Primary Chalkboard: December 2016

Social Studies Topics that Matter for Elementary Students

Despite the negative reports posted on the hour, despite the comments sections on most websites, despite the ever-growing notion that we are more divided now than we've ever been before...

We still have hope. 

We, LaNesha Tabb and Naomi O'Brien, have joined together to write what we like to call our "love letter" to students all over America- and even beyond. We seek to heal, enlighten, and promote curiosity about our world, it's past, and the present people in it.  This resource is for you. 

Our hope is that this resource widens perspectives, encourages conversation, and promotes the idea that different isn't "bad" or "weird." We believe this can be done at even the youngest ages. We realized that we were both guilty of only teaching Black History in our classrooms and that that wouldn't cut it when we live in a nation full of diverse people. In this resource, you'll find just about every heritage month that is recognized nationally. Our goal was to create a unit that has something for everyone inside. Why?

Because knowing stuff about our world matters. 

We have created a resource that covers Social Studies subjects for primary grades. In these monthly thematic units, we cover fresh and interesting topics in the areas of civics, history, sociology, geography, and economics. There's a little bit of everything in here- differentiated reading passages, activities, crafts, mini-books, e-books, assessments...the works! It can be adapted anywhere from grades K-3. LaNesha is currently teaching the modified version in kindergarten and Naomi teaches her gifted and talented students- all from the same resource!  

Here is a snapshot of the January Resource! 

Lastly, we wanted to make sure that you could see the big picture for where we are headed, so we'd love to present the overview for the year! Are you ready? Annnnnd scroll! 

See? We weren't kiddin'! Our goal was to recognize as many cultural groups and interesting topics as we could! We are so excited to expose our youngest students to our rich history, sociology, civics, geography, and economics! Little kids can do big things and think big thoughts and we hope this resource encourages just that! 

Common Core Activities for December

December is always so much fun at school, but unfortunately, also crazy busy! When I taught first grade, there were always SO many themes I wanted to integrate into the curriculum. There's gingerbread, Polar Express, reindeer, Christmas around the world... The list goes on. There are a lot of cute and fun things I wanted to do, but I also wanted to make them meaningful. This week on my blog, I shared some of my favorite activities from years past. These are all FREE activities that I posted years ago that have been updated. They all hit several Common Core Standards, too!

This fun writing activity is a follow-up to comparing gingerbread stories. All of that information and details for this activity can be found HERE.

This activity starts with a cute fiction story with it's own comprehension activities. It leads us to our big question: Are reindeer really the best animal to help Santa? This leads us into opinion writing, which can only be done after some research. Lots of standards hit with this one and the kids are really into it! There is also an option for shared writing, if your kiddos aren't ready to do it on their own. Perfect opportunity for modeling writing skills! Click HERE to get read all about it.

This activity can be found all over, but I blogged about how I turned it into a fun shared writing assignment. I also created a rubric for those of you who do want it to be an independent writing activity. Click HERE to read more.

Finally, a great addition to your Polar Express unit. Click HERE to read more.

I hope one of these activities fits into those lesson plans for the short, but busy, month of December.