Thursday, August 22, 2013

Story of the World Year 4 Week 1...

I always assign some kind of get to know you activity which is due the first day of tutorial. I always try to make the activity relate to what we are studying that year. For example, the first year they made timelines of their lives. The 2nd year they made a coat of arms since we were studying medieval times.  Last year they had a trunk pop-up and they had to illustrate and tell the class what 5 items they would've taken with them on the Mayflower if they were a Pilgrim.

I was really struggling with what to do this year. First of all, I am now teaching history to 4th grade-8th grade verses 2nd through 5th I've done in the past so I wanted something a little more age appropriate than a pop-up. Secondly, I've never really considered how war ridden the last century has been until I began thinking about teaching it!

During one of my insomnia brainstorming nights with the help of Pinterest I hit upon the perfect solution. Since we will be working our way all the way to modern times I wanted the kids to realize that they are part of HIS-story too. So, I decided to give them an assignment to research their family history. Plus, I really wanted them to make the connection that they have people in their families that lived through these events we are studying!!! I truly believe I fell in love with history by hearing my grandmother tell about how her dresses were all made of flower sacks or my grandfather tell about how on his way to Korea another soldier missed his birthday when they sailed over the International Date Line.

I found this great list of questions to use to interview your grandparents. I adapted it a little.

My kids are both in my class so one of they each interviewed a different great-grandmother. We all enjoyed spending time talking with both of them.

The kids all had to talk about their interviews for about three minutes in class. It was truly fascinating to see how many different places and interesting lives the kids' families have had! It sparked so many conversations and got us all excited about learning history! It was my favorite back to school activity ever!

The rest of the class was spent organizing our notebooks, passing out their timelines, and doing the map of Great Britain.

I was so blown away that I now have 45 students between my 4 classes, but the day went great and was really enjoyable. I'm excited about this year.

No comments: