Monday, July 6, 2015

Unconventionally Epic Journaling in Social Studies Class

I am most certainly not a conventional teacher, nor do I have my students take conventional notes. My students are most certainly not going to take "conventional notes" in Social Studies class this year, though they will be writing quite a lot, to say the least. Here are some ideas for unique journals that reflect on history in memorable ways--
  • WANTED Ads: Students will write out the qualities of a specific individual in history. WANTED ads do not have to focus on individuals who affected history in a negative manner... they can focus on those who were heroic and steadfast as well. 
  • "The Match": __________ vs. __________: My students will draw a "wrestling ring" on their page. On each side of the ring, they will sketch an avatar representation and write out facts about each involved party. For example, they will focus on Patriots vs. Loyalists. 
  • "Take a Side": They will write about an event in history from the perspective of opposing sides-- for example, a Patriot, and then a Loyalist. 
  • "From My Perspective": Sometimes, I will very much want them to get in the mind of a specific individual in history, like Sacajawea, for example. They can write journal entries or even envision what a social media account for that individual would be like if it existed during their time period. They can sketch "photographs of the Oregon Trail journey" from Lewis and Clark's social media page, for example, or think of who George Washington would have befriended. 
  • "Quote This": My students will read some quotes from some profound individuals in history, like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. They will write short reflections on what the quotes mean. 
  • "Imagine This": I like "imagine this" writing where writers lure their readers into the action by utilizing vivid "mind movie" language. For example, students can write an "Imagine This" snippet focusing on the midnight ride of Paul Revere. 
  • "You Are Formally Invited": There is a bit of irony here because nobody would be "invited" to write the Constitution of the United States or be a participant in the Boston Tea Party. However, students can focus on the tone in which they write out their invitation for whatever major event in history the class is focusing on. It will be done in a manner that is respectful to history. 
  • Play Snippets: I loved acting growing up, so I want to delve into writing scripts with my students a little bit. I will have them write snippets of plays that focus on pertinent historical events. 
  • The Classic Sketchbook: My students will also be sketching some major events from history... which includes maps in which they will label where pertinent events occurred (during the Revolutionary War, for example). To make things a bit easier, I will likely provide sketches of maps. 
  • Travel Agent!: As students learn about the Founding Fathers of our nation, they will make advertisements for places like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. 
  • Reflecting on Fictional Snippets: Sometimes, I will read snippets from historical fiction books like Johnny Tremain (Revolutionary War) and have students reflect on what I read. They will see why the few pages I read were important to share with them. 
  • The Visual Timeline: As students focus on events in history, they will add to an ongoing timeline in their notebooks. 
  • Classic Note-Taking: Of course, they will be writing regular notes and reflect on content as well by highlighting phrases and utilizing sticky notes. They will design Question and Answer quizzes with sticky notes as well, writing the questions on the note and the answer underneath on the journal page.
I cannot wait to implement these ideas. Each came to my mind without me looking at any resources, though I am sure many of these ideas have been utilized before in some manner! If you have any more ideas, please share them in the comments section.

Over the course of the school year, be on the lookout for images of unique journal entries!

No comments:

Post a Comment