Sunday, January 12, 2014

Integrating Social Studies and ELA with Lewis and Clark Biographies

Can you imagine setting off across the country with no telephone, no GPS, no map, NO CELL PHONE?   ... and imagine that the place you were heading into was virtually unknown.

How about if you were a 15-16 year old girl with a brand new baby?  Scary, right?

 I always think about that when I start teaching my students about Lewis and Clark.  What a wonderful testament to courage and persistence.

Now, I know there is a lot of talk and controversy surrounding the Common Core out there and I'm not here to get into a debate...  I do, however, like the flexibility that the ELA CCSS's give me in integrating social studies and science into my language arts units.

A great way to do that is to use biographies!

 Last year, I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a half class set of Lewis and Clark biographies and a half class set of Sacagawea biographies.  Luckily, this was around Winter Break, so I had time to read both of the books and create "foldables" with customized vocabulary and comprehension questions.  It was a big task, but the results have been very successful.  

This year I "revamped" both of the foldables into complete units which I've put on my TpT store.  The units includes a vocabulary test and essay assessment which I will be using with my class this year.
Unit available at my TpT store!  
This week my students were working on their 4th foldable.  
I was so impressed by the tone of the room.  Students had dictionaries out, were flipping through their biographies looking for answers and one group was debating the best way to hunt buffalo!   
 It made my heart swell with pride for them. 
I love it when that happens!  Has this happened for you lately?  If so, tell me about it in the comment section below.  I'd love to hear about your "heart swelling" moments with your class.  

*I moved this post from my old blog, Living a Teaching Life, to this one.*

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