There are a few things you may not know about me. I love historical fiction, I have a Masters Degree in History, and trips to museums are one of my favorite parts of traveling. So you can imagine that as a classroom teacher I spent lots of time making cross-curricular connections with students.
Sometimes we would read a historical fiction book like Pink and Say or Train to Somewhere to spark discussion or connect to a writing prompt. Other times we might trek to a local museum — a perk of teaching in New York City — to examine primary source documents, or tour a new exhibition. So when the team at Book Creator and I started talking about resources for teachers, an ebook on Social Studies Projects seemed like the perfect fit!
Earlier this year the new ebook went live on Book Creator’s website. It’s a free resource for teachers, and I’m so excited to have partnered with them to put this special book together for you! I reached out to a handful of Book Creator Ambassadors and teachers using Book Creator to bring you over a dozen activities.
Social Studies Projects
This ebook includes a handful of projects for the social studies classroom. You can skip around to find a lesson idea that grabs your attention too. Below you’ll see an image of the Table of Contents that gives you an idea of what it looks like inside the book. Here is a quick summary of three social studies project ideas you’ll find in the book.
Maps Tell Stories
How does the geography of a region impact events that have taken place there? Do geographic features influence the way people live in a certain part of the world? You can tackle these questions with students in your classroom as they view maps and embed maps on the interactive pages of a Book Creator ebook.
In this type of activity, you might ask students to pick a place in the world they would like to learn more about. Alternatively, you might set some parameters such as a focus area (ex. a country) or focus type of region (ex. desert). Then students can make one page for a collaborative ebook that captures their observations and summarizes how geography impacts the way people live.
Historical Journal Entries
Journal writing comes into play in many periods of history. Although we often read excerpts from notable historical figures, everyday people have experiences that were unique to that time period. After learning about a period in history, ask students to write a journal entry from the perspective of a person living during that time.
Students can write from the perspective of someone with a specific role in a community, such as a doctor, mayor, midwife, or roles that fit the historical period and location you are studying with students. When thinking about the different roles within a historical time period, you may want to have a conversation on the impact of gender, race, and class on these roles.
Compare and Contrast
Venn diagrams are a popular type of graphic organizer. They are used to compare and contrast different things. When students learn about two events in history, notable places, or people of interest, they can compare and contrast both. Using the Shape tool in Book Creator, students can make overlapping circles to create a Venn Diagram.
When students compare two events in history, you might ask them to look at the same time period in different parts of the world. Although an event took place in different locations, there might be similarities for students to observe. If your students are creating pages for a collaborative project, you might have them work in partnerships.
Getting Started with Social Studies Projects
Just like any resource I’ve created for educators, this book is designed to give you ideas and space to tailor activities to the needs of your students. So if you like a lesson idea, you can customize it to meet your students’ needs and current unit of study.
I’ve known the folks at Book Creator for a long time, so it’s been very exciting to see their dynamic tool add lots of new features. You might have seen this blog post featuring Book Creator’s collaboration feature. Or maybe you watched one of these webinars on strategies for using Book Creator with elementary students, middle school students, or high school students. There is so much you can do with this open-ended creation tool.
Ready to jump into this free resource for teachers? Check out the new ebook 15 Social Studies Projects for Book Creator Classrooms. Make sure to share your ideas, exemplars, and creations too! You can add a link or idea in the comments on this blog post or share on social media with the hashtag #BookCreator.
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