Monday, April 16, 2012

Trade Fair

Earlier in the semester my Social Studies class participated in a trade fair. This project required each student to bring in several items that they either made, bought or were ready to get rid of. Many students brought in food items, artwork, bracelets or keychains that they made. The purpose of this activity was to see how the trading and bartering system used to work "back in the day". In history people often traded for items that they really needed rather than what they wanted. Although many of the items we brought in as a class weren't necessarily item we had to have it still taught the concept of trade or bartering.
This activity would be great to do with children to demonstrate the technique of trading and bartering. The only concern I would have about doing this with a young class would be how the students gathered their items to trade. You would really have to make sure the parents were involved in the child's selection of items to bring in to class to trade.

Below is a link to another blog about Trade Fairs:

Anchor Chart

Social Studies can be a very overwhelming subject to some children because of all the information covered. One activity that may help students not feel so overwhelmed is something called an Anchor Chart. This is a chart that holds and organizes facts, definitions, vocabulary words or even people's names.

In my Social Studies class we did anchor charts in small groups. Each group chose a topic and researched a little bit about it. My group chose the Boston Tea Party. Once we knew more about our topic we then decided what we thought were the most important terms, people or ideas and placed them on our chart. Then after everyone finished their charts we presented them to our classmates.

Using Anchor Charts in a classroom will be a vital tool to help students organize facts, definitions, people and events into a manageable form they can easily follow and refer back to.

Below you can find a link to another blog about Anchor Charts:

Decades Project

During this semester we participated in a decades activity. Our class split up into groups of 4-5 students per group and chose a decade we wanted to learn more about. My class covered decades from the 1920's, 1940's, 1950's, 1970's and 1980's. My group chose to cover the 1950's. This project entailed researching all about what happened during those ten years. We researched things from historical events to inventions to foods that were popular during that time. Once we found all the facts we needed we created a PowerPoint and display board that showed off all of the fun and interesting things about the 1950's. We then brought in our project, and food and dressed up as if we were from the 50's and presented our project.
This is a great project to do with children because it gets them extremely involved with the decade they choose to research. I learned a lot not only about the 1950's, but also about all the other decades my classmates researched because it was fun and exciting to visit each station and learn about that particular time period.

Here is link to another blog about the Decades Project:

Salt Dough Maps

There are many ways that a class can learn about the vast number of countries in a fun and interactive manner. In my Social Studies class we participated in an activity where we broke up into groups of 4 or 5 students and we chose a country. My group chose to research a little bit about Brazil. Our research included information about climate, culture, festivals, population, people, animals and plants. Once we chose our country and researched a little bit about it, we created a salt dough map along with the country's flag and a mask. Once these items were created we used food coloring to decorate them. Then after our projects were completed we presented them to our peers along with what we discovered in our research.
This activity is great to use when studying different countries or even states. Students can not only learn interesting and fun facts but they can also create the country or state with some of its geographical features.

Below is a link to another blog about Salt Dough Maps:

Shoebox Activity

If you had to leave home forever and could only take a shoebox full of things with you, what would you bring? Condensing your life's possessions into a little shoebox is an extremely hard task to perform.
In my Social Studies class we were given an assignment to pretend we had to leave our home abruptly and we only had a shoebox to pack our belongings in. When we were given this assignment I had to think for quite a while about what I thought was valuable enough to take with me. I chose to take many pictures of family and friends along with a credit card, phone, phone charger and an I.D. I figured that a majority of my belongings could be replaced if I had the means to buy them which is why I chose the credit card. I brought my I.D. as proof of identity for starting a new life else where. My phone and its charger are my lifeline and I don't go anywhere without them and it would also be a means of communication with friends and family. However, I think that the most valuable thing I took in my shoebox was all the pictures. These pictures were all of loved ones that had great memories attached to them. My peers chose all kinds of things to bring with them from toothbrushes to weapons to bibles. It was really quite interesting to see what people would take with them when given such short notice to pack up their lives. Through this activity you really got to see how people think and what they value. Some people were very sentimental while others were very practical.

Here is a link to another blog about a shoebox activity: