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Literacy

12 Contemporary Novels with Social Studies Themes

May 28, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

Contemporary literature gives readers a look at progressive writing styles that often reflect the world in which the works were written. Although often reserved for English or writing courses, recent novels can also be used in secondary social studies classrooms to teach about current events, political themes, economics, sociology, or even history.

Why the History of Words Matters in Social Studies

May 24, 2020 By Cynthia Resor

Etymology, the study of the origin of words and how the meanings of words change over time, is just as relevant in social studies as it is in English classes. When words appear in a language, how words evolve and change, and when words are discarded tell a wider social, political, economic, or cultural story. For students learning social studies, the benefits of learning these words can be immense, and serve to build essential skills. 

8 Memoirs That Will Impact Your Social Studies Students

April 23, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

An impactful memoir has long-lasting effects on its reader. For high school students, a real story about the struggles of humanity and strength of the human spirit helps them connect with history and see the world from a different perspective.

15 Classic Novels with Social Studies Themes

April 13, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

Classic literature is often reserved for English or Writing courses, but in secondary social studies classrooms, historical novels written about specific eras and themes can have as much merit as a traditional textbook. Teachers can use the following examples as a guide to teach their students social studies themes, including politics, government, sociology, and various historical eras. 

“Going Viral” Isn’t a New Thing: Teaching Media Literacy with Historical Examples

March 10, 2020 By Cynthia Resor

Going viral is the rapid spread of information, not diseases. The phrase entered the English language in the late 1980s and is usually associated with the internet, email, or social media but can also refer to information spread by word of mouth.

4 Reasons to Read Aloud in the Social Studies Classroom

January 28, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

When educators think about reading aloud to students, they often picture circle-time in an elementary classroom where a teacher reads a short story to the class. However, research and evidence-based practices support the fact that reading out loud at any grade level can provide various student benefits.  From improved literacy and information processing skills to building active listening and student confidence, K-12 classrooms can provide the setting to read texts out loud. Here are four advantages that students can gain as a result of reading activities in the social studies classroom.

Six Essential Literacy Skills that Only an Atlas Can Provide

January 16, 2020 By Dr. Aaron Willis

Ask any teacher in any discipline at any grade level and they will tell you that literacy is one of their biggest concerns and challenges. What they mean by “literacy” can vary considerably, but generally we can take it to mean successful interpretation of the signs, symbols, and meanings someone else is trying to communicate. Literacy is often used to describe deciphering texts. In a child’s early years, basic phonics is the most common form of literacy, and as students get older, literacy comes to mean understanding the written word in all its variations.

Building Background Knowledge: Helping ELL Students Access Social Studies Curriculum

January 10, 2020 By Susan McDonald, M.S., CCC-SLP

According to recent surveys, at least 55% of classroom teachers have one or more English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classroom. ELLs arrive in our classrooms with varying levels of the four domains of English (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) for conversational and academic purposes. As a social studies teacher, how can you help an ELL student make sense of the advanced vocabulary and sentence structures that come along with academic instruction? One proven strategy is to build or activate background knowledge BEFORE starting the unit.

Teach Students Media Literacy with Historical Sources

October 24, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Internet ads, YouTube videos, social media posts, blogs, emails, and TV infomercials feature questionable and downright dangerous health advice, treatments, and cures. These quacks didn’t just appear in the modern era of broadcast and electronic media. Quacks have been around for centuries, successfully adapting their misleading message to the newest form of media – from word of mouth, to print, to broadcast, to electronic formats.

Four Recommendations to Support Struggling and Reluctant Readers in Social Studies

May 16, 2019 By Tina Heafner

Teachers should offer a wide variety of literacy support in their social studies curricula, otherwise students can fall behind.