Studying history is just as important as learning reading and math skills. History allows students to understand society and change. It provides a sense of identity and inspires us.
I love it when I read a story to my students about a historical person, and they love it so much they want to FIND OUT MORE!
It’s so important to read books about our history because it allows kids to:
preserve stories of those before us
identify the warning signs of past mistakes and fight against them
better themselves as they have a better understanding of the world
understand other cultures
learn of world events
In my Chickasaw Indians Unit, I’ve created a packet that does all of the above!
Let me share some examples with you! The following examples come from the first day of the unit study.
We read the first part of the story, and then we answered a few questions from the text.
In first grade I helped my friends out by reading it with them.
But my third graders were able to answer the questions themselves. They also did a great job finding the states on the map without much help.
I have differentiated tasks in this packet for my third graders who can do more.
My third graders were able to use the interactive note booking pages in their notebooks. Under writing the definition and picture, they also wrote a sentence with the vocabulary word in it.
In first grade we work together, but in third grade they work independently.
On another day we’ll read through the timeline of when the Chickasaw came into contact with explorers and settlers.
Then the third graders will order the historical events on our pocket chart.
In this unit we’re focusing on comprehension, vocabulary, fact recall, and sequencing. Studying the Chickasaw Indians is the perfect unit for this time of year since it’s so close to Thanksgiving and we live in the Southeast. We know all kids (especially boys) love to learn about people who were great warriors. With the Acrostic Poem exercise, students will be encouraged to think of facts about the Chickasaw. This is a will be a great assessment for me to see how much they really learned.
I also wanted to provide some math skills to go into this unit. Double digit subtraction for older grades, and a fun addition piece for the younger. These skill practice activities come in the form of games and coloring pages.
And of course I had to include a craftivity! When you’re this close to Thanksgiving, you have to include some fun way to make a craft a part of learning. We’re going to be writing about our bravery as a warrior and making the headdress to go with it!
I’m so excited about this unit!
Giving the students an opportunity to learn history in a variety of ways makes history come to life!
A Few Tips
When reading social studies material read it together as a class to ensure students are understanding the material. It’s important to discuss historical events.
When students are writing in their journals, DON’T SPELL WORDS FOR THEM! I have some very anxious kids when it comes to writing. One trick I learned was using MAGIC LETTERS. I’ll write lines on the board to represent how many letters are in the word they’re trying to spell. Then I may fill in a few of the lines if I don’t think the students will know certain vowel patterns yet. I ask the student if they can find the MAGIC LETTERS that are missing. And you know what? They always can. Anytime you make something into a game kids all of the sudden know how to do it!
It isn’t necessary to complete all of the vocabulary words in one day. I break up the words and only have the students complete 3-4 words a day. I always review those words the next day in the form of charades. Everyone has to act out the word. When you write a word, draw it, and then act it out, the definition has to stick. Right?