Math, reading, writing, science, social studies. How do you fit it all in? And, as I write this, we are living in a global pandemic where so many teachers are not even teaching students every single day in the classroom. I have seen this play out over the last 15 years in education…there are new initiatives and a greater emphasis on ELA and math and social studies/science are shoved to the sidelines. I have seen this SO MANY TIMES.
Worst part? I LOVE teaching social studies. When I taught fourth grade in New York, our emphasis was on state history. When I taught third grade, the main emphasis was on world culture and communities. I absolutely loved this, and I think it’s because I was always learning about new places, new cultures, and new traditions.
With all of that being said, I have finally had some time to start creating some resources that help weave social studies into the reading and writing curriculum. I have been working really hard on these packs called “Historical Perspectives.” Essentially, I take a topic from history, write a historical fiction set during that event and a non-fiction article teaching students the basics of that moment in history and then build activities around this. **I also included the audio texts for each of the articles to help students who may need to hear the texts.
For example, I have a pack about the Titanic. First students are asked to read an article about the Titanic and then read a story set from that time period. I made questions and comprehension activities to go along with each of these pieces. I then include 18 “Deep Dive” questions that you can give to students to discuss the topic on a deeper level. I tried to include multiple layered questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy. I suggest giving each student a question, putting them in small groups, and having one student ask their question to the rest of the students. Kids love the “Campfire” and it always gets all of the students thinking and discussing, which is the goal, right?
Then, my favorite part to make and my favorite part to teach….primary sources. In each pack, I include 5-7 primary source images, usually from the Library of Congress or National Archives. Students work with these photos to discuss what they SEE, what they THINK, and what they would ASK those in the picture (S-T-A). I love the way this all comes together and the natural progression of learning that takes place, starting with the understanding of the topic through reading, then a deep conversation with fellow students, and then real-world photographs from the time period.
I love making these so much and I will keep making new topics.
Right now, I have the following topics:
Let me know if there is a topic you would like to see!