Social Studies Intervention Strategies
Do you have learners struggling with social studies? Are you looking into possible interventions? Here are a few tips you can try out.
Oral history project
Have your learners do a project in which they get to document, in whichever format, the life history of a figure of their choosing. Get them to pick a person whom they admire and would love to emulate in some way.
A project-based approach that allows the learners to conduct research on a social studies topic of their choosing and to represent their findings in a format they find suitable. In one instance, I had a student that wanted to research the pros and cons of the Colombian exchange. Once she had concluded the preliminary research, she decided to present her findings with a series of skits.
This activity gives learners a medium through which they can record ideas about social studies topics they wish to investigate or are currently researching; it helps to promote their curiosity, critical thinking, and overall reflection. Encourage learners to start their journal entries with “I wonder,” this will encourage peer discussions and conversations in writing.
This inquiry-based writing approach lets learners record details of their “virtual” visits to places where a historic event has occurred. Travelogues can take various formats such as PowerPoint slides, videos, or a travel journal.
Through in-depth research, this teaching tool encourages learners to write about historical events as though they were present at the moment of their occurrence. Say you are teaching U.S. history, have your learners complete an end-of-year project in which they write a fictional eyewitness account of an event you’ve studied in the classroom. For instance, some learners may opt to write about the Boston massacre, conveying the unfolding of events from the perspective of a British soldier or a patriot. They can only be limited by their imagination
This informal writing technique can help summarize acquired knowledge, monitor comprehension or ascertain learners’ knowledge of a specific topic. Learners get to write what they know about a particular topic, which can be used to evaluate the learners’ progress and plan for future lessons. This makes it an invaluable intervention for social studies.
With this tool, learners get to reflect on their learning progress by answering two questions: (1) what the most important thing I learned in class today is? And (2) what questions do I have about what I learned today? Learners usually respond to the two questions by writing their answers on different sides of a graphic organizer. This intervention is particularly well suited for the social studies classroom.
Create snapshots of history
With this teaching technique, the learners get to create a tableau, using images from historical events that represent a scene with, say, a group of people who are silent. Then the learners write a narrative in the first person to present the perspective of a specific individual in their tableau.