Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Social Studies on the SmartBoard

Using the SmartBoard in interesting/new ways has been a bit of a challenge for me this year. I am good at using the projector (daily) to display student responses/writing, worksheets for modeling skills, and read aloud books, but am working to integrate the SmartBoard software/programs into daily math, science, and social studies. I have been recently working on a Zeeland history unit in social studies and tried the following lesson on 'determining the past or long ago'...
2nd Grade Social Studies - History: We read the book, The Ox Cart Man, together using the projector the first day. The second day, we took a closer look at some of the pictures and words. We thought, like historians, about the information that we could gather from the pictures and words about the past. We talked about comparing the pictures and words with how things are today. Using ImageMate, students were able to come up to the SmartBoard and circle things in the pictures or words on the page that were clues into the past. On the third day, students completed a morning message (SmartBoard Notebook file) with a different illustration (using ImageMate) from the book. They were asked to circle and write about the evidence they found that proved this book took place in the past, just like a historian would do.
My students were more engaged in this book this year because they could come up to the front and "show" other kids their thinking. They could "teach" the others about the evidence they found about the past and what it told them.
I think this is another small step in the direction I am trying to go with my 'daily technology integration'. This did not take along time to plan because I was already doing this lesson in the past, but it did take some rethinking on my part. It was well worth the time and it was more memorable for my students understandings about 'the past'.
(Thanks to K H-A for helping me with this post.)