Chapter 11/12 Reflections 

Chapter 11 Exploring our Geographic World

In chapter 11 of Arthur Ellis’ “Teaching and Learning Elementary Social Studies”, the author discusses the concepts of time and the world. In order for students to accomplish anything, they have to invest time and effort into everything they do in and outside of school. Ellis refers to this idea through Marcus Whitman, 

“My plans require time and distance” (308)

Students struggle with the concept of time. Their potential flourishes when encouraged to use their time wisely and are guided in mapping out their knowledge visibly and creatively, such as the examples of the worlds of Narnia or the Shire. Our job as their teacher is to make those worlds come to life and connect them with the world they live in. 

Chapter 12 Making History Come Alive 

Following chapter 11, chapter  12 talks about the process of making history come alive for students (335). I remember as an elementary student not thinking twice about how I was connected with the world; why Abraham Lincoln’s assassination affected my reality, or why Wars were important for my present. For students to see themselves as a part of history is imperative for them to understand how their actions matter and affect the people around them. This sense of empathy will allow students to become more invested in their own history, such as their family heritage, or even become more interested in others’ stories. This chapter overall emphasizes again that social studies teachers are developing empathetic citizens in the classroom, not just making students memorize names and dates. 


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