Tag Archives: social studies

Bring Election Excitement to Your Classroom

It’s not too late to get your students involved in the election!  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it either.

  

University of Virginia‘s Center for Politics Youth Leadership Initiative has a large number of teacher’s resources, lesson plans and background information for schools to use when teaching about the election.  Enrollment is free and entitles you to a CD which tells you how to run a mock election at your school.

 

If you choose to do a mock election for your school, you can set up a computerized election  through YLI that will be held online between October 20-30, 2008.

 

The League of Women Voters has a great nonpartisan election guide. You can get it here.  The election guide has a section that tells all about the salary, duties, election requirements and term of the President.  But what makes this elections REALLY great is a non partisan short (read: kid-friendly) overview of the three major candidates (betcha forgot Nader!) and their take on the following five issues: global climate change, cost of health care, economic disparity and education.

  

Come to think of it NONPARTISAN is a great word to put on your spelling and vocabulary words this week! For that matter, if you want to learn other election terms and even play a bingo game with students look at this from Education World.

I really LOVE the things that Cybrary man has done with his website. I found his link at teachernet and I think he is one inspiring teacher.  Among other things I found at his site was a link to many pictures and ideas for election bulletin boards, doors and displays.  Here’s a link to his election collection, but I recommend staying to see all the other things he has gathered at his website besides the election.

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Free Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans from Agriculture in the Classroom

Agriculture in the Classroom is a program started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help students understand where their food comes from.  This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Few Americans truly understand how important and fragile our food system is.  We take it for granted.

 

But it’s not only about that—it’s MUCH more. It’s about integrating math, science, language Arts and social studies in a beautiful way.

 

You can find tons and tons of good quality k-12 lesson plans here.

 

Plus, your state agricultural extension service office has even more resources that can be purchased or rented. 

 

I was lucky to attend an all-day training session last summer that was really terrific. Many hands-on activities in all disciplines were offered.  Your state may also run these trainings for teachers.

 

I think these teacher resources are high-quality!  Let me give you one as an example that I’d like to use. 

 

It’s called “More Than One Grain of Rice: Integrating Mathematics, Geography, and (Agri)Culture” and can be used in grades 4-6.You can get the lesson plan here.

 

Among other things, students identify the major producers of grain and calculate the “Doubling of One Grain of Rice.”  What a great way to teach exponential numbers and geography! Add a little fried rice and you’ve got yourself a really cool lesson!

 

 

 

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Filed under cheap, classroom, lesson plan, teacher, teaching, Uncategorized

Educational Video on the Cheap

Let’s face it. Not all our schools have a budget that allows for high-dollar membership in great online teaching resources like United streaming.  What are the rest of us to do?

Well, your school may look at an extremely stripped down version such as learn360 It doesn’t have the lesson plans or full-length videos, but at least it has good short videos that can enhance your teaching and give a visual aspect that kids need to understand concepts they learn on paper.

I’ve been able to supplement with the totally free teachertube.  On the anniversary of September 11th, I found two very moving slideshows that helped kids understand what happened without being so gruesome or scary as to traumatize younger students.

I’ll include links to those teacher-made slideshows soon. Keep tuning in.

Next, The History Channel has wonderful programming for students early in the morning say from 6-8 am EST.  For instance, you cans see all of the excellent episodes of Liberty’s Kids there as well as superior documentaries on most state social studies and history standards.

You can go here to check the History channel schedule:

http://www.history.com/schedule.do

I don’t know the legalities of taping these days so I won’t suggest anything along those lines…

Also at the History channel are short videos you can watch, for instance about Amelia Earhart.  Use these short four or five minute videos as a jump start to your lesson.

I cannot say enough about the math videos at thefutureschannel.  Kids need to see that the daily math they do has real world applications that are interesting. There are resources to go with the videos.

PBS teachers will keep you up to date about what is coming up on programming via email.  This is also a good source of good video and lesson plans and resources for classrooms.

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Filed under educational video, history channel, math video, pbs, teacher resources