Taking away from the readings this week, I like the idea and value the importance of using images to help students understand text. I found that having the students use an image to interpret meaning or form their own understanding can be beneficial for helping them think differently. Like the article by Vitulli and Santolli (2013) states, there isn’t always a right or wrong answer. When we look at artwork, it becomes clear that there are many possibilities, and we don’t necessarily know what the artist was thinking, unless it was specifically stated. It’s important for students to create their own ideas, and not always search for what they think the right idea is.
Students may look at a picture within a social studies text and form their own ideas about what the people within the photo were thinking, or what may have been happening during that time period. I think it would be good to take away the captions, and have the student use their imaginations, and critical thinking skills.
The standards designed by the NCSS try to include what they think is important and the students should know to become well educated and informed citizens. I was nice to read that they consider the stories of all groups of people, and what they believe is important and their culture and should be taught. I like that the standards can be addressed in different ways and can be paired with other standards to be taught. Just like it was stated in the video this week- you don’t have to use your math block to just teach math. More standards from other groups can be included so that the lesson covers across the board. The 5 strands of social studies standards help educators identify what is important or required that the students learn in each grade level. I think that when explained, the 10 themes do make sense, but for me, they were more complicated to understand. It can be hard to figure out where your lesson falls directly into the themes, but with practice, it will get easier. I think that these are all important as a guideline for educators. What was really amazing was all the educators take the idea of one message within a book, and find multiple different standards to fit their lesson under. This proves that although there is a guideline, there is a lot of flexibility with the way you create your lessons. What’s even better- educators are going to take a bit of their own knowledge as citizens and fill in the pinholes between parts of a lesson. Their students will be learning the important pieces educators don’t want to leave out, or wished they had learned.
I found an article online that I wanted to share because it had great tips in it that we were already reading about in our class readings. -https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/social-studies/
Taking the standards and teaching them in various ways is going to make your lessons interesting. There are a variety of hands-on ways the students can learn about wars, the native Americans, the earth- we don’t need to read textbooks and take notes all week long. I had a terrible experience in 8th social studies class that I became a bit sour to it. Teaching has opened my eyes to all the ways material can be taught. The best part is, you don’t need to follow someone else’s plan. If you don’t like it, mix it up!
Using word walls or games to help students better understand vocabulary is so important. Students should have to struggle over words or stress to remember them. Teachers can help their students remember the important terms for the lessons.
Artwork becomes an open door for students to find meanings in paintings/ drawings ect, but even looking at people helps them to understand what the time period may have been like. What did they dress like? Do they look happy? Is their family with them? What are they doing? What do they have with them? There are so many questions students can ask themselves and imagine the answers to or infer about different questions. This leads to critical thinking…
I love the idea of re-enactment of major ideas being taught. We want our students to remember the importance of the content and take away from it. What better way is to do that then to have them re-enact the material in a way that they create.
I’ve found that the Common Core standards are slightly more rigid than the Social Studies standards and the Art standards, but it is nice to have a bit of freedom with what is taught and how it is taught.
Anneburg Foundation, (2017). Applying Themes and Disciplines. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.learner.org/workshops/socialstudies/session4/index.html
Checkley, K. (2008). The Essentials of Social Studies, Grades K-8 : Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.
Vitulli, P., & Pitts Santolli, S. (2013). Visual Arts and Social Studies: Powerful Partners in Promoting Critical Thinking Skills. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from http://www.socstrpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/MS_06389_no9.pdf
Watson, A. (2018, May 18). 15 ways to make elementary social studies lessons more exciting. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/social-studies/