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: Celebrations of Light 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 of the natural links that occur to you between social studies and other subject areas?
  • What are some of the challenges and benefits of teaching about holidays and celebrations?
  • What do you need to consider when asking young students to work in groups?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Celebrations of Light," take notes on Ms. Mesmer's instructional strategies, in particular how she focuses on what the different holidays have in common. 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?
  • What are the major themes of Ms. Mesmer's lesson?
  • How does Ms. Mesmer work with young students to help them understand the connection between social studies and other subject areas?
  • How do the learning centers in the classroom support or enhance the lesson?
  • How is this class different from yours? What traditions are relevant to your students or community? What are some traditions that might be unfamiliar to your students?

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

Ms. Mesmer talking to her students.
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Practicing Reading Skills in Social Studies: 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 5 minutes.

Ms. Mesmer prepares her students for the learning centers by reading them a story about the winter solstice, adapted from a Cherokee legend. As you view this segment of the video, notice how Ms. Mesmer emphasizes reading skills as the students listen.

  • What are the benefits of having students practice reading during a social studies lesson?
  • What are some strategies you might employ to bring reading to your social studies lessons?
Close up of Ms. Mesmer talking.
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Incorporating Multiple Intelligences: 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 4 minutes.

After the winter solstice story, students go to the learning centers, which focus on the different learning styles.

  • Can you identify the different intelligences represented by each of the centers?
  • How does each center deepen students' understanding of the holidays?

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