Hi all! Be brave and start discussing. Check this out and share your thoughts. This is a great way to improve participation.
What are your takeaways from this:
“Arts Integration: Deepening Understanding of Core Content,” by Edutopia, located on YouTube (2016).
Honestly, I have never been a fan of social studies. It has always been boring and was more about memorizing events and facts rather than really exploring. I firmly believe that this is why I have always been so uninterested in social studies. I would be willing to say that many students feel the same way I felt. There was never any engaging activities or valuable discussions. I remember coming into social studies classes, taking notes, maybe watching a video, and then testing over the information. If/when I find myself teaching social studies, I hope to present the information in a more meaningful and exciting way so my students don’t have the same lack of enthusiasm that I have had towards social studies. I haven’t found many students who do not like watching videos so I would like to incorporate videos and songs to help them see the information in a different way than fill in the blank notes. I would like to reenact events in history or create visual representations of events that have happened throughout history. The more hands on activities and engaging activities I can incorporate the better! The problem for me was never the content, the problem was how the content was presented and examined (if it was even examined). My personal experiences have definitely changed the way I hope to approach social studies in my own classroom one day!
Arts integration in a social studies classroom allows the instruction, provided activities, and learning experience to provide a learning environment that is sure to reach each student on some level of the learning process. It helps the students make connections and provide a learning environment that will keep students focused/engaged. Arts integration has shown wonderful improvements over student comprehension and long-term retention of content. Students can be asked to create stories, illustrate pictures, or role-play as an included activity for a lesson. Let students paint their way to comprehension when discussing important aspects about other cultures of the world. Let students build a project to discuss how Indians built their teepees and how they survived off the land. Let the student’s role play scenes from America’s history books in front of the class. There are so many ways to get students engaged in learning we as teachers just need to take the time to understand their interest and try to provide a variety of ways for students to learn the content.
Students are able to retain information in a form that fits their specific learning style. Integrating arts into social students can help meet the needs of each students’ learning style but also make students more rounded in the way they learn. Not all students may initially feel comfortable with some creative art forms but can use the opportunity to learn about art in a way they may have not found interest in before. Music, drama, and visual arts all incorporate interactive learning that can engage and teach students about different cultural expressions through the arts. Visual and performing arts encourages students to express themselves creatively to gain a deeper understanding of the material. Using art can help various learning styles in making connections and providing context to concepts by allowing students to use their bodies and voices to demonstrate their knowledge in a fun way.
Do you feel you have a good understanding of the material this week as we go into Week 2?
As future educators one of our main jobs to make sure that students are armed with the tools that they need to distinguish between fact, fiction, and plain old opinion. Students need to be made aware of global issues in the world. Increasing student awareness of global issues is very important as the countries of the world become more interdependent. Today’s students also need to be taught the understanding of the world’s economy, politics, social structures, and environment. They need to be able to make the best decisions about how to live their own lives when they become adults. Ask students open-ended questions that they will really have to stop and think about. Let students take the time they need to develop their thoughts and accept all opinions/ideas that they may have. Try to help students make connections to the content they are questioning to the content being taught. Encourage student research, feedback, and inquiry-based learning.
Current events are important for students to be aware of the world around them and discussion should be encouraged for all students. This can help students see different viewpoints while also learning how to respond to others in a manner that is not defensive. However, these topics may not always align to the curriculum. This can be teacher led by designated time in class for students to discuss topics they want to talk about while also using open-ended questions to direct students to a path that connects to material that have already learned or new material. If the topic does not align to any standard-based curriculum, the teacher can still help students make meaning of the topic. By incorporating different viewpoints, asking questions, and encouraging decision-making, students can learn from current events by broadening their perspectives and by gaining more relevance to the topic and how it can affect their personal lives.
I think as the teacher you are there to guide students, and while they may want to talk about current events, you want to keep the engagement but make it for the classroom. You can have a student hold onto an idea for a part of the day until you get to a subject that may relate more closely to what the student wants to talk about. I also think part of being an educator is adapting to your students, take five minutes to discuss what catches their interest, as long as it is school permitting.