How to Introduce Basic Geography Skills in Your Social Studies Classroom

How to Introduce Basic Geography Skills in Your Social Studies Classroom


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers

Introducing Basic Geography skills in your Social Studies classroom doesn't have to be difficult or boring. In fact, by introducing basic mapping skills, using different types of maps to improve comprehension, teaching with charts and graphs, and then utilizing text to reinforce geographic skills, you're sure to help students develop a strong geography foundation that will prepare them not only for their year in geography, but for US history and World History classes as well.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 1. Introduce Basic Mapping Skills

Begin with simple maps with familiar landmarks to help students understand map terminology, such as coordinates, latitude, longitude, legend, and scale. Discuss the compass rose and practice with directions to deepen understanding.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 2. Use Different Types of Maps

Once students have mastered basic "clutter-free" maps, add more components to test student comprehension and mastery. Use political maps, physical maps, topographic maps, climate maps, road maps, small-scale maps, large-scale maps, and a globe to ensure students can translate use of basic mapping skills to all forms.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 3. Teach with Charts & Graphs

Move beyond the mapping context with charts and graphs, showing information also available on maps, to ensure students can transfer mastery and comprehension from one form to the other. Use charts and graphs to deepen understanding by providing easily visible information that students can reference.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 

4. Utilize Text to Reinforce Geographic Skills

Finally, use text passages and historical documents to further student understanding by tying their geography/mapping skills to concrete information. Test student comprehension with text and mapping practice.


Ready-to-use products, like this Complete Geography Introduction Unit and Five Themes of Geography Centers Investigation Activity, make it easy to incorporate these strategies for introducing Basic Geography Skills in Your Social Studies Classroom!


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachersThough there are multiple components of mapping and geography that can be intimidating to students, mapping can be a fun and educational practice. Mapping doesn't have to be tedious, boring, or confusing. Instead, by developing core geography skills, using different types of maps to further understanding, teaching with charts and graphs, and utilizing related text, students will cultivate a solid foundation in geography that will benefit them in all future Social Studies courses and throughout their adult lives.



Happy Teaching!



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Brittany Cloyd
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3 Strategies for Introducing World Religions

3 Strategies for Introducing World Religions


Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.

Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.

While some World History topics lend to a boring lecture with overloading information, introducing World Religions with interactive tactics like walking tours, response groups, and comparison centers, ensures that middle school and high school students are intrigued and immediately able to draw similarities and differences from their study. Doing so will make it easier to digest new information and retain that information for testing time. Using these interactive methods to introduce World Religions not only makes for easy-to-plan lessons but also easy-to-execute activities that will leave your students with a deep understanding of the content.

Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.

Walking Tours

Walking Tours are a great way to get students up out of their seats and moving around the classroom, engaging them with the otherwise "boring" World History content. These tours allow them the opportunity to collect information about each religion by studying subtopics like location, population, basic teachings, practices, and more. By gathering this information for different religion groups, it allows students a better understanding of the basics of each religion, setting them up to easily compare and contrast between religions.

Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.

Response Groups

Allowing students the opportunity to collectively research and respond as a group, response groups provide historical information that students can digest, discuss, and then share. Group activities such as this allow your students exposure to differing perspectives, the ability to take on leadership roles and find strengths within the group, and the opportunity to regurgitate the information aloud, ensuring recall.


Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.

Comparison Centers

Lastly, bringing all information together in a comparing and contrasting activity will provide students the chance to search for similarities and differences among religions, draw conclusions about their origins and practices, and mentally form bonds to help them to retain the information they've studied. Using charts to compare subtopics of each religion, i.e. the Laws of each World Religion, students are able to easily draw conclusions and grasp understanding of significant information.

Though teaching World Religions can be intimidating, using well-prepared and organized activities such as these Walking Tours, Response Groups, and Comparison Groups are sure to make the lessons more engaging, fun, and easier to execute! Even easier, you can choose your format and use the printable PDF files for an engaging Interactive Classroom lesson, or you can use the digital Google Drive format for an interactive lesson with little prep. Check out other World Religions activities for further study and engagement. 


Especially with today's political climate, teaching religion in the classroom may seem controversial or dangerous. However, no matter how "hot" the topic, World Religions are an integral part of teaching World History to your middle school and high school students. Foregoing thorough instruction of World Religions would be detrimental to your students. Therefore, teaching World Religions is best done from a strategic approach. Employing compare and contrast techniques will help your students to grasp an intellectual understanding from the beginning.
Happy Teaching!

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Brittany Cloyd
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How to Set Up an Interactive Notebook

How to Set Up an Interactive Notebook


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned.

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement

Interactive Notebooks can be a very beneficial asset for all your students, especially those who prefer a less traditional approach to note-taking and assessments. By using an Interactive Notebook in your classes, you will provide your students a central location for depositing all information, project ideas, questions, responses, and reactions. By using the circular format detailed below, students can design and decorate a binder that will not only organize their knowledge, but help them to retain it beyond the initial assessment. 

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Students should start with a binder. Though it isn't necessary, the white clear-view binders are best so your students can customize the cover, helping to distinguish between different courses. By labeling the class on the front, inserting dividers or other accessories to organize and divide, and decorating the binder to their liking, students can provide a space that is welcoming and comfortable, encouraging further learning.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The circular layout of the daily spread encourages students to move readily from the objective and bellringer, to the day's class notes or activity, to the homework assignment, and finally, the LSA: left side assignment. These four components require students to tie the parts of the lesson together, and allow for a more creative method of obtaining and gathering knowledge. By embracing different learning styles and including activities that cater to brains working in all different ways, students can flow freely from left side to right and back again, forming a strong hand-eye-brain connection with colors, shapes, illustrations, and more.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The top of the left page is the space for the day's objective and bellringer. Consider the bellringer a sort of tease, which wakes up the brain and induces critical thinking and learning. Students generally respond to the bellringer during the first few minutes of class, often without much prior knowledge, and will continue to build upon their bellringer answer as they obtain more knowledge.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
The top of the right page is the 'meat and potatoes' of the day. This includes any notes taken during class, graphic organizers used, and can even expand beyond the page. If you do paper activities, such as guided note-taking exercises, projects or activities, these can be hole punched and inserted between the two daily pages, or can be taped directly on the upper right section. This critical section is what moves the Interactive Notebook from a note-taking tool to a component of the Interactive Classroom, and the contents of this section are critical for review and retention.

The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Below the notes section, homework is listed and explained if necessary. This way, students can easily view their assignment alongside the day's activities, providing an efficient reminder of what they learned and making it easy to apply their knowledge to their assignment.


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement
Lastly, the left side assignment or left side application is at the bottom of the left page, just below the bellringer/objective section. This is a wrap-up assignment which allows students to process what they learned. Also considered the formative assessment, the LSA ties all components of the day together and allows students to comprehend on a deeper level.

Bonus! For the free resource pictured in this daily Interactive Notebook spread, check out Where Do Goods Come From? Geography Mapping & Bulletin Board Activity!


The first step to understanding how to set up an Interactive Notebook is understanding how an IN works within an Interactive Classroom. Interactive Notebooks aren't designed to be the end-all-be-all for lesson planning, note-taking, student engagement, and formative assessment. Instead, the Interactive Notebook is a tool to help students organize, relate, structure, and delve deeper into their course of study. Within an Interactive Classroom, Interactive Notebooks act as both catalyst and landing strip for all things learned. #interactivenotebook #interactiveclassroom #middleschool #highschool #lessonplans #teaching #teacher #interactive #classengagement

Together, these four components of the daily Interactive Notebook layout are designed to help students form connections between parts of the lesson, form a deeper understanding of the knowledge they obtain, and keep everything organized and accessible in a practical manner that makes review easy and unintimidating. When used in conjunction with other engaging lessons and activities, and when used in an effective Interactive Classroom, the Interactive Notebook is a great stepping stone for improved learning and retention in all classrooms. 




Happy Teaching!




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Brittany Cloyd
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6 Perfect Resources for Setting Up Your Social Studies Classroom

6 Perfect Resources for Setting Up Your Social Studies Classroom


Some teachers prefer a basic, minimal classroom setup, while others embrace a colorful, lively arrangement. Either way, there are many resources online to help personalize your classroom and make it ideal for Social Studies Learning! Your classroom is already prepped for the perfect learning environment. With the four walls of your room, you’re allowed many square feet of space to decorate. Choose these resources wisely. Wall decorations should be engaging, accurate, filled with knowledge, easy to comprehend, and beneficial. With the right setup, your students will start off the school year in a learning state of mind, surrounded by a Social Studies classroom ideal for Social Studies Learning!

Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor

Engaging resources are out there - all over the World Wide Web. However, it may be difficult to sift through the low quality images, copyrighted products, and less-than-efficient products. Finding the perfect resources for setting up your Social Studies classroom doesn’t have to be difficult or demanding. Instead, use these 6 perfect resources for setting up your Social Studies classroom, and simply print, laminate (if you wish), and hang!

Bonus tip! Do you have a humid classroom or less-than-cooperative walls? Use high-temp hot glue!

Organizational Tools: Use posters to remind students of acronyms to help organize note-taking! Posters that explain SPRITE, PERSIA, and SPEC allow your students to quickly reference the acronym, improving and speeding up their note-taking process.
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor
Course Descriptions: Posters that detail history, geography, economics, psychology, and more, can help students differentiate between different divisions of Social Studies. This can be especially beneficial when comparing and contrasting different areas or regions.
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor
Classroom Study Tips: Provide a gentle reminder of how your students should behave by posting study tips and behavior expectations within easy view. Remind students to work cooperatively, respect others, and listen carefully. These classroom management tips will be used throughout the classroom, so commemorating them on your walls will ensure retention.
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor
Blooms Taxonomy: Use posters to explain the skills that should be regularly practiced in the Social Studies classroom. Break down hard-to-understand concepts like “synthesize” as in the poster below.
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor 
The best part? These first 5 images include posters that are in ONE poster set! Buying one inclusive set of posters ensures that they match in style, provide relevant and unique information, and come at a low price-point. Get this Social Studies Classroom Poster Set from my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

While functionality is priority when using your precious wall space, these U.S. History, Ancient World History, and Modern World History Quote Posters are perfect for historical context, decoration, and drawing a student’s eye to something that may seem decorative. Hidden learning opportunities are often the most important! With nearly 100 posters, these sets can line your classroom twice-over!
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor

Bonus! On a really tight budget? Pick up some discounted National Geographic magazines at your local Half Price Books store and pull the maps, images, and infographics for quick and easy wall posters! 

Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor
With these countless poster options, you’re likely to find the perfect combination of classroom decorations to encourage Social Studies Learning from day one! Personalizing your Social Studies classroom doesn’t have to be outrageous or stressful. Utilizing free or cheap resources on hand, combined with coordinating poster sets like these, you can easily set your students up for success with effective classroom decorations. 
Read this great post on 6 perfect resources for setting up and decorating your Social Studies classroom! It is filled with great ideas that will not only create a nice #classroom climate, but they will also help you form a great #learning community. #teaching #iteach678 #iteachmiddleschool #middleschool #socialstudies #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinsta #teachering #tpt #decor


Happy Teaching!


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Michele Luck
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5 Tips for Teaching Effective Discussion

5 Tips for Teaching Effective Discussion


Teaching today’s youth to be effective communicators can seem impossible at times. We have a generation of vocal, opinionated individuals who often lack the ability to eloquently discuss their thoughts and ideas. While teaching effective discussion skills may not be easy, it’s certainly an important part of developing a working classroom community, allowing your students to absorb knowledge in different manners, and preparing them for their future as successful adults. Teaching effective discussion should be an ongoing endeavor - begin in your back to school preparations, establish guidelines on the first day of school, and continue the learning experience throughout the school year. These skills are building blocks for a strong foundation of learning, and forgoing this study will disadvantage your high school and middle school students.

These 5 tips for teaching effective classroom discussion will help you get started off on the right foot at the beginning of the new school year. Start back to school with a great foundation for yourself and your students. Teaching basic skills and discussion fundamentals in the first few class periods can help to set the foundation for your entire year and will help students get a strong footing in your subject area study. #teaching #socialstudies #history #lessonplans #teachinghistory #teachingsocialstudies #lessonplan #backtoschool #middleschool #highschool

Using these 5 great tips for teaching effective discussion in the classroom, you’ll be establishing clear and manageable guidelines for your students to maintain throughout the remainder of the school year and onward. Effective discussion comes naturally to some; others may need much coaching and advising. Use these tips for teaching effective discussion to make it more approachable for the growing needs of your high school and middle school students. Teaching effective discussion in the classroom isn’t easy but it’s necessary to establish a good learning foundation from the starting gate. Provide your students with the advantages of effectively discussing their opinions, thoughts, and knowledge, while maintaining order in your classroom, with these 5 great tips.

Basic Learning Skills
While these may seem rudimentary, your students (especially incoming sixth graders and freshmen) may benefit from a refresher course in basic learning skills. Establishing this clear baseline will be advantageous to your students who are seeking knowledge throughout the year. Ensure your students understand how to be prepared, sit for success, be attentive, question, speak up, listen patiently, include everyone, and stay on topic. Not only will these skills promote effective discussion, but also a respectful and successful classroom community.



Reading Strategies
Using three divisions of reading strategies, including pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading strategies, you will help your students understand how to effectively break down text in order to effectively communicate it and discuss with their classmates. By previewing the text, determining its type, gathering background information, setting a purpose, and making predictions during the pre-reading phase, students will begin reading prepared and informed. Then, if they read at an appropriate rate, use background and contextual clues, and check for understanding, students will continue their digestion of the text, better preparing them to discuss effectively with others. Lastly, by summarizing effectively, evaluating the information, drawing conclusions, and forming examples, students are able to tie their knowledge together, efficiently producing talking points to be effectively discussed with others.


Text Reading Skills
By testing accuracy in informational text, making connections with informational texts, identifying key terms, making connections with biographies, evaluating the author in biographies, and testing accuracy in biographies, students are able to approach often-unapproachable, “boring” texts with the foundation to effectively digest the information and then share it effectively in a discussion forum.

Response Group Prompts & Guides
Using response group prompts and assigning literature circle roles, group performance in textual reference becomes seamless and enjoyable for your students. Encourage students to use “I” statements or analytic statements, like “I wonder,” “I think,” “I felt,” and “The author meant.” These statements will help further understanding so they’re able to fully communicate their newfound knowledge.

Discussion & Notes Organizers
Using different notes organizers and note-taking methods, your students are able to better understand the key concepts found within the text, lecture, or presentation of information. Teach them proven methods like KWL, Venn Diagrams, Topic Maps, Sequential Organizers, and Biography Organizers to ensure a full understanding of the concepts at hand. By correctly incorporating these organizers and methods, students are able to effectively discuss the information learned without frustration or confusion.


While teaching effective discussion concepts in the classroom may seem daunting, there are many resources available both online and in print to help ease your class into regular and easy discussion in the classroom setting. By furthering these skills throughout the year and adding onto the building blocks of knowledge established on the first day of school, students will be able to use these effective discussion skills well into their adult and professional lives. Use these 5 tips to teach effective discussion, and pick up these ready-to-print Effective Discussion Posters to ensure your students are consistently using these skills.


Happy Teaching!



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Michele Luck
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5 Great Tips for Teaching Social Studies

5 Great Tips for Teaching Social Studies



When we are teaching courses in the Social Studies department, it is often challenging to find the most effective way to introduce students to the course and the content. Teaching skills and Social Studies fundamentals in the first few class periods can help to set the foundation for your entire year and will help students get a strong footing in your subject area.

These 5 tips for teaching Social Studies will help you get started off on the right foot at the beginning of the new school year. Start back to school with a great foundation for yourself and your students.  Teaching skills and Social Studies fundamentals in the first few class periods can help to set the foundation for your entire year and will help students get a strong footing in your subject area study.  #teaching #socialstudies #history #lessonplans #teachinghistory #teachingsocialstudies #lessonplan #backtoschool #middleschool #highschool

From organizational guides, discipline study, and reinforcing key terms, there are many great tips for teaching Social Studies to your middle school and high school students. Follow these five great tips for teaching Social Studies and you'll start your school year on the right foot!

Teach an Organizational Guide

Organizational guides like SPRITE (Social, Political, Religious, Intellectual, Technological, Economic) and GRAPES (Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economics, Social Structures) help your students to dissect masses of information about geographic or period study.

With these acronyms, basic skill development in cause and effect for content organization, and use of an Interactive Notebook, students are able to keep content in order, ready and accessible when they need to review.

Introduce Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy is an organizational model that breaks down learning objectives by skill level. The Taxonomy includes the following classifications: Create, Evaluate, Analyze, Apply, Understand, and Remember. 

By introducing these skills, students can tackle previously-unapproachable content with confidence.

Define & Examine Social Studies Disciplines

Define and Examine the Social Studies Disciplines, including History, Government, Geography, Economics, Psychology, and Sociology. 

Encourage your students to embrace the connections between disciplines by examining, comparing, contrasting, and exploring history, government, geography, and more. Interconnected, these disciplines are omnipresent and beneficial in helping your students understand the content.



Reinforce Social Studies Key Terms

A basic understanding of key terms like cause, effect, social, and significance is critical for your students furthering their Social Studies education.

Explain these terms by applying them in your lessons. Introduce, define, and provide context for these terms in Social Studies in general, as well as with specific applications in the discipline/course. 

Help students to correlate information by explaining when and where they will see these key terms again.

Provide Social Studies Tips

Build a strong foundation for your students by stressing the importance of studying for the course. 

By providing them with clear-cut tips, goals, and instructions, your students are more likely to embrace their study instead of dreading it. Use classroom rules applied to the specific topic of study, and use rubric tools to help correlate tips.



Using these 5 great tips for teaching Social Studies, your students will become more engaged with the lessons, will retain more content, and will enjoy learning Social Studies! For even easier application, printable Social Studies poster sets are available to display these critical tips in your classroom.

These 5 tips for teaching Social Studies will help you get started off on the right foot at the beginning of the new school year. Start back to school with a great foundation for yourself and your students.  Teaching skills and Social Studies fundamentals in the first few class periods can help to set the foundation for your entire year and will help students get a strong footing in your subject area study.  #teaching #socialstudies #history #lessonplans #teachinghistory #teachingsocialstudies #lessonplan #backtoschool #middleschool #highschool

Happy Teaching!


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Michele Luck
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