With the Maine Learning Results for Social Studies standards in mind, I create learning experiences in civics, economics, geography, and history. My social studies practice is based on student inquiry, discussion, and authentic, project-based activities, including topics that affect students personally whenever possible. We explore culturally relevant material from multiple perspectives with a critical eye to all sources. I believe that the goal of social studies is not to learn about every historical person and event, but to study cause and effect and society’s patterns in hopes of encouraging young people to care about their world and understand the impact they can have on it.
Social studies topics in my kindergarten internship included friends and family and holidays. I substituted for my mentor teacher on the day of our field trip to the Westbrook Public Safety building, which gave me the opportunity to lead students in understanding the role their local community workers play in promoting the common good.
We studied the American Revolution during my fifth grade internship. I also created an interdisciplinary unit exploring both use of nonfiction texts and historical figures’ impact through creation of “Historical Heroes” comic strips. To provide an authentic audience, I arranged for the Manager of Education & Public Programs from the Maine Historical Society to view students’ presentations on the last day of the unit.
Fifth Grade Lesson Plan: Note-taking for Research
This was lesson four in my ten-lesson interdisciplinary literacy and social studies unit aimed at answering the guiding question, “What impact can a person have on their community, country, or the world?”
Critical Analysis of a Resource: Grandpa’s Drum
In this assignment for my Teaching Social Studies course, I chose to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a 13-minute episode of the PBS Kids television show “Molly of Denali.” After the analysis is a lesson plan centered around the episode; it made me excited about all the possibilities for using the many nontraditional resources available to educators.