Writing practice in your social studies classroom should be frequent but that doesn’t mean it always has to be formal. Explore these 7 resources to add a new assignment to your usual curriculum.
1.Fun History Writing Prompts
Be goofy. Get students talking about or writing about history with these writing prompts that are weird and goofy but can definitely lead to some amazing conversations or written answers.
For example, how would you tell the difference between your Model T and your neighbor’s Model T?
That may seem simple but this prompt gets students talking about individualism, capitalism, industrialization, mass production, and consumerism.
This resource was built with world history classes in mind but would work in other social studies classes with appropriate teacher involvement.
2. History Writing Rubrics
Personally, there is nothing more annoying than history teachers who grade their history student’s essays using a rubric built to support English language arts. It’s history class. The rubric should focus on history.
Focus your grades instead on the inclusion of historical facts and analysis. Ensure students are including the correct number of sources and they are using them correctly. Yes, having excellent grammar is important but why are so many teachers grading based on spelling and format and sentence structures? Stop. Reinforce the importance of your own class and take back the history writing rubric.
3. Geography Descriptive Writing
It all began when my son couldn’t describe a tree. Other than tall and green he had no idea what he should say because he had never been asked to describe his environment.
A rugged mountain, the frigid arctic, the depths of the ocean – students need opportunities to describe the world around them and to imagine the places of the world they have never seen. Expand their horizon and their writing ability while at the same time having a geography lesson.
While this resource may seem elementary it is listed as Not Grade Specific. It could work in any grade and with any student achievement level.
There are 15 different landforms/biomes to choose from and come with both a black and white printable as well as a full color for teachers lucky enough to have color printers/copiers.
4. World History Notebook
Teachers often expect students to know how to take notes but many students have never been taught. History notetaking is not intuitive. It is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. This notebook is a way to help students pick out the most important information from their readings and helps them figure out how to use the information.
Use this in the beginning of the year for a few chapters or units then have students use their own paper rather than providing new pages all the time.
You can choose to take notes based on civilization or by time period. You also get to choose between a PERSIA chart or a GRAPES chart.
5. Asian History Task Cards Bundle
For those of you who teach world history or Asian history classes, this resource provides you with all of the writing prompts you will ever need for Asian history.
Prompts range from low-level to high-level and many prompts can be used together to build a larger writing assignment. Lots of flexibility with this bundle and it will be a resource you use all year long.
The bundle includes prompts for Chinese, Japanese, and Indian history.
6. Addressing a Letter for Google Classroom™
Not a traditional writing exercise but still something students need to learn. Built as a Google Classroom™ exercise to save on paper, give you an opportunity to help students navigate their Google Classroom™, or for use during those weather-related school closures.
Included in this resource, students are guided through the structure of an address, common abbreviations, and they have opportunities to write their own address.
7. Social Studies Skill Builders: First Nine Weeks
Easily work on social studies skills every day in your classroom. Print a page a day and add it to your morning work or bell work. Each day works on a different skill/subject. There are enough for an entire 9-weeks (45 days). Purchase one at a time, one semester at a time, or go big and buy the full-year bundle to save.
Built using 3rd grade Pennsylvania social studies standards yet listed as Not Grade Specific. This resource works for advanced younger students, older students who have limited or no social studies backgrounds, and would work well as a review for high school students.
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