Saturday, July 16, 2011

Third Grade SS in Georgia: Famous Americans

The majority of the Social Studies  standards taught in third grade in Georgia generally revolve around famous American figures.  We study Susan B. Anthony, Paul Revere, Thurgood Marshall, Mary McCleod Bethune, and so on.  It can be very hard to find information that is accessible on the student's reading levels.  My district, like many others, has adopted small readers called American Heroes by Houghton Mifflin.  While they provide great information, they are often at a higher readability level than grade level.  Compounded by the fact that 2/3 of my class was reading 2 years or more below grade level and I was sunk!
About mid way through the year (or maybe longer- when I returned from maternity leave) I decided to try a new approach.  I created a "workbook" about each figured based on the text.  I know, it sounds so backwards and boring and against all research.  However, just listen for a minute.


Using my brand new Promethean Board (which I LOVE), I imported each page of my workbook into a new slide.  Before reading the book or anything,  the whole class looked at the first page (after the cover) and predicted and filled in  what we thought the answers could be.  Then we completed the reading as a shared reading, using the first workbook page to set the purpose for our reading.  As we read when students heard an answer, they put their thumb up.  We stopped and then adjusted or confirmed our answer.  When we completed the page all the students filled in the answers.  Because some students wrote more quickly than others, students could color in the title page as they waited. Then we would move to the next page following the same format.


Ideal? No.  However, my students did learn and retain it.  Using the board was a huge motivator and then requiring them to be accountable for the answers as we read kept our many, many, many ADHD student on task (or close).


These packets could be done in pairs or individually if students were stronger readers.  Maybe another year I can try this!  I am attaching my first Famous American packet about Paul Revere.  The packet also contains a song (not created by me- by another teacher in my district, the famous Wadsworth poem and an Important frame).

Just as a side note: on United Streaming there is a video  over the book And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?   I can't decide if I want to start the unit this way or end this unit with this....

7 comments:

  1. We will be using this series of books this year as well. Thanks for the idea.

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  2. Mandy,

    My county uses these books as well. Did you make packets like these for the other heroes? Are those available for download?

    Thanks for all the tips and resources.

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  3. I actually do. I have just put the finishing touches on Eleanor Roosevelt and Fredrick Douglass. I will get the up ASAP. I am halfway through Susan B Anthony! : )

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  4. Do you have anything for Susan B. Anthony or Mary McLeod Bethune by chance? Trying to help my daughter and looking for a fun way to teach her. I'm so sad I didn't see Paul Revere before now! It would have helped her a TON!!!

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  5. Did you finish the Susan B. Anthony packet? Is it on TPT? Just wondering.

    Sarah

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  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to create these packets. It is very much appreciated!

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  7. I love all of your social studies packets. Do you have one for Susan B Anthony or any of the other heroes?

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