Middle School Bundle: Five Products for Social Studies Teachers

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When I first started teaching middle school Social Studies over 15 years ago I remember feeling like I could hardly keep my head above water! I hope you'll find these ready-to-go products useful and that they make staying afloat less stressful.

Here's what you are getting with these five products:

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.


The Phrase of the Day - 20 Phrase Origins - Great for English or Social Studies!
If you are looking for a way to hook your students' attention at the start of class then this is a "tried-and-true" way that I've used for over 15 years in my middle school Social Studies classroom.

I've taught 13-14 year-olds my entire teaching career. To get my students focused and ready to start class we start each day with "The Phrase of the Day" as a way to get our bodies settled, our volume down, and our minds thinking. I show a slide that has some letters missing of a popular phrase, and if nobody is getting it then I'll point to a blank in the phrase and tell them the letter. Once someone gets it right I'll throw them a mint. They are 13-14, but you can see in their face that they are proud of themselves for getting it right and they all want that mint!

Once the phrase has been identified I'll show the completed phrase and ask students if they have any idea what this phrase means today or if they know where it originated. I'll then go through the slides explaining the origin of the phrase as well if there are debatable theories regarding the phrase origin.

The 20 phrases included are:
1. Saved by the Bell
2. Going to Cost You an Arm and a Leg
3. Getting the Bad End of the Stick
4. Baker's Dozen
5. Any Man Worth His Salt
6. Putting Up a Good Front
7. Put Your Best Foot Forward
8. Skid Row
9. Get Your Ducks in a Row
10. Mind Your P's and Q's
11. On the Deadline
12. Joined at the Hip
13. The Crapper
14. Chew the Fat
15. In the Limelight
16. Barn Red
17. Prom Court
18. Bought the Farm
19. Ring Around the Rosie
20. I Don't Give a Dam*

*Note: the "n" at the end of "dam" is absent on purpose due to the meaning behind the phrase, which originally wasn't a swear word at all - totally disappointing your students. However, you will most likely have a student ask if this one is OK for them to say the answer out loud, and I always respond with, "Yes, but now you need to know the true meaning of the phrase. And no, you cannot say this phrase haphazardly and say that your teacher said it was OK. The reason being, the meaning of the phrase has changed, and I don't need to get fired because of you." They usually laugh and understand, however, if you're not comfortable using this phrase then best to leave it out. You know your students and how well they can handle something like that better than I do so please use your own judgment. :)

I plan on continuing "The Phrase of the Day" as a series with new products coming out with 20 new phrases in them until I get 180 days worth of phrases, which is how many days my students are in school each year. Follow my store and you'll get a notification when I upload new products.


Student Conference "Deli-Style" - Great for Writers Workshop!

SEE THIS PRODUCT FEATURED ON RACHEL LYNETTE'S BLOG: MINDS IN BLOOM

I've always tried finding ways to have less verbal interruptions in class. One day, while standing in a deli, I realized that the other customers and I knew exactly when our turn was because of the "ding!" of the bell and the number that was displayed on the monitor. That's when it hit me!

That night I created my own deli-style system as a way to let students, while they were working, know when it was their turn to conference with me. This took the anxiety out of not knowing when it was their turn to come up and allowed them to keep working with a subtle notification as to who was next.

I've used this to conference with students about work, goal-setting, questions or concerns, and as just a general way to connect with students. They especially like it if you let them click the mouse to make the "ding!" sound for the next person.

Another way I’ve used this that has worked well in the past is by using this “deli-style” system for finding out different types of information. How this works is every student is handed a ticket when they walk into class. I, then, pull up my “Deli-Style” PowerPoint (which actually has a bell sound like at a real deli) that lets students know they have five seconds to stand up and share once their number is up. Kids love it!

Questions might be:

•What are you doing this weekend?
•What is a goal you have for this quarter?
•How were you helpful yesterday?

The possibilities are endless with this one. 30 kids in class, 5 seconds each, takes only 2 – ½ minutes to get kids up and sharing a question they can easily answer in a safe environment that is fun and fast-paced. It hasn’t failed me...yet.

Note: Be sure to save the sound file in the same folder as the PowerPoint to get the "ding!"


United States Latitude and Longitude Puzzle - 85 Coordinates - ONE OF MY BEST SELLERS!
Are you looking for an enjoyable way for your students to practice their coordinate mapping skills compared to just plotting a random set of coordinates on a grid? Well then, you won't be let down with this product! Who says students can't have fun while they're learning?!

This puzzle is a set of 85 coordinates that will eventually form the shape of the United States of America. This is a great challenge for students who already know latitude and longitude because it forces them to approximate in between the lines. For younger students who are just learning latitude and longitude this might be a bit too challenging, but one they can work their way up to!

Table of Contents:
Page 1: Cover Page
Page 2: List of Coordinates to Plot
Page 3: Grid
Page 4: Answer Key

I have used this formative assessment with students for years and have found that when they know that the coordinates will eventually make a shape it helps them to see if they are using the right directions. Students will plot the coordinates one at a time, label them in numerical order, and finally connect the dots to hopefully see the outline of the USA. It has worked great for my students so I hope yours find the same success.

Click the link below for my best deal on a set of 50 States Latitude and Longitude Puzzles or to just buy your state!:
All 50 States Latitude and Longitude Puzzles - Plus a Bonus USA Puzzle!!


Jeopardy Review Game Template - Great for Test Preparation
I guarantee you will love playing this with your students!

*NOTE: This is a template and not a completed game*

This is a template for a Jeopardy review game that I've been using for 15 years in my class as a fun way to learn about current events, review for quizzes, and I even let students take a copy home on a flash drive to make review games for each other.

This product is fully editable so you can create your own categories and type in your questions to meet the needs of your students. Once the game is up you just need to click on the point values in the categories and click the space bar to reveal possible answers. A click on the game board icon takes you back to the main screen and after a point value has been used it fades to a different color so you and your students know which points values are still available. The kids love it and it is a fun way to review especially on a Friday!

We always play "friendly" Jeopardy where you can only gain points not lose. I put my class into 5 different teams and give each team a dry erase board, dry erase marker, and a tissue to wipe off their board. When I create a game I play so that the team whose turn it is to pick the question gets the full point value of the question, and every other team gets half the point value of the question. I'll show the question, give them about 30 seconds to whisper and discuss, and then I'll say, "OK, let me see your boards in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...boards up!" I'll then reveal the answer and teams can tabulate their scores.

I have "specials" as well that you can cut and past to different questions if you'd like. There specials are:

-Daily Double: The team that picked this gets twice the point value...every other team gets half of the original point value

-Lose a Turn: The team that picks this one loses their turn for that round, but every other team can answer for the original point value

- (-)40 From Another Team: The team that picks this one has to let you know right away what team they plan on taking 40 points away from and adding it to their team's score. The only catch is they have to answer it correctly. The team who gets 40 points taken away can still get half the points of the question though.

I hope you enjoy all of these as much as I have over the years!


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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Middle School Bundle: Five Products for Social Studies Teachers
Middle School Bundle: Five Products for Social Studies Teachers
Middle School Bundle: Five Products for Social Studies Teachers
Middle School Bundle: Five Products for Social Studies Teachers
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