies are, how to use them, and how they help. But first, a note about reading aloud.

Using Displays to Fight the Marginalization of Social Studies

January 3, 2019 By Dixie Massey

A recent conversation with a seven-year-old has given me a lot to think about. I started with the typical questions and eventually worked my way to the topic of school. “What do you think of school?”

3 Novels to Read with Middle School Students in Social Studies

May 30, 2018 By Jessica Hayes

When I first started teaching history, it was difficult for me to incorporate reading passages in a productive and interesting way. I remember looking at a section in my textbook and thinking “how can I keep my students on task when I can barely concentrate on this stuff?”

Connect European Imperialism to Your Students' Lives via the Quinceanera and Cinco de Mayo

Author's mother, Addy Yolanda López de Moguel, quinceañera, 1961, Mérida, Yucatán, México.

It is time for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations again. This minor Mexican holiday has been relegated to being  a regional American beer holiday, but it can also provide some teaching opportunities for your classroom.

Incorporate Service Learning to Help Students Use Civics Beyond the Classroom

May 3, 2018 By Ken Klieman

Service learning has been a cornerstone of my educational approach for over a decade. In service learning, students apply the scientific method to real-world problems and offer real-world solutions.

How to Use Essential Questions to Focus Instruction in Social Studies

May 1, 2018 By Cynthia Resor

How does a teacher narrow down over 5000 years of human history and culture for the classroom? Use essential questions!

Help Teachers in Your District Transfer Thinking Routines into the Classroom

April 26, 2018 By Montra Rogers, Ed. D

Before we as educators are able to make thinking visible to students we have to first make the processes and procedures of thinking visible to ourselves. 

Activities to Get Students to Do the Reading in Social Studies

Students not doing the reading assigned for homework seems to be an eternal challenge for every teacher.  Failure to do the reading stunts classroom discussions, prevents students from learning and understanding the material to an adequate depth, and does nothing to help students build literacy skills.