Middle School Social Studies. Maybe you're just starting out teaching middle school Social Studies or are just looking for a few new ways to start the year. These are three items I've used that are tried and true ways to grab your students' attention and get your year off and running!
Social Studies Bulletin Board - How Do You Measure Up in History?
This is my favorite bulletin board I put up all year! From pop music to political leaders to world record holders -- this bulletin board covers a broad array of 40
people in history with their photo, what they were known for, and their actual height in feet and inches.
I love hearing students say, "I'm as tall as the Queen of England!" Or maybe, "I didn't know we had a president who was only 5'4" tall!" My favorite is when they see Robert Wadlow Pershing who was the tallest human ever recorded at 8'11"!
Included in this bulletin board is a printable 9-foot ruler I've created so students can visually see how tall these figures in history were compared to how tall they are. Also include are 40 oval shaped images to be cut out and taped on your wall, or pinned to a bulletin board. I don't have a bulletin board right outside of my classroom so I had to resort to taping them on the wall as you can see in the preview photos. I usually have students do the cutting and taping of the photos and ruler to give them a sense of ownership.
The 40 individuals included are
Chandra Bahadur Dangi, Lady Gaga, Joan of Arc, Yuri Gagarin, Rosa Parks, President James Madison, Queen Elizabeth II, Ludwig van Beethoven, Average Female Height, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Malala Yousafzai, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Harry Houdini, Julie Andrews, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Vincent van Gogh, Pelé, Orville Wright, Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Average Male Height, Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Charles Darwin, Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, Christopher Columbus, President John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Barack Obama, Thomas Jefferson, Muhammad Ali, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Robert Wadlow Pershing.
*All images used are in the public domain and copyright free. The image of Chandra Bahadur Dangi is authorized via the Creative Commons licensure and is attributed to Krish Dulal.
American History Timeline Matchup - 27 Events: 1607-2001 - First Day Activity
If you teach U.S. History and are looking for a way to get your students active in the beginning of the year this might be just what you're looking for! I've used this activity either on the first day of school or for sure during the first week of school so I can informally assess my students' background knowledge and deductive reasoning in regard to United States history.
Included in this activity are pictures of 27 major events and 27 corresponding years THAT NEED TO BE CUT OUT BEFORE YOU DO THE ACTIVITY
This product has the same tasks in two different .pdf formats. One file is with 4 pictures/dates per page (for larger cutouts) and one file is with 9 pictures/dates per page (for smaller cutouts). This way if you have larger class sizes you might be short on desk/table/floor space for the larger cutouts.
I teach 8th grade U.S. History and the way I go about this activity is by printing the pictures and dates on different colored sheets of cardstock, cutting out the dates and pictures, and placing one set of dates and pictures in the same envelope. I do this multiple times according to how many students I have in class and each envelope should have 27 pictures and 27 dates. Students (individually or with a partner) are given an envelope and a set amount of time to try and see how many pairs they can accurately match. It is interesting to see how students go about organizing this task. Some will put all of the dates in chronological order on the floor in a straight line, some sort them vertically, some put what they believe are more current events in one pile and older events in another pile. This will help you get a feel for the organizational skills of your students plus a chance to start conversations with them while they are working about how they are going about the task.
The main point of the activity isn't how many they actually get correct, but if they were close to the actual date. (i.e. not thinking that the 9/11 attacks happened in the 1800's).
What's nice about this activity is the students will put all of the items back in the envelopes and you can store them away until the following year!
50 States Class Competition - Do Your Students Know Their States?
This is an activity I use in my Geography Unit to encourage students to be able to quickly identify each of the 50 states. This challenge is based on accuracy and then by time. The kids love it and it really pushes them to practice! Included in this purchase are instructions for the activity, a numbered states map, answer key, certificate to print off for the winner, and a MS Excel spreadsheet that is already set up for you to use with simple instructions to generate a master list.
This is one of those activities that the kids come back to my room year after year to see if the next wave of students have beaten their old score. Kids love to see if they can beat the teacher in this activity so have fun with it!
For the best deal on my BACK TO SCHOOL activities check out this bundle:
BACK TO SCHOOL - Beginning of the Year Starter Kit - 15 SOCIAL STUDIES PRODUCTS
Here's a few other products you might like...
Latitude & Longitude Puzzles Bundle - USA, Africa, Australia, & South America
Government Bundle: Preamble, Articles of Confederation, Electoral College & More
Middle School Economics Bundle: Checks, Budgets, Stocks, College, and Savings!
Civil War Bundle - 5 Activities to Engage Your Students - American Civil War
Cloze Reading Strategy Bundle - French & Indian War Through the U.S. Civil War
CHECK OUT THE REST OF MY BUNDLES TO SAVE MONEY!!
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