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Teaching with Place: #mcss16

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Working at ESSDACK is a mix of good days and great days. Today is a great day. I get the chance to spend time with a ton of other social studies nerds at the Missouri Council for the Social Studies conference in Columbia.

So far I’ve had a great breakfast, met some folks who spent time at Mt. Vernon wearing the most awesome political campaign t-shirt ever, and picked up some sweet vendor goodies.

The first session focuses on helping students make sense of place. Ladawndra Robbs and Erin Townsend shared some great ideas and strategies. And they are on fire. So incredibly passionate!

They started their session by asking us to describe the best moment over the last month using our five senses. Smell, sound, taste, touch, sight. How does this help your students start to create a strong sense of setting and place.

To help kids understand events and people, we need to connect place with these events and people.

What is place? Erin suggests the following definitions:

  • geographical or political location
  • specific moment or date in time
  • specific building or monument

The act of connecting place with people, events, and ideas is a powerful way to create emotional webs. And I like the idea of using sensory words to build that emotional connection. They went on to share six specific strategies that we should be using to make these geographic connections.

  • Connect Place with Art
  • Connect Place with Music
  • “Go” from Your Seat
  • Visit Virtually
  • Shop Locally
  • Exploring Google Maps

A few of my favorite pieces? Have kids draw the artwork that they think exists on the sides of the art piece. Draw or describe the setting where a piece of music might have been played. Create a Historical Site Investigation (HSI).

Check out their full list below:

teach with place1

teach with place2

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