Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Teach Rich Social Studies Lessons to Children

Social Studies is tremendously important. Children should be exposed to other cultures and places from the present day and the past. This gives learners a whole lot of foundation for experiencing the global marketplace that is our world today. This article will help you create the most rich and meaningful experiences for your child or children in the area of social studies. Through video, books, visits, learning centers and more, your child will have the opportunity to learn so much about history and the world today. 

By giving children experiences with social studies children will truly learn, assimilate and build knowledge that will help them be life-long learners. 

This will also make them more aware of today’s society and more prepared for higher level thinking required to go to college.

When introducing a new unit of study, go to the library and get a generous supply of books on your subject, from various level reading levels and with rich, colorful photographs to give them accurate visual representations of whatever is being studied. 

Sit with your child and look through the books with him/her. Rather than you talking about everything you already know on the subject, let the child’s interests guide your discussions. When he/she asks a question, answer it in a way to not overload he/she with information all at once. Let their questions dictate how much they want to know.

Utilize the videos on You Tube (always screen them first) and learning sites to add to the child’s repertoire of knowledge. Use these videos as an introduction/ background knowledge to an activity that you have planned.

You can do the reading and videos for days before introducing any activities so that the students have enough background knowledge to relate to the projects. Once the child seems to have established some ideas and facts about the subject, you can begin giving them experiences to learn.

Take children to 
  • museums, (always a great resource for  history)
  • cultural events, (always a ton going on in big cities - many for free)
  • restaurants (to experience ethnic foods) 
  • ethnic areas (china town)
  • visitor centers (at churches, religious or cultural schools and towns)
  • zoos (animals from different regions)
 where they can see in person the things that they have seen in the books and video. You can even take some of the books along so that when the child makes connections, they can refer where they remember it in the book! This will hopefully spark more discussions by comparing the photos to the real things.

Next, set up stations where explorations can occur. The exploration centers should remain open to children to explore for the duration of the subject being studied. These would be activities that the child can engage in without parental involvement and are open ended. Save the structured activities for learning time together. Examples of these centers would be;
  •          a tray of dirt, water, grass, sticks, rocks  and animal toys from a specific region
  •          a table with fans, kites and paper lanterns with glue and culturally authentic supplies for decorating
  •          a sand table with bones, pieces of pottery, trinkets, hand shovel, hand rake and paintbrush for archaeological dig.
  •          Any sensory bins, library area, and art projects do well

Activities! These are so much fun to plan and execute. I hope that you will find the dapper school house to be a rich resource for learning activities for your child in all areas including social studies!

*Our posts are mainly based on lesson plans that we have prepared. Whenever we find sources for our ideas, plans & supplies we will absolutely credit those deserving of recognition and mention. If we think that our ideas are original and brilliant but they have been done before, please note that we did not steal or borrow, but merely came up with ideas that are our own but that can certainly be transposed to a number of other activities and subjects that have been done throughout the field of educating children. We at The Dapper School House believe in sharing so if you have a similar post, activity, etc. just contact me for some credit such as a link (if you are a blogger) or even a guest post (blogger or not). And if you share from us please credit back to our blog as well. Thanks!

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