Reading Concept-Based Instruction will help teachers use curriculum mapping to identify thematic trends and then pull that information together for effective cross-curricular planning. Social studies teacher Mary Marsh says the book’s challenges will be worth the effort.
Students love to talk! And that’s mostly a good thing, if teachers can harness the natural social drive of tweens and teens “and use it to pull the wagon of content learning through whole-class discussions.” Try Rita Platt’s proven step-by-step map to discussion success.
Whether they are fiction or nonfiction, the best stories are told through mood as we react to events, people and emotions. For students, identifying, tracking and exploring moods in stories and images is an easy way to enter into text. Teacher Trevor Bryan shares his approach.
How do we help our learners apply fiction to real life challenges like school shootings? Maybe, writes Mary Tarashuk, by sharing our own experiences and helping them see that, as Pax’s author says, “Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”
Wordles are everywhere, in every color and size. Middle grades teacher and Scholastic author Marilyn Pryle shows 10 ways word clouds made with Wordle and Tagxedo can be crafted into powerful literacy teaching tools, using the right prompts and directions.
What do middle school students gain and lose in a thematic history curriculum? Sarah Cooper relays her experiences with both theme and chronology approaches, finding strengths in each, as national standards shift from facts and dates to skills and big questions.
When our social studies bloggers planned their U.S. History curriculum, they made sure to add contemporary music. The lyrics of rap and country decontextualize historical themes and let students make connections tying the past to the present.