Welcome to Social Studies Wednesday! I hope you will stop by to share ideas and resources for teaching Social Studies. Please comment and leave a link to your post, I’ll check in and round up contributions throughout the day. If you don’t have a link to share, please leave a comment about the posts in the round up. It’s always good to hear your feedback!
The internet has made Social Studies so much more fun to design lesson plans and activities for. With each passing year, I find more resources on line, and more ways to design interactive learning experiences for my kids. For just about every unit, Ive designed at least one on-line activity that requires research, note-taking, some visual aspect and a writing component to synthesize the learning. Sometimes I create a webquest all of my own design, and sometimes I just use one I’ve found online and tweak/add to it a bit to personalize it for my kids and the unit we’re studying.
These webquests used o take days to create, but I can now put one together in a matter of a few hours. The main thing is to make sure the links work (if you’re using a pre-existing webquest, this can sometimes be a problem) and that the project is not too involved (too many instructions and activities, I find, leads to too many frustrations and confusion). I try and limit my focus and provide a clear timeline – and we always “walk through” the webquest to answer questions before we begin to work on it. It’s a wonderful way to practice so many skills, and my kids enjoy the independence they have in creating something all their own using the research tools and guidelines I’ve outlined. Here, for example, is a webquest we just completed for a unit on the the Underground Railroad:
3. Create a poster: Heroes of the Abolition Movement (this will be done in class, in assigned groups):
Design a poster to celebrate six of these individuals – your poster should have their names, a picture/illustration, a brief biography and information about their achievements.
Maria at Teaching in the 21st Century shares reading resources and teaching ideas for her unit on slavery as well – as she says, we’re on the same wave length today!