Tag Archives: Social Studies

8th grade SS students are creating faux profiles for the Founding Fathers on our internal @elgg social network

Alessandra Cozzi is the 8th grade Social Studies teacher at The School at Columbia University. She asked if we could have the students do some sort of social networking activity where they would make Facebook-esque faux profiles for the Founding Fathers. I told her that not only did we have an internal social network (powered by @Elgg), but our 8th graders had experience doing this last year as 7th graders when they created faux profiles for the annual Great Mathematician Project led by math teacher, Dr. Sabrina Goldberg. Easy peasy.

As per every academic year since 2007 or 2008, our server admin, Cristina Martinez, sets up a completely blank Elgg social network and archives the previous year’s work. This allows us to continue to use the space for annual projects, and it also reaffirms that a social network is a completely blank and empty space until users freely and willingly populate it with information. @DonBuckley says a social network is nothing until users answer the following questions: Who are you? Who do you know? What do you do?

Alessandra and I created a .csv file with usernames, profile names, common passwords, and faux email addresses for the 55 delegates, and I uploaded this .csv file to The Social Network (btw, we named our internal online networking space The Social Network way before the movie came out). Today, students edited their assigned Founding Father’s avatar and profile and then also linked with the other founding fathers.

For this activity, Alessandra used the lesson plan linked below, and students filled out the worksheet linked below:

Lesson Plan for “Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution”:
http://www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/education/constitution/

Student worksheet for creating a “Founders Social Network”: http://www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/education/constitution/images/handout-2.pdf

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Creating a 7th Grade Current Events GoogleSite in Social Studies with @CatherinGeorges

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Catherine Georges (@CatherinGeorges) is the 7th grade Social Studies teacher at The School at Columbia University. I have really enjoy collaborating with her over the years. Recently, she and I looked at a variety of digital spaces to host a Current Events Site for her students to curate weekly articles for their classmates. Initially, I was looking forward to using Posterous but upon closer examination of their Terms of Service, I learned that users have to be over 13 years of age. This doesn’t work for our 7th graders. We considered Blogger next, but it is not currently in the Google Apps for Ed marketplace yet. I also considered Edublogs and other sites before Catherine and I just agreed to set up a GoogleSite: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/7th-current-events-2012-13/home

Each learning group (7A, 7B, and 7C) has a page with the Announcements template, and Catherine created a calendar which lists three children per learning group per week who are responsible for adding an article to their class page. Students need to include the following when posting a Local, National, or International story:

1. Link to the article

2. Summary of the article (3-5 sentences)

3. Supporting image (with citation)

4. Google Map (using a Google Gadget)

5. One good leading question for classmates to answer in the Comments section below each post

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8th graders at @The_School are required to watch CNN Student News for Homework:

I was making “the rounds” this morning, and popped in on Monica Amaro‘s 8th Grade Social Studies class just as they started watching CNN Student News together. Kids were required to summarize in their journals 3 key points from the 10-minute segment. Monica screens it every morning before school so that she can discuss the topics with her students whether or not they watch it together in class (which they do about once a week). She says she got the idea to incorporate CNN Student News from Catherine Georges who teaches 7th Grade Social Studies here at The School at Columbia University.
CNN Student News on Twitter: @CNNStudentNews

CNN Student News website: http://www.cnn.com/studentnews/

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