What is an especially difficult concept or set of concepts that you want your students to learn? How would you prepare them to learn these concepts?
Think of a hands-on activity that you have used or are considering using. What background information or advance preparation is needed to ensure that students learn? What major concepts are learned from doing the activity?
How do you assess student understanding when using hands-on activities?
Taking It Back to Your Classroom
After exploring a difficult concept or set of concepts, ask students to find examples in magazines or newspapers. For example, if students are learning about various types of jobs, ask them to look for pictures of people doing those jobs. Visual representations of concepts can reinforce learning and can help students link what they have learned to the world beyond the classroom.
Use a book (one example is A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams) to explore how family members can work together to meet needs and wants.
Take students on a tour of the school cafeteria to look for economic principles in action: for example, the variety of jobs involved in preparing a large-scale meal, the delivery of "raw materials" (ingredients) to the cafeteria, how various items are priced, and so on.
Take a field trip to a nearby grocery store to give students a "behind the scenes" view of where food and household items come from.
Think of an important concept or set of concepts that you teach that might be better understood using a hands-on experience. Design the experience and determine in advance how you will assess understanding. Help students think about the criteria that will guide their work.
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