As a former social studies teacher it continually enrages me when kids tell me how much they hate social studies. Who could hate social studies? After all, isn’t it the most interesting thing to learn about scandals, catastrophes, disasters, and what really happened, digging into the closets of the past?
I realize that for these kids, social studies is just a disconnected series of facts to memorize for a test and then discard.
Thus the Travelogue of Tragedy! The National Center for Social Studies has recognized 10 themes that are instrumental to the instruction of social studies. One of the themes is connecting people, places, and events. What could be more perfect than understanding the geography of tragedy?
For example, if students were to study Three Mile Island, how would they advertise it as a tourist location? How would they get people interested in coming to see it? This guide to learning offers three different projects. The first is to have students create a travelogue of their own “travels”. The second is to have them create an in depth travel brochure for one tragic site, think Chernobyl. The third is to have them create a travel guide for a location, in a specific time period.
This comprehensive guide helps students practice effective research techniques, organizational practices, and persuasive and descriptive writing strategies.