Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
LINK: State Government and the Role of the Citizen Home
LINK: About the Class
Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Watching the Video

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • How do you make abstract political concepts and processes more concrete for students?
  • How do visual representations help students learn and remember?
  • How do you prepare students for extracting information from visual representations?
  • What are some ways to break down concepts and processes to help students learn, retain, and apply them?
  • How do you help students make connections between political processes and their own lives?

Watch the Video
As you watch "State Government and the Role of the Citizen," take notes on Ms. Kerr's instructional strategies, particularly how she uses a variety of strategies to teach students about their state government. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.


Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:

  • What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
  • How does this class differ from yours? How might you teach your students about the branches of state government?
  • How did Ms. Kerr use the reading to gauge students' background knowledge?
  • How did Ms. Kerr help her students extend the meaning of concepts and processes? What made this learning accessible to a wide range of students? What made it meaningful and memorable?
  • What evidence did you see that students were able to apply what they were learning?

Looking Closer
Let's take a second look at Ms. Kerr's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

An open book, with a persons hand covering one of the pages.
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Using Multiple Strategies: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 6 minutes into the video. Watch for about 4 minutes.

Students have reviewed the structure and function of each branch of state government. They engage in several activities to extend background knowledge.

  • How does Ms. Kerr use the text to engage students?
  • Why does Ms. Kerr use the SQ3R strategy? What do you notice as students use parts of this strategy? How does the strategy help students build comprehension and retention skills?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of creating and presenting visuals to illustrate and define the branches of government?
Ms. Kerr talking
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Examining a Complicated Process: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 12 minutes into the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Ms. Kerr illustrates the path a bill follows to become a law. Students are then asked to describe and illustrate the same path by making a flip book. Later in the lesson, students will propose their own bills.

  • What is the purpose of Ms. Kerr's illustration, and why does she have students make a flip book?
  • How can these strategies be used with a wide range of learners?
  • How do these experiences prepare students for taking civic action?

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