Saturday, May 21, 2016

10 Ideas to Teach Deeper Meaning in the Content Areas




Although most of the examples that are used below are from Social Studies sources, they can be applied to other CONTENT AREAS as well!


1.  Charts and Webs:  Charts and webs that provide a deeper-level thinking process are effective tools to use when teaching content areas.  Some examples:  Notice-Think-Wonder, K-W-L, Reasoning Web, Evidence Web.



2.  Creative Projects:  When students create projects related to the content area, they take the time to know and understand the content to use in their assignment, which results in a deeper understanding.




3.  Collaboration:  When students reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge, it leads to a deeper learning and understanding of the content.




4.  Poetry:  Students develop a deeper-level meaning to a subject when they create a poem.  Why?  They need to understand the content in order to write the poem.  In most cases, they will delve deeper into a single section of the content area.  As you can see below, students can apply their knowledge to many types of poems.




5.  Greek and Latin Root Words:  Learning Greek and Latin roots will help student especially in content areas like Biology to understand more difficult words.  If they have the prior knowledge of basic Greek and Latin roots, they will be able to break down the more difficult words in their content.


6.  Creative Writing:  When assignments are about a specific topic and more personal (like point-of-view), it gives students motivation to be creative in their writing AND dig deeper into the content.




7.  Reading Skills:  Many reading skills work well for content areas and encourage students to think deeper into the subject.  For example-  Cause and Effect, Sequencing, Compare and Contrast




8.  Great Fiction AND Nonfiction reading selections:  Always provide additional reading materials for students to pick up during independent reading and use when working on assignments.  Students are always looking for that one fact that you DIDN'T share.  Idea:  Let them be detectives!  Provide a variety of books and have students search for additional facts!  Give them points and rewards for each fact!



9.  Inquiry-Based Learning:  When students are given a central question about a content area and the opportunity to be engaged in discussions, experiments, and hands-on activities, they gain a deeper level of understanding of the material rather than just memorizing facts or listening to a lecture.




10.  Real-World Experiences:  Bringing a real-world experience into your classroom will motivate students to learn about the subject.  Ideas:  Primary sources, guest speaker, use current events in a lesson, simulate a real-world experience, go outside with your class if the lesson relates to nature.



If you are looking for Social Studies Units filled with Informational Text, projects, and deeper-level meaning ideas, click below!




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