How do you teach Social Studies in a way that is fun and interesting? Put your students there! Not just on the first page of the text with a “You Are There” blurb, and then drudging through boring and disconnected facts about the past, but really put your students there by having them try to pass their sailing test, earn their sailor’s hats (directions below) and be able to board one of Columbus’ ships, the Niña, Pinta or Santa María!
This activity briefly covers the important aspects of what our country was like when Columbus “discovered” it, who came soon after, and the surface-level relationship they had with the Native Americans. It is beneficial in many ways: You can use it to:
- allow your students to work together or independently
- time it for competition
- teach them how to use their books as a resource for information
- teach them how to work in effective teams
- use as a pre- and post-assessment (formative or summative)
- rate them on a Learning Scale (attached)
Best of all, this activity and be a real learning opportunity that is much more enjoyable than our students feeling bored and being babysat with books.
Directions on how to make your own sailor hat is included :-)
Thank you and enjoy,
Adam and the School of Athens ~ Mind Adventures