Wednesday, October 24, 2012

African Regions Freebie!

We have Social Studies at the end of the day. You know...the half-hour stretch immediately after kids are productive and right before the bell rings?

I like to think of it as the "no man's land" of the school day.

While we were in the middle of our science unit on energy, no man's land didn't seem so bad. Because they were active. They were engaged. They looooooove science.

Since all good things have to come to an end, we started our social studies unit on Africa. Even though they claim to love social studies with as much fervor as they looooooove science, their lack of engagement and disruptive behavior were saying otherwise.

I needed a solution to the no man's land problem. And quick. After we did some boring necessary mapping of a few features on the continent of Africa, today we started thinking about regions in Africa (the main point of the unit).

Here comes the brilliant part.

Are you ready for it?

We got up and moved around! (Ok...not an original idea.) Here's how we did it. We started at our seats with this graphic organizer.

They worked with a partner to brainstorm as many ideas as they could for the first part of the organizer - there was a lot of discussion, and they wrote down a bulleted list to record their ideas about what they knew.

After the graphic organizer, each team got 6 sticky notes. I asked them to write down 2 ideas from each region on sticky notes. Once their ideas were on the stickies, they put them on posters around the room - one poster for each region.


As you can see, many students put more than 2 sticky notes for each region! They were up and moving and it was the most engaged I'd seen them in awhile during no man's land social studies...it was awesome.

I am taking their sticky notes and turning their ideas into a Wordle. I will post pics when they are done.

Now, we take their ideas and move on to learning about each region individually! More moving around to come! (And probably another graphic organizer! Yippee!)

If you think my African Regions graphic organizer might be useful to you, please feel free to download it from my TpT store...just click the picture below to take you there!
*UPDATE* I just linked up with Teaching Blog Addict for another Freebie Friday linky....head over there to check out all the fabulous freebies!
Freebie Fridays


Just a reminder, if you are interested in contributing to my 100 follower giveaway, leave me a comment or shoot me an email!


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