Social studies often gets taken out of the daily routine or completely integrated into other areas. Now, please don't get be wrong, integration of social studies content is wonderful. Huge fan. However, sometimes I think it can be tough, especially on your students who are reading below grade level and/or have very little background knowledge. I guess I'm just sayin' that I miss the designated block of social studies time.
But, I digress. Back to the point...
I love social studies. I'm not wowed by all the map skills and I'll be honest, the community unit is a bit of a snooze for me (sorry if that's your favorite), BUT I love teaching the history unit!
Since I teach 4th grade, I'm responsible for state history. And, because I teach in San Antonio, I get to teach Texas history...which is just fun!!
This is one of the projects my students did after we learned about the Alamo. It can easily be modified to fit any historical topic or subject.
Here are our
Windows into History:
- Copies of an image relating to topic (use cardstock)
- Crayons, markers, colored pencils
- Black pen or Sharpie
- Construction paper for background
Step 1: Read about an important historical event or time period.
Step 2: Have students write down 5-7 questions and answers about the topic. Encourage them to use both fact based questions (thin) and thinking questions (thick).
Step 3: Students will write their questions on the image in random places BEFORE coloring.
Step 4: Color around the words so it is easy to read OR use black pen.
Step 5: Students will use scissors to cut around their questions on 3 sides. Show them how to fold the paper to cut the top and bottom. Then, open up the paper to snip 1 side of the box.
Notice the top question was not cut very well, but he got the hang of it for the rest. :)
Step 6: Glue onto construction paper and write the answers to the questions under the flap you just made.
Please ignore all the capitalization errors. I tried... I really tried. :)
And, that's it!!
My students loved working on this project and it was a great way to assess their knowledge about the Alamo. More importantly, they couldn't wait to share. They wanted to see if others could answer their questions. Love that!
I hope you try sometime similar in your classroom. This is such a versatile activity and has been around for years, but this was my first time giving it a go. I will definitely be doing it again.
If you are interested, I found the Alamo image at Enchanted Learning. I also found great resources and lesson plans for teaching about the Alamo at TheAlamo.org. Go figure? To link directly to the 4th grade lesson plans, click here! For the 7th grade lesson plans, click here! Enjoy!
And folks... Remember the Alamo!!