Nine Writing to Learn in Social Studies Resources
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Nine Writing to Learn in Social Studies Teaching Resources
Here a few Writing to Learn resources I’ve reviewed lately as I am looking to providing more opportunities for my students to write in their 8th grade social studies class.
Here a few ways to incorporate writing that I've used in the past.
- R.A.F.T. Writing
- Magazine features
- Visual Essays
- Mini / Quick writes
- Writing a news article
- Interactive Notebook Reflections
“Perhaps the first, most important takeaway is that we should provide as many opportunities as possible for students to write—every week if not every day. The assignments can range from summary paragraphs to entire analytical essays. (Grading is certainly a consideration, but remember, not every assignment merits a copy edit or a score.)” Edutopia article
I hope these resources below are useful to you. I found a few takeaways from each.
- How to Promote Strong Writing Skills in Social Studies
- Here’s a guide for social studies teachers for writing across the curriculum.
- A few more ways to integrate writing in social studies.
- What are annotations and mini-writes
- Many schools are blending social studies and ELA. We are considering it for next year because it's a perfect fit in so many ways.
- Here’s a handbook for teaching middle school social studies from Columbus City Schools.
Also, check a few positively reviewed books about incorporating writing into social studies and across the curriculum that I'm interested in.
- Disciplinary Literacy in Action: How to Create and Sustain a School-Wide Culture of Deep Reading, Writing, and Thinking*
- The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades*
Just Do It.
In the end resources around writing to learn are plenty. Like most things I think it just comes down to making a decision to do it, and then following through. This last week I made small change to one of my World War I lessons which turned out better than I anticipated.
I had three short video clips cued up about how the U.S. ended up entering World War I. Normally we would watch and discuss. A few students would volunteer to share and many more would wait quietly hoping they would not be called upon 😟.
This time after each clip I had them write in their social studies notebook and record what they thought was the most significant information for two minutes. After each writing session I had them share what they wrote with an elbow partner and then we discussed. What a difference. It turned into a whole class discussion with many more voices. After it was all said and done they only were writing for a total of six minutes. Even these short bouts of writing improved their learning. I didn't even have to grade anything. Having the students "Write to Learn" is a strategy I will invest more time in developing.
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