Thursday, June 28, 2018

Virginia SOLs: Teaching the Ancient Civilizations - Ancient Egypt

Hello Friends!  Are you managing to stay cool?  I've opted for some indoor activities since the temperature has hit into the 90s.  It's feeling like summer in VA!  
I'm finally getting some files organized and uploaded.
I came across some pictures and materials that we used this past year during our study of Ancient Egypt.  I'd love to hear from my VA teacher friends....what do you think about our new history SOL's?   Are you loving/hating the fact that we teach five ancient civilizations through the course of one year? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Last year we used a learning log to record all of our social studies and science learning.  I have tried many other approaches throughout the years but this worked the best. I will be creating learning logs again next year. 

I made tabs for each of our topics of study.  Here is our section on Ancient Egypt.

In order to create more time for my reading block, I needed to cut my content area time to just about 20 minutes. That time goes super fast! I managed to integrate a lot of social studies and science learning into my language arts block. My students read and write about content area studies throughout their reading rounds.  It works out great.  

When we do have our content time, my lessons need to be fairly quick, direct and tightly aligned with the learning standard. 

I like using visual slideshows to introduce and then review the information they need to know. 
The slide show includes the driving question. 

We view photographs to help us create an image of the information in our heads. 

We also viewed some photographs of artifacts and paintings. 
From these, we made inferences and had conversations about what conclusions we could draw based on what we noticed. 

As we worked through the slides, students also took notes about what we learned.  These got glued into their learning logs.  They reread their notes and created "meaningful" illustrations during reading time.  This allowed them to revisit that same information again and this time they had to create the visual image themselves. This repeated practice really helped the information to stick!

During our study of Egypt, I had my students also work on some partner research during the language arts block.   They created research folders to keep them focused and organized. 

Students recorded what they already knew about Ancient Egypt on the back of the folder.
Then they recorded some questions they wanted to find out.  This helped to give students a purpose for their reading.  

I checked out a wide variety of nonfiction books.  I made sure that there were some on a lower reading level so that everyone could locate information.  

Students recorded information on post it notes and organized them under the correct topic.
Afterwards students would participate in shared writing time.  Together, we created paragraphs using the details that they found during their research time.  This was my way of modeling how to write a research report.  Later in the year, students would be assigned another animal research report to do independently.  Writing a report about Egypt as a class was a way to scaffold the instruction. 

We found some good online resources like encyclopedias and websites to use. 
All students were very focused and productive during this time.
They love to research!

I've added this Egypt file to my TPT store. Click the link below to check it out!

Here are the others if interested: 


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