"Did that really happen?" I hear this question a lot from my students. As their social studies teacher, I get to teach about the past and how it influences us today. I also get to include lots of funny, mysterious, strange, and sometimes gross facts and theories about the past. As I watch their faces curl up in disbelief, questions begin to mound in their minds. This is when students get to work looking for answers!
As we search, students get to be transported back to a time that is totally different than their own, and are free to imagine.
We develop theories and hypothesize what may have happened by using what we know now. We work together, using a variety of sources, to seek out information about things we don't already know. Throughout the year, we develop skills that help them answer their burning question of "did that really happen," even if we are left with more to discover.
One of the great things about teaching Social Studies is being able to connect many different areas to the topics my students are learning. One way my students really connect to their learning is by creating. They make replicas, artwork, and examples of things from the past. They create representations of geographical features or unique cultural items.
These things create experiences and memories and allow for them to learn!
My students need the materials necessary to be creative and explore cultures and places of the past and the present. We often never have enough craft dough to make representations, like those of landforms. Our construction paper supply is low, and we have just completed the first few weeks of school. We are in need of these things to keep our learning going. We have so much to do and so much to learn!
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