It’s hard to keep kids interested in subjects, and social studies are no different.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few methods of how you can make social studies more interesting for your students.
These innovative methods will bring social studies into a new light, and you’ll find that they’ll appreciate it.
So, let’s look at some innovative techniques to improve your students’ interest in the subject.
Incorporating Your Students
You don’t want to sit there and talk at your students about social studies, or else they’ll inevitably get bored out of their minds.
Including your students more focally in your lessons may make them more interested in the subject.
You can do this by using a more hands-on approach to your teaching method and handing out props and other historical items for them to take the time to look at and talk about.
You can use these props to talk about your state’s history. You could even suggest your kids bring in some history of their own.
Encourage your students to talk about their backgrounds and how their families lived at the time.
If they don’t know, include some more creative elements to how they think it was like to live at the time.
By allowing your students to define their interests in the subject, you may find that they will enjoy your lessons so much more than before.
This is one element of the science of learning. If you’re on social media or in forums you’ve probably heard this phrase a lot lately. You can read more about it here.
Even opening up further discussions in class may lead to debates you would never have witnessed as your students would never have had the opportunity.
Combine With Other Subjects
You can increase interest by combining elements from your social studies plans with other classes.
Using visuals can allow students to analyze components in the image, and you can include aspects from art too.
Discuss any costumes used in a lesson and suggest why they used them.
Including music and art could help encourage students to learn in a way they may not usually if they are only getting lectures.
Using music can show them how music has changed, and you can always learn more from artists from different periods.
If you’re feeling up to it, you could bring in various books, such as nonfiction and fiction, and encourage your students to read aloud.
If they don’t want to read aloud, you could suggest they analyze the books in their own time.
Sometimes, fiction is just a stepping stone in understanding social studies. After all, fiction puts students in the head of the narrator.
Teaching social studies doesn’t have to mean you need to be stuck in the past when you’re teaching.
Go beyond the textbook and explore the net to find examples of your topics.
If you can’t organize a field trip, look for virtual museum exhibits and use interactive websites to explore with your students.
With the help of augmented reality, you may even be able to use it to look at primary sources you wouldn’t have been able to look at previously.
There’s no reason for you not to contact historians or use green screen effects to create films featuring the students.
By all accounts, embracing technology can bring in so much more to your students that you wouldn’t have thought of before.
Encouraging the use of technology can mean using podcasts as a source of information, and you can even suggest what curious students can look at when they go home.
Technology is everywhere, so your students may find it more interesting if they can have the opportunity to look at more of their projects at home.
You shouldn’t only focus on the textbook when you teach social studies, but you should show your passion for the subjects.
Students will become more engaged if they see that you’re not just following a set list but enjoying your field.
Your students will hate it if they know that you’re not enjoying social studies, as you’re the one teaching it.
If you can’t summon any passion for the subject, how are they supposed to react?
If you just use your textbook and go from there, you’re showing that you don’t have that much passion for the subject, and they won’t see the big deal about it.
I already suggested how you could use hands-on methods to teach your students and include other subjects.
But there’s another method: do practical lessons. Let your students move around and use their bodies in the class.
You could do this by making timelines or doing a simulation.
Working practically will offer a change they wouldn’t usually have if they only did essays and quizzes.
In fact, why don’t you make practical projects such as an escape room where they have to think about elements from your subject?
Using this, they can include their knowledge and make learning more fun and enjoyable for themselves.
Finally, it’s everyone’s favorite suggestion: field trips. Field trips don’t have to be expensive, and you may not even have to go anywhere.
You could travel to a museum or go to a location where you’ve been studying.
If you can’t get somewhere in person, there are always opportunities to take part in virtual tours online and have guest speakers.
Field trips encourage your students to go outside, offering a change in scenery that provides a great deal of stimulation they otherwise wouldn’t get in the classroom.
Social studies lessons don’t have to be boring; they will only feel like that if you don’t care about the subject.
You can implement these innovative ideas, and maybe your students will find themselves becoming more passionate about social studies.
The world is constantly changing, and you should know that already.
Instead of teaching as you would in the past, there are so many new techniques that you can use to make your lessons more fun and get your students more engaged.
So, why not try some of these methods and see how your students respond in future classes?