Social Studies News

  ​    ​  ​       Welcome to Team UMASS Social Studies 
                                                   Weekly News

01/02-12/18   The New Year brought snow, cold and frigid temperatures and 2 snow days. An introduction took place when school resumed on the variety and differences of maps. Students compared and discussed the types of maps available to locate and get to places with, such as, train, bus, museum, amusement parks and many more. To help students become familiar with their own back yard, they had an opportunity to use the computer and research where each of the 31Berkshire County towns were located and read facts about a town that new nothing about.  They shared these facts with the class. From here they moved on to the Berkshire Country Visitors map, viewing, discussing and locating places of interest. To end the assignment students demonstrated their understanding of how to use and location places by answering questions. Many were excited to be able to take the map home!!

12/04-22/17 December was month with a variety of assignments. Students learned about the 24 hour time zones in the world,  did worksheet practces to determine time between the 6 time zones of the United States. A short video was presented to help them understand why and how Time Zones were established as standard around the world. In textbook reading, students learned about tools that Geographers used to create maps, what happens when the earth is projected on to a flat piece of paper, parts of a map and how to read a map. Students watched a clip on parts of a map using a poem to help them remember the parts.  Before holiday break students had an opportunity to use the computers to Google their neighborhood and locate landmarks, streets and areas of importance. With this information they then created their neighborhood map that included a Title, 6 streets, 6 landmarks,  map key with 6 symbols and descriptions of the landmarks, one being their house, and a compass rose with cardinal direction. This assignment generated a lot of conversation as many never really knew what was in or around their neighborhood!  One day was spent on an  Olweus discussion for two words, Empathy and Sympathy.  Students gave their interpretation or definition of each word and talked about their experiences as a way to understand each word. 

 the board. 

12/1/17  A week of demonstrating their knowledge of latitude and longitude by completing worksheets, over head maps to locate latitude and longitude coordinates. 

11/21/17   Two days working on latitude and longitude and drawing a Venn
Diagram to compare and contrast. Short week for Thanksgiving.

11/17/17 This week students completed work on Time Zones and moved into discussion, notes and worksheets on latitude and longitude. This work will assist 
students in a future class project assignment on finding the location of 10 baseball stadiums in the US and locating them on a map using the correct coordinates. 

11/9/17  A very short week with 2 days off. A video was watched describing what Veterans Day represented in Canada, England and the United States. Time Zones were introduced. 

11/3/17  A cutout foldable was created to give students a hands on approach to what a globe looks like and how it is separated into hemisphere. Students took a Hemisphere quiz answering questions about the 4 hemispheres,  continents, and absolute and relative location. All classes participated in placing flags around the school flag pole in honor of Veterans Day. These flags were donated to our Social Studies classes by James Clark, Director of Veterans Affairs in Pittsfield.  Students completed the week by writing a personal Thank You to a veteran and coloring a patriotic picture. 
These notes were given to Mr. Clark for distribution. 

10/27/17 Classes started the week with a mindfulness activity before taking a quiz on Chapter 1 Section 1 The 5 Themes of Geography. This activity helped to clear their mind, get settled and relax before attempting to complete quiz. The remaining days of the week were spent finishing their 5 Themes group project and having an introduction to Hemispheres. A worksheet was read and questions answered on the topic. Quiz grades were entered on Power School.

10/20/17  The week ended with students working to complete a group project on the 5 Themes of Geography. Students were given a poster paper, choices of pictures and other supplies to complete the lesson. The students were required to choose 5 pictures and write a statement showing how the picture fit the theme. Students have a quiz on Monday 10/23 and were instructed to take home their class folder to use specific papers to study.

10/13/17  Over the last two weeks classes have been learning about the 5 Themes of Geography. Classes were presented with a power point to guide them in completing fill in notes, showing what each theme meant and examples. Students created their own mnemonic device, writing a sentence or phrase with each word beginning with a letter of a theme.  MR HELP Movement, Region, Human Environment interaction, Location, Place. "Lucky People Have Many Resses" Students use this to help them remember each theme. A 5 Theme video was show reinforcing what the themes were and examples to show each one. Guided Reading papers for the 5 Themes section were handed out. Students were required to answer specific questions from the reading, using their textbook to answer. Classes had the opportunity to get colorful when completing a Compass Rose to learn the cardinal and intermediate directions. Once cut, colored and labeled the Compass Rose was stapled to their class folder to use as reference with future lessons.

09/29/17  Classes began the week creating a mnemonic device to help remember the seven continents "Erin Ate Nine Sticky Apricots At Angela's". An introduction and reading began for Chapter 1 Section 1 What is Geography and the Five Themes of Geography. Students had a discussion giving examples and explaining what each them meant. Half day on Friday!!
Social Studies is off to a great start and classes have been very busy over the last two weeks. Students have been introduced to the Geography textbook, taken notes on the major parts of the book and created "memory cards" to help them practice the 8 important terms for parts of a textbook. Class time has been given to practice, allowing students to work in a group or partner to play the game and learn the term and definition. Students had the opportunity to take these cards and notes home since the quiz was assigned on 09/14. 
To review the discussions and notes taken about the textbook, students worked with a partner to answer18 questions. This investigation activity using the textbook reinforced the purpose of learning of how to maneuver through the book and what references are available in the book.  7 continents and 4 oceans were reviewed and flash cards were created as a study tool for a quiz on 9/29.