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    Passports
    By Sari

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    When I taught seventh-grade social studies a few years ago, I used a "passport" system. I got some old folders and cut them to about 4" x 8". (Using the folders worked because they already had the fold and were sturdy, but you could also make them from construction paper and laminate them.) I typed up a mock information page, using the school as the country and the first and last days of school for the valid dates. I asked the students to bring in a small picture, which they pasted on the inside cover. I let them decorate the outside if they wanted to. You could also use a picture of your school mascot on the cover.

    The pages were tables that I created on the computer. Each page represented a different unit that we studied that year (The Fall of Rome, The Rise of Islam, etc.). My units involved the competion of six projects per unit, so I had six boxes per page. But you could design the inner pages to suit your needs. When students turned in their projects, they earned a stamp in the corresponding box. (I got the stamps at a teacher supply store. They have boxed sets with various images, and they come in different sizes. I used the smallest size, which happened to be insects.) This was a convenient way to keep track of whether assignments had been turned in, and it tied in to the idea of "traveling" to the different eras.

    I think Time Traveling is a great theme. The passport idea above might work well with it. Although I didn't use time travel specifically, I should have, since our mascot was the Rockets!

    Have fun with whatever theme you decide to use.



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