Notable Websites for Social Studies Resources

http://zombiebased.com/

This is a really cool website tying geography concepts in with the theme of zombies. This gets students’ motivation levels up (if we have a class that is interested in zombies) and applies to the Dynamic Relationships strand, while also clearly tying into Interactions and Interdependence of Nations… probably all 4 could be incorporated at some point.

It is like playing one big strategy (educational) game, and students get to make a lot of decisions and use creativity, but it links back to learning different mapping strategies, considering resources needed, ensuring survival of a diversity of cultures, ensuring the human-environment relationship is a good one, and basically building their own civilization, as well as planning for the future and how they can sustain this civilization and continue to experience success. Here is the Scope & Sequence page and I think each segment could honestly been done as individual lessons (not putting as much instructional time in as this professor has).

From what I can see, there are opportunities to both tie in content knowledge that is still applicable in reality, as well as develop a plethora of skills, while reflecting on how our current world could maybe be changed to fit the ideals they are discussing within the unit.

I would have LOVED doing this in school!!

(2013). Scope and Sequence. Retrieved December 1, 2015 from http://zombiebased.com/scope-and-sequence/

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http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Current+Affairs

This could be a great tool for any kind of current-events based projects, or daily class discussions. It has links to the online news articles for each. We would just have to be careful about the credibility of some sites and get into the habit of double checking with multiple sites on the same topic, to get different perspectives. This is where I learned about Wales and their decision to make deceased individuals’ organs accessible to organ donors.

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Hopkins, Gary. (August 13, 2012).Twenty-Five Great Ideas for Teaching Current Events. Retrieved December 1, 2015 at http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson072.shtml

I love the ideas that this author had. For example, there is an interdisciplinary activity (also touching on LA) where students choose an article and determine the 5 Ws. They write each out and give their information to another group, who writes a pretend story based on the information they were given. Then, students get to compare fact, versus fiction, to see how close the story really was.

I am also thinking this would be an introduction to a very important discussion on media: that sometimes what you read in the media IS fiction, or isn’t the entire story. One newspaper article can’t explain exactly what happened and how every single person involved felt. We could discuss concepts like ‘Telephone’, where every time a current event is explained by a person it changes, and different parts are focused on, or left out, and we are left with different stories each time. We could also discuss the importance of doing lots of research on a topic, not thinking we understand it just based off of reading one article on it, because our view may be very one-sided.

Another idea that jumped out at me was the Creating a Class Newspaper link off of this page. I started imagining students actually creating their own school (or personal events) newspaper and being in charge of distributing it to themselves, the school, their parents, or their community (proper considerations would have to be in place to ensure private information is not divulged, and that students cannot be recognized online if their news stories are made public). This gets them certainly reflecting on their day to day lives, and the diverse cultures of themselves and others. It would be interesting to see what students consider newsworthy, and if they focus on negative events, positive events, etc.

Henry, Laurie. (n.d.) Creating a Classroom Newspaper. Retrieved December 1, 2015 from http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/creating-classroom-newspaper-249.html?tab=1#tabs

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Geography Bingo

Although students are encouraged to look at one newspaper to do this activity, I would rather have laptops available and ask students to Google articles related to this. I would not make it a race against time because I would want students to be exploring, not racing through and barely getting information let alone learning it. Perhaps it could be a ‘once everyone has made a line (and sharing with peers is allowed if students are struggling) we will all get to share our findings, and then watch a fun news video’ and everyone gets a(n educational) prize, kind of thing. I would also either have to adapt the article themes to be grade-appropriate (these seem middle-years appropriate), or go through the vocabulary with them and ensure they understand what each one actually means before I let them go wild with it.

(n.d.) National Geography Standards Bingo. Retrieved December 1, 2015 from http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/learning/pdf/2012/GeographyStandardsBingoLN.pdf

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/learning/pdf/2012/GeographyStandardsBingoLN.pdf

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/learning/pdf/2012/GeographyStandardsBingoLN.pdf

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Gonchar, Michael. (October 7, 2014). 50 Ways to Teach with Current Events. Retrieved December 1, 2015 from http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/50-ways-to-teach-current-events/?_r=2

I especially like number 20 (“Hunt for the Three Branches of Government in the Paper”) because it relates to Power and Authority. I could pre-gather some articles (leaving a pile of newspaper clippings – or an adaptation is I could be gathering online resources and having a sheet of links to follow) relating to different levels of government in Canada, and could then ask students to look through them to learn what duties/concerns each level of government has.

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