And it does!!! This is my first year to teach 6th grade social studies which covers World Cultures….da da da dum. Did you hear that??? That sound you hear when there is a daunting task you have no idea how to attack… Yeah that is totally how I felt when having to start teaching Social Studies. Did I mention my background is in Art Ed??? Ummm yeah….
So I need all the help I can get (obviously) and this site is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! No lie. Go to it right now….
Well… if you want to wait about 2 minutes after reading my post, that would be great. 🙂
So what is so great about this site??? Here’s my list:
- It uses JOURNALS!!!! Which means we get to be CREATIVE!!! Art background comes in handy here. 🙂
- The entire year’s worth of units are correlated to my state standards- Texas, but it can go with any state. Just select yours!
- It is made for SMART BOARDS because it’s interactive (wish I had one) but it works just as well as an interactive PowerPoint. Kids still love it!
- Instead of reading from a textbook (that may be 10 yrs old and out of date), students get to watch snip-it videos or use interactive slides to understand the lesson.
- Students “travel” to destinations. I’ve told them that “Next week, we will fly to Canada and check out why people live where they do,” or “Today, we are going to use a time machine and travel to Mexico’s past. We are going to see how past events have impacted Mexico today,” and “On Monday, we are going on a field trip to Mexico City and tour the area to check out its rich heritage.” But just changing my words around, the kids get so pumped. The response is usually, “Really?!?! That’s gonna be cool.”
- The whole year is laid out for you in a calendar so you can check your pacing.
- Each lesson has the standards laid out for each section: Preview, Activity, and Processing.
- The kids CREATE during the Processing lesson. This list is just what we have done so far this year.
- Maps of their own make believe country including physical, resource, political and vegetation zone maps.
- Comic Strips using an AWESOME website called toondoo (which I posted about here) where my students compared command and market economies. Did I learn this stuff in 6th grade???? I don’t think so.
- Games where the students analyze graphs to see what country the graph belongs to.
- Making maps
- Creating graphs and then analyzing them to understand what life is like in different countries… whether that country is developed or not
- Writing postcards to friends and family after “touring” a city
There is so much that I love about this site. It’s not learning from a textbook…. it’s learning through interaction. Yes there are reading segments, but that’s not the only way kids learn social studies. It’s not free… booooo… but the price is a whole lot cheaper than a class set of books and it is SO WORTH IT!!!
Check out their FREE lesson on MLK (2day lesson) here!!! It’s great and pertinent to 5th graders and up.