In my 15 years of teaching (which, obviously, means that I was 10 years old when I graduated from college and was first employed…), I have taught quite a few different social studies courses and learned quite a few things. The 20-21 school year was anything but ordinary, yet I was able to grasp a unique understanding about keeping my students engaged until the bitter end. Here are some resources that haven proved to be pretty awesome during the last few weeks of school:
1.) Ultimate US Maps Pack: There is something quite soothing about coloring. Period. This resource includes 7 maps, complete with coloring and labeling directions and map comprehension activities. Great for all age groups and abilities.
2.) “Voices From History” Primary Source Reading, Writing, and Scavenger Hunt Activities: This is the ultimate way to trick your students into becoming historical thinkers! There 40+ primary source activities for your students to choose from. Do they like sports? There is an awesome account of Jackie Robinson’s first encounter with the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers! Are they artistic? Well, a poem from Langston Hughes during the Harlem Renaissance is right up their alley! Do you have Civil War buffs? There are SIX different primary source activities related to that period alone! (If you haven’t caught on, this is probably my FAVORITE resource. Notice the exclamation points.).
1.) Normally, I am crushing my students with end-of-year-review for the NYS Regents exam, but they got a break this year. Instead, I opted for a Three-Part, “Hero v. Villain” Final Project. I was especially excited that Part III (a creative piece) lent itself to some very entertaining video projects. We had a viewing party and laughed at the students’ unabashed willingness to embarrass themselves. It was pretty great. Downloads are available below. **Note: Each file below is COMPLETELY editable- make it fit your classroom!
AP UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS -or- A CIVICS/GOVERNMENT COURSE:
1.) Civic Participation Project- MEDIA LITERACY: Let me lay this out for you. The AP exam took place during the first week of May. The last day of school (in NY) is June 25th. For the AP Government course, students are expected to complete a final project… so…. (drum roll please) I used the last several weeks to have them complete this project!! Okay- they got the rest of the week off post-exam to watch a movie, and then back to work. This project is actually very easy to implement in any course that teaches government, politics, and/or civics. It is provided as an editable Word document, a PDF (to keep everything in place), and as a digital Google resource. Keep it on-hand for next year, too. I use the “Political Analyst” component throughout the year with breaking news and current events. I kid you not- my students have actually REALLY enjoyed this lesson throughout the year!
Though you will find success using these at the end of the school year, all of these resources can be used at anytime throughout the year. In fact, I have personally utilized most of them at different points during the school year. Speaking of “school year”, I am already starting to think about the next one. Enjoy some much-needed time off, and cheers to another year in the books!