SOCIAL STUDIES SKILL BUILDER. What is Social Studies Skill Builder?. SSSB is an approach where students work in pairs to work on fast-paced, skill oriented tasks to learn and practice key social studies skills.
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SSSB is an approach where students work in pairs to work on fast-paced, skill oriented tasks to learn
and practice key social studies skills.
Skills such as mapping, categorizing, analyzing primary sources, graphing and interpreting graphs, and reading a timeline are a vital part of any middle and high school social studies course. Without these skills, students will not fully grasp many concepts.
Skills such as mapping, categorizing, analyzing primary sources, graphing and interpreting graphs, and reading timelines are a vital part of any middle and high school social studies course. Without these skills, students will not fully grasp many concepts.
You can create an activity about America’s
rapid industrialization by providing teams an image and line graph that together illustrate aspects of industrialization in the early
1900’s (raw steel produced, railroad track, etc.). Teams would use the information to answer questions. This gives students the opportunity to interpret charts and information.
Use engaging tasks
to teach social studies skills.
Teach the skill through modeling and guided practice.
Introduce the skills by demonstrating and explaining the steps your students are to follow as they develop the skill on their own.
Prepare students to work in pairs.
Set clear expectations, allow students to practice the skill repeatedly, and give immediate feedback.
Debrief the lesson to help students make connections to key social studies concepts.
To ensure that all students have
access to the same content, ask students pairs to take turns reporting their findings.
Have the class complete the student handout on a transparency. Call on different pairs to come up to the overhead and fill in one section of the handout until all sections have been completed. To save time when working with matrices, you can make a transparency of the matrix, cut it into strips, and give each pair a strip to complete. Then, call pairs to the overhead one at a time to place their transparency strip on top of a blank matrix.
Have pairs become station or placard “experts.” When you see that time is running short, find out which pairs have completed (or nearly completed) their handout. Name them the “expert pair” for a particular station or placard, where they will share their information with classmates.
For those pairs who have not completed most of the handout, split up the partners: one student will remain at a station to serve as an expert; the other goes around to the remaining stations or placards to learn from the resident experts. Have students circulate among the stations until their handouts are complete and then share their findings with their partners.
Have pairs take a “gallery walk.” Another way to ensure that everyone gets all the content in the time remaining is to have students transfer their answers onto a piece of butcher paper placed next to each placard or station. This creates a written “gallery” of their responses. After at least one response has been recorded for every station or placard, have pairs go to the stations or placards for which they need more information. They can refer to the responses on the butcher paper to complete their handout. Students who have already completed their handout should circulate among the stations or placards as well, referring to the butcher paper to check, clarify, and, if necessary, modify their answers.
• Teach each skill through modeling and guided practice.
• Prepare students to work in pairs or small groups.
• Set clear expectations, allow students to practice each skill repeatedly, and give immediate feedback.
• Debrief the activity to help students make connections to key social studies concepts.