Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ancient Greece

I have always felt that I am not very good at teaching Social Studies, and in a post-NCLB educational world there is NO pressure to put any emphasis on that (if you are interested in what I mean by that, read this). This summer, in my curriculum planning course, I chose to plan out a Social Studies unit. The main standard in the murky Social Studies curriculum for third grade in my district is the Ancient cultures of Greek and Rome. So, I planned a detailed unit on those cultures. I have been enjoying teaching Social Studies more than I ever have, but I didn't realize what an impact this was having on my students. At parent teacher conferences, all of the parents kept telling me how excited their kids are about Ancient Greece (we haven't started the Rome portion of my unit yet). Apparently, the kids are always exploring Greece on my website at home, and are going home and telling their families all about Ancient Greece.

Anyway, this is just another shameless post to plug Social Studies instruction. It is not a waste of our time! I don't know if other schools are as eager to forget about Social Studies as mine is, but kids love it and it is part of a thorough education. The rest of this post will be directed at anyone who teaches on Ancient Greece. Feel free to steel my stuff. I stole a lot of it off of the internet too!!

Here are some links I use in class and keep on my web page.

You can see a picture of the Greek drama masks my students made at the top of this post. Below is the link where I got this idea from.

I've also incorporated some simple elements. I checked out my schools entire section on Ancient Greece and set up a special topic based reading station. I picked out a few fun videos on discovery video streaming.

Here's the best part: I am not losing my instructional minutes toward Reading. Every lesson begins with guided reading from the textbook. My kids love doing it because they love learning about Ancient Greece.


rachelheather said...

Yay yay yay! I soooo wish I could be teaching Social Studies! I was a double major in Political Science and History and think it is a great tragedy that it is something that has been pushed aside.

I love that you bring up the connection to reading. Social studies can so easily fulfill many of the reading and English standards: inferences, predictions, cause and effect, main idea, etc., etc., etc. If taught correctly, Social Studies can be one of the most engaging and rich subjects.

I'll get off my soapbox now :)

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