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Activity 1: Skills and Best Practices

Use of Surveys and Interviews

Using surveys and interviewing is an excellent way to build confidence in a student's oral language skills. This is especially important for students learning English for the first time. Writing the survey questions also provides the opportunity for less confident students to interact with others in a cooperative group setting.

This site provides some excellent strategies for using surveys and interview to work with this type of student. For example, this site suggests developing and using surveys will:

Specifically, surveys will give your students practice in the following areas

Teaching Social Studies Through Literature

Carole J. Wilkinson, Teacher-in-Residence of the Delaware Social Studies Education Project states:

The elementary teacher need not always squeeze social studies into a separate spot in a schedule already bursting at the seams. Teach social studies through literature and infuse life into subjects that children, heretofore, may have thought they didn't like. A good story stimulates interest in the history, geography, economics, and civics that contribute to its dynamic character. Take it from there.


This site offers numerous suggestions and strategies for doing this. It also provides a wealth of additional resources. It also suggests that asking students questions about what they read provides the opportunity to planning the writing experience. For example, when discussing Foster's War, following guide questions provide the information for an informative paragraph: