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Home : 2003 : Jan : 30

    Social Studies Textbook
    By Kathy

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    Since this is the third grade board, I'm assuming you teach third grade!! I've not been very happy with our social studies books.

    When I first started teaching third grade, our books were so simplistic they were ridiculous. As I remember they read something like this:
    "People live in communities. Some communities are large. Some communities are small. People work together in communities. They help each other." Well, you get the idea.

    Well, I was pleased to learn we were getting new textbooks until I discovered the new ones went the opposite direction with information well over my students' heads and having questions about Galveston, Texas, on the test! (We lived in California!!)

    Third graders learn both social studies and science best through "hands-on" activities and real life experiences. You can talk about the three branches of the government and their eyes will just glaze over.

    But when you build a model community out of legos, when you visit city hall and let them sit in the council members' chairs, when you put them in Indian tribes and do projects, when you pretend to take a trip around the world exploring different cultures, when you play learning games, when you get post cards from all over the United States---well suddenly, Social Studies becomes real--and one of their favorite classes!!

    Use the book as a resource--find what concepts they need to master--then start having fun creating hands-on activities. Bet you'll start loving to teach social studies as much as I do!!

    Good luck--and have fun!!!



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