In chapter 9 of Teaching and Learning Elementary Social Studies, it continues the conversation of what social studies looks like in the 21st century classroom through giving your students the tools to become researchers. There are many types of research that a teacher can easily acquire from a student through simply asking about their family, where they live, and what is most important to them.
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” -FDR
Throughout our social studies methods course for student teaching, we’ve discussed consistently about how the social studies teacher has the vital job of not only giving lessons on historical figures, names, dates, and the government, but also teaching students on how to become a responsible citizens in the United States.
Growing up, I was never truly fond of the social sciences. It was always about memorizing dates and names. I lacked (and still do) the skill of memorization of concepts; so therefore, I strongly disliked social studies. In ninth grade, however, I had a fantastic teacher who taught world history that changed my view on the subject.
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.
Comparative questions of knowledge, comprehension, and evaluation.
In the process of developing a lesson, educators must think of ways to assess students and create an environment of interest and knowledge through “Maintaining an abiding spirit of curiosity and seek through inquiry…”
There are three ways to provide questioning for students’ learning process:
1) knowledge- facts/skills
2) comprehension- relate and apply knowledge to experiences, ideas, and concepts.
3) involve judgements about the value of ideas, objects, creations, and actions.
Knowledge-based questions scratch the surface of learning and engagement. Comprehensive questions develop a more applicable through connecting topics with other people, places, or concepts. Lastly, evaluate inquiry allows a more purposeful, deeper, personal connections with subject matter and is the ultimate goal in questioning for the sake of student learning and growth.
Having the opportunity to be the student teacher in a classroom is the most amazing experience. You get the opportunities to observe, learn, and be inspired. Seeing students grow from week to week, every Thursday is a joy for me. And yet, with this time I have given my class, I have also found difficulty in recent weeks of truly identifying my place in the classroom.
Being a social studies teacher in America has many responsibilities. One of these responsibilities being the teaching of diversity and cultures in and outside the classroom. In chapter two of Ellis, it addresses this subject in depth of what it looks like to be in charge of handling how to influence these important concepts of respect and sensitivity, “As the United States grows culturally more diverse, the need for developmentally appropriate education designed to help children understand, tolerate, and appreciate cultural differences becomes increasingly critical” (51).