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: Leaders, Community, and Citizens  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:

  • What are some visual and hands-on activities you use to teach abstract concepts to young students?
  • How do you prepare young students to work successfully in groups? How do you guide them during group work?
  • How do you prepare young students for successful role-playing?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Leaders, Community, and Citizens," take notes on Ms. Vaughn's instructional strategies, particularly how she helps students stay focused on understanding elements of citizenship. 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 did Ms. Vaughn use students' prior knowledge to build new concepts in this lesson?
  • Based on what you saw in the video, how do young learners benefit from working with a partner or in small groups?
  • What made it possible for these young students to succeed in the role-playing activity?
  • How does Ms. Vaughn help students learn how to work together?
  • Which strategies were most effective in reaching the goals of the lesson?
  • How is this class different from yours? How would you introduce your own students to the different levels and functions of government?

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

Hands pointing at the graphic organizer.
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Seizing the Teachable Moment: 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 4 minutes into the video. Watch for about 2 minutes.

Ms. Vaughn and her students are discussing local, state, and national offices and officials. As the discussion turns to the office of the president, a student asks if President George W. Bush is still alive.

  • How does Ms. Vaughn address this student's question?
  • How do you decide when to stray from the topic at hand in order to clarify content or address students' misconceptions?
  • How does Ms. Vaughn get the discussion back on track after the diversion?
Ms. Vaughn in front of the graphic organizer.
< < <

Discussing Diversity: 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 2 minutes.

Ms. Vaughn begins to explore the question of who can become a mayor. She asks whether a woman can hold the office of mayor and whether it is a good idea for the mayor to be able to speak more than one language. The discussion moves to the concept of "fairness" and a famous example of someone who believed in fairness, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Why do you think Ms. Vaughn is pursuing this line of questioning with students? How do the questions relate to her goals for the unit?
  • Why does Ms. Vaughn raise questions about gender, language, and race while students are discussing the qualities needed to hold the office of mayor?
  • What problem does one student have in trying to explain Dr. King's contribution, and how does Ms. Vaughn help?

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