I have to admit I liked the concept of social studies when I was little, but I didn’t like the lessons. It was just full of memorizing facts straight from a textbook. I found these four ways really will spice of your social studies or history lessons and get your students into learning.
1. Dress up like a character from history. This sounds like it could be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Throw on a tall hat when you teach about Abraham Lincoln. Wear something Hawaiian when you teach about Hawaii. You get the point. It just keeps your kids thinking about the topic and will help them remember more about it in the future.
2. Have a class history fair. Depending on what you are studying, be it Floriday history or American social studies, you can have a history fair for your class. This will allow the students to do some of the teaching and at the same time they will be gaining a lot of skills on presentation skills and putting together a presentation. I love it when students dress up in character and read a poem they wrote about the character. There are lots of options here from songs to poems, to poster boards to power point presentations.
3. Use an interactive social studies notebook. I’m a big believer in Interactive Notebooks, so why not use one to spice up your social studies lesson? It helps to get your students juices flowing!
4. Have in-class group projects. One of my favorite things I did in social studies when I was little (one of the few things I did like) was create a shadow box of a Native American village. Me and my groupmates had to research it, design it and then create it. It really stuck in my head all of these years. Group projects help students learn cooperative skills and they have fun doing it!
Check out my Interactive Social Studies Notebook to spice up your lessons.