As an elementary social studies teacher, you might be familiar with the struggles of keeping students engaged during lesson plans. This becomes even more challenging when it comes to teaching history or geography, which students consider boring.
In order to come up with interesting and creative lesson plans, you need to think outside of the box when it comes to your curriculum. To do this, read about some of our easy ways to fascinate your students and encourage them to love the subject of social studies.
Try Some Fun Activities In the Classroom
By introducing fun activities into your classroom curriculum, you can help your students to go beyond just reading and memorizing. Here are some examples of activities you can try:
Role Play Historical Events
Talk shows, plays, and skits are a great way to engage and motivate students to love social studies. You can bring history to life by asking students to act out a particular historical event.
Ask students to choose an event of their choice, and assign each of them a specific role. After completion of the play, conduct a discussion about what they learned.
Introduce the Alphabet Book
After completing a chapter, ask students to generate an alphabet list of important words of the lesson. Let them choose a letter, and then a corresponding vocabulary word to create a page explaining different terms.
Fascinate Students With Music
Music is a great way to captivate elementary students into learning social studies. You can offer students a glimpse into history by listening to the music from that era and then discussing it.
Organize Classroom Field Trips to Famous Landmarks
Take your children to fun and interesting places such as wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, botanical gardens, museums, etc. You can provide them with a short background related to the place prior to the trip so that the trip can be used as a way to enhance their learning. It would help to clear their concepts and enhance their interest.
Bring In Some Artifacts Related to the Topic
Since art dates back thousands of years, there is artwork for every culture your students would study. In order to make your elementary social studies lesson more interesting, you can focus on artifact discovery. Choose paintings, photos, blueprints, books, musical scores, etc. and let students discover the time period through them.
Some museums let teachers check out the historical collections to use in the classrooms. You can ask children to act as archeologists and dig for the artifacts in the standing table. On the other hand, you can pretend to be a detective and surprise the children by pulling the ancient objects out of a special container. The options are endless!
Put Up A Wall Of Clocks in the Classroom
It is an excellent way to help students understand the geography of time zones. Set one of the clocks to universal time, and label it as Greenwich Mean Time, London. After that, you can choose a variety of other major cities or countries to label other clocks. By doing so, the children would find it easy to understand the time zones, longitudinal and latitudinal differences.
Use Technology to Explain Difficult Topics
The Internet provides so many educational websites on different history, geography, and civics topics. There are so many documentaries or short videos available on historical events, geology, continents, parliament, etc.
Currently, National Geographic has so many games related to topics such as Border Blitz, Ocean Wonders, etc. All these things make bookish topics fun for the students, and develop curiosity in them to learn more.
These are a few teaching strategies to tap into your students’ interest and improve their chances to learn better. By trying a few new activities, you can totally change their attitude towards a subject. You can add any of these tips into your next social studies lesson plan to make it more enjoyable.