Saturday, February 11, 2012

Using Guided Play to Teach Social Studies, Reading, & the Common Core Standards

For the past year, I have been attending Common Core Standards training.  During these trainings, I have had the opportunity to speak directly to some of the writers of the Common Core Standards.  One of the key ideas that consistently comes to my mind is background knowledge. 

The more that students know about a broad range of topics, the more they will be able to handle the new demands of the Common Core Standards.  Getting students to touch, see, and develop an emotional feeling with what they are learning is consistent with brain research and makes it easier for information to be stored in long-term memory. 

These pictures are from guided play activities I have done with students this week.  Some of the students I am working with are learning about ancient civilizations.  Two other groups are learning about Colonial America.  Students spend 10 minutes reading a book at their reading level on this topic.  While they are reading, they must analyze life in Colonial America.  Then for five minutes, students act out life in colonial times using the props I have from this time period. 

Students pretended to make butter with the butter churn, collect water, and gather apples from my artificial tree.

This is an early form of bowling played by the Colonists.

These are the replicas of early American money the students played with.

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