Activity 3: Skills and Best Practices
Use of Current Events to Provide Relevancy to Instruction
Social studies is relevant to the life of every American citizen. Students just don't know this unless we make this connection obvious to them. This activity is a perfect opportunity to talk about establishing a new government based on the American model. Students can follow the process by using newspapers, magazines, and the Internet to follow the process of nation building and the establishment of a new government in Iraq. Ask students to follow this process using these questions:
- What kind of government are we trying to establish in Iraq?
- What principles of government do we feel are important for the Iraqi people to adopt?
- What freedoms are we trying to protect for the Iraqi people?
- Why do we feel these freedoms are so important?
The following site and others like it will provide additional justification for the use of current events in social studies: http://www.csun.edu/~hcedu013/cevents.html
Role Play in Social Studies
The use of role-playing in social studies can help students relate a situation to their own lives. Students learn best when they can connect new learning to prior knowledge. Even though this role-play situation is short it sets the stage for a discussion of rights and responsibilities in relation to the Bill of Rights.
Here are some excellent tips for the use of role-play in the social studies classroom:
Student Constructed Bulletin Boards
Students need to take ownership for the creation of the bulletin boards in the classroom. Bulletin boards are instructional tools. In fact, multiple intelligence research includes bulletin boards as a part of the well organized multiple intelligence classroom. Brain research also says that students learn from their environment even while they are attending to the activity for the day.