Social Studies Content

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by dunwool, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. dunwool

    dunwool Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2010

    I am a first year teacher (and the only third grade class in my school) and I am struggling with teaching social studies (and science for that matter!) content to my students. Last year their teacher really didn't teach them social studies or science and when they did do these, it was a quick activity, and they moved on! This is what my third graders expect this year! :eek: At this point in the year they should really be transitioning to the reading to learn point in their education but they are resisting this at every attempt! I am having such a hard time with my students actually learning anything from what they read but rather they just want me to spoon feed them everything. This is a very immature group and their teacher last year did not do them any favors in terms of holding them to a high standard. So, my question is how do you do social studies (and science too) so that it is hands-on but also incorporates content based education - either through lecture or reading? My mind is spinning from the resistance I am getting and am at witts end! :dizzy: Thank you so much for them help!
     
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  3. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Feb 2, 2010

    We are aiming for a lot of content based reports in social studies. They did a biography project, now we are doing a country of orgin project and then at the end they will do a cultures group project. I teach them to get information from the book- note take in short phrases (not copy) and then write using the notes. (This activity actually has a coat of arms art project and ties in with writing correct 5 sentence paragraphs). It does feed in with the reading to learn concept that you were talking about. Some of my kids get this right away- it is harder for some to know what to write and not copy. My ELL kids have it the hardest. But overall I think this strategy for social studies is working well for our kids.

    In science could you do more hands on stuff? What topics do you need to cover and maybe we can offer some ideas on how to make them fun and hands on.

    Also, are you teaching SS from a textbook?
     
  4. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

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    Feb 5, 2010

    If you want both hands on and reading, as well as something the kids get to put their own imprint on, and have ownership in, you might try Interactive notebook. Most of the time in interactive notebook (usually done with a binder) the students start out each new concept with a mini lesson intro either by lecture/discussion or with a video. Then they usually will draw a picture of the new concept and put that in their notebook and from there they would do other activities that would also be stored in the notebook. The students will essentially be creating/building their own study guides (this is great for later on with SOL review) and they are creating them with a unique hands on perspective/approach.

    Just google interactive notebook and you will get tons of ideas.
     
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Feb 6, 2010

    My class was like that at the beginning of the year as well. We started with shared reading - I would hand out a short article and then we would read it as a class, taking turns. We practiced over and over writing facts onto sentence strips about what we had read. Gradually I increased the length of articles and we did Buddy Reading. I change it up all the time. I introduced them to graphic organizers like webs and we practiced filling those in. My class is to the point that I can give them an article and in partners they can take short notes and find important facts. It took a lot of modeling and teaching!! Now we are trying it on our own and it's quite crazy. I can only handle about 25 minutes of SS a day. Everyone is researching a country. They all have their own book on a country. They all expect the information to jump off the page at them. It took us 25 minutes for everyone to find out what continent their country is on. Another 25 minutes to describe the land. We are going to spend 25 minutes on Monday trying to find the natural resources listed in our books. My more advanced students can do this independently, but for my average 3rd grader this is a challenge! Keep practicing!!
     
  6. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Feb 7, 2010

    Our SS series has a resource book with a graphic organizer for each lesson. It has headings in gray boxes that match exactly what is in the book. I am training my kids to use it - it is taking a lot of modeling and practice, too, but it will pay off one day!!
     
  7. dunwool

    dunwool Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2010

    Yes, we do have a social studies book. It is the MacMillan-McGraw Hill Textbook called Our Communities. It is incredibly dry and not very interesting for the students to read. I feel bad that we don't do more social studies from the book because next year they will be expected to read from a textbook and learn independently with the fourth grade teacher. At this point in the year I want to try and transition them to get ready for fourth grade (well, after state testing of course!) and it has been a big struggle. Do you use a textbook alone or do you add your own things as well? Thanks for the idea about the interactive notebook, too! I will have to look that one up!
     
  8. corney

    corney Companion

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    Feb 24, 2010

    My daughters class uses the same textbook, I thought it was very dry as well, at times a little over their heads.. Her teacher used to make worksheets and the kids would have to search the text to find the answers to the questions.. If they aren't used to searching the text for answers it's difficult especially for kids that don't read so well, a lot of the words are above their level.. I've often wondered why teachers don't teach about communities by making a map of where the students live as a community comparison.. it helps the children learn their addresses and also about the actual communites they live in.. it could be a hands on activity.. I'd be curious to see if they know the street names and what businesses they are familiar with as well and were they are in relation to their homes etc.. jsut my 2 cents
     

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