Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Social Studies Online Practice

We are nearing completion of our first unit in social studies. We have been studying Chapter 1 in our textbook, Geography of the United States. First we spent some time learning how to read expository text and how to use chapter headings, subheadings, the glossary, index, etc. Students have created a series of annotated maps in their "interactive" student journals and have practiced several geography skills such as determining location with lines of latitude and longitude and identifying physical features of the United States.

As we prepare for our unit test, I want to introduce you to some wonderful free websites students can access to help them review the unit and study for the test.

First, I would like to introduce you to Social Studies Alive! America's Past Internet Tutorial. This is a wonderful website that allows students to virtually take the test for each unit, corrects misunderstandings as they go through the tutorial, and finally allows students to print out their results upon completion. Students have found these activities to be educational and entertaining, often reviewing the information over and over "just for fun"! How great is that? Simply go to the website, enter a name (which is not saved but simply used when printing out results), and press submit. Then students select the chapter they wish to study and enjoy! I generally ask students to print out their results and bring them to school as an indication that they have practiced for the test. If you do not have a printer, students can simply write a sentence telling me what their score is, ask an adult to sign it, and return it to school.

The second useful website is Quizlet. I have prepared vocabulary definitions for all words
students need to understand to master the first social studies unit. Going to Quizlet via this link takes you directly to the words, flashcards, and activities for the geography unit. From this site students can study the words in several ways. They can either read or listen to the definitions of each vocabulary term, they can print out flashcards, they can work on activities such as Scatter and Space Race to practice their words and they can test themselves on the words.

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