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Social Studies can be SPECtacular Anthony J Fitzpatrick Vice President for Professional Development Services The American Institute for History Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Studies can be SPECtacular Anthony J Fitzpatrick Vice President for Professional Development Services The American Institute for History Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Studies can be SPECtacular Anthony J Fitzpatrick Vice President for Professional Development Services The American Institute for History Education

2 Looking for SPECs in your classroom: State standards, textbook objectives, and writing outlines are almost always written in a form of SPEC or other helpful anagrams. So what is it?

3 SPEC Social – Having to do with people in groups, their living together, includes issues such as gender, economic status, and ethnicity. Political – Having to do with gaining, seeking, and organizing power, events related to the function of government: making laws, enforcing laws, and interpreting laws. Economic – Having to do with how people meet their basic material needs; the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; includes such issues as domestic and international trade, monetary policies, and taxation. Cultural – Having to do with the technology, arts, and institutions of a given group of people at a given time. It is a tangible representation of interactions.

4 You don’t have to capitalize the C Often the most confusing theme is Culture as students may confuse it with Social. It’s quite acceptable to use SPE first until they get the SPEcial nuance that separates social and cultural.

5 Disclaimer 2 Are you limited to SPEC? – ABSOLUTELY NOT! There are other themes appropriate to bring into your classroom (Geography, Religion as example) SPEC is just a wonderful starting point, and very versatile. There are ways to introduce the other themes while keeping SPEC as the foundation.

6 Grade Levels Students of ALL ages and grade levels can begin to investigate SPEC in thoughtful and meaningful ways. The key is to engage the standards in different ways, scaffold the skill and then spiral it so keeps unlock deeper meaning.

7 We need a formula! Other subject areas have formulas to help students “show their work” and have a path to figure our problems. History and Social Studies can be considered in the same way...

8 Let’s try it out: Generate ideas and find the SPECs 1. Name a figure or event central to the content: – Abraham Lincoln 2. Call out anything you know about Abraham Lincoln.

9 Now: Let’s take the list and use SPEC to categorize and organize our answers.

10 The result: Absent of an initial clear vision of considering Abraham Lincoln– armed with SPEC – students will be able to approach content with a plan in order to use what they know to formulate a response.

11 Get out your SPECtacles. Let’s examine some primary source documents for some SPECifics.

12 Let’s move it past just the generation of ideas... Graphic Organizers. Scavenger Hunts. Extension into an interactive notebook. Make generalizations that will lead to... THE WRITING PROCESS!

13 TOPIC S P E C Information

14 The Table Top:

15 SPECulate In need of a conclusion that doesn’t “tell me what you told me” – have the students take a calculated risk!

16 What is the goal? Have students providing a broad SPECtrum of thesis statements and conclusions that show their content mastery and their historical thinking capabilities.

17 You Wanna Pizza Me? Anthony Fitzpatrick The American Institute for History Education Teaching with SPECial toppings!

18 What on Earth? Our Objectives: – Generate a TON of content concerning various persons, events, and/or institutions. – Categorize this information in a fun and create way. – Use the things we learned today! – Create a foundation for a project or extended writing assignment.

19 Supplies: Pizza box for each student or group of students. Plastic ziplock bag to hold the ingredients. Crayons or markers (colored Pencils work too) Tape of Glue stick Blank White Paper Scissors Oak tag shapes for tracing.

20 Content Instructions: Let’s generate a list of facts pertaining to certain places, groups of people etc: – This might work great with the different members of Lincoln’s cabinet – Famous abolitionists, proponents of slavery, the different states involved in Western Expansion.

21 Now lets begin to categorize these facts with some shapes! We’re going to use the ingredients that we encounter in our lives: – The pizza and toppings! Each fact will get a shape that represents a different category!

22 Using white paper; draw an empty pizza crust (a circle really )

23 Crust ( draw or glue a pic of face)

24 Sample Categories: Eggplant- Economic Sausage – Social Pepperoni – Political Cheese – Cultural Garlic – Geographic Chicken – Cultural

25 That’s right... Don’t be afraid to fish in the “C” of cultural contributions... Are there any writings, songs, movies, videos or other tangible products that this person has contributed?

26 Write the facts on the pieces This is a great place for learning as students will be discussing content and relating them to themes that they’ve encountered in their class

27 Once we’re done categorizing out facts: Place them on the pizza.

28 Shut the lid of the Pizza Box: Use the label to mark which themes you’ve hit. Then draw or place a picture on the top of the box with the corresponding dates.

29 What you’ll have... A wonderful and fun organizational tool for students to be able to refer back to if you’d like to extend the assignment into something more formal.

30 Let’s try this in groups!!!

31 What are we going to examine today?

32 What we will cover today. That’s Right! We’re going to have a Pizza Party that engages our SPECial toppings!

33 What goes on your Pizza Social PoliticalEconomic Cultural

34 Be sure to label your Pizza

35 SPECial toppings on your Pizza! Is there anything interesting or unique that you could add on to your pizza to complicate or highlight the topic?

36 And now it’s ready for delivery! A balanced look at an element central to the content that has been examines through the SPECtacles of history to be served at the doorstep of your students!

37 Thank You Questions, comments, modifications?


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