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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Social Studies Review and Practice Stations

A visitor to my blog recently asked if I had any methods for memorization of facts in Social Studies.  Even though I do, it got me thinking about how I can make it better. 

First, I want to share some websites that have everything from foldables to practice websites.  I want to point out that many of these sites are Virginia specific, but many of the activities will work with any state's standards.  I like to have the entire class complete the review activities on our computer lab day.  I also have two desktop computers on which students can practice.

The first site actually has ALL subjects available.  It. Is. AWESOME!  The main site can be accessed here.  The Virginia Studies site can be accessed here.

Another way I review and extend key concepts is through my Word of the Day.  Social Studies is full of higher-level vocabulary that students need to understand before they can get the big picture.  You can read more about it in my "Polka Dot Word of the Day" post.  For example, I used to think that the word "economic" was fairly simple because we used it to death in class, but it's not simple for students.  So, we might take a few days and complete the activities listed under Word of the Day.

At the end of each unit, we take the major events of that time period and create a timeline.  Our textbook does a fantastic job of listing the major events at the end of each chapter (see below).  I assign pairs of students different dates on the timeline.  They have to write the date and description as it's listed on the timeline and then draw their own picture of what it means.  After everyone is finished, we stand up as a class in order of date and explain what's happening in each of the pictures.

ReadWriteThink has a great timeline app that allows students to fill in labels of an online timeline.  This is great for an extension or review of this information later on.

Do you have any go-to review activities for Social Studies?  I'm always looking for more, so please share!

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