Observation of a History and Social Science Lesson Gena Beamon University of Phoenix Curriculum Constructs and Assessment: History and Social Science MAT 531CA Bernardita Beni Murphy-Jobes April 7, 2009 Ms. Ceja’s third grade classroom was observed at 95th Street Elementary School, which is apart of the Los Angeles Unified School District located in Los Angeles, California. During the observation Ms. Ceja stated History and Social Studies requirement was required weekly for ninety minutes.
The lesson plans duration were thirty minutes for a one day a week. During the observation the teacher provided the following outline, which was apart of a mini lesson from the teacher’s resource book, ” History-Social Science for California: Our Communities. ” While Ms. Ceja was asking her students questions with the transparencies that contained graphic organizers and was building an existing knowledge for preparation of the reading materials. The students answered the questions, such as “Where do you live? Then the teacher pointed out where they lived on a large map of California. The students were asked a series of yes or not questions about nearby geographical features such as “Is there a mountain in your region? ” While the teacher was getting their response to her questions and after they answered yes Ms. Ceja would point to that feature on the map and repeat its name. The students received a preview of the lesson by reading “Connect to You” with the class. Thereafter, they were showed a large map of California and ointed out the four major land regions: valley, desert, mountain, and coast. The teacher told the students what they would be learning more about the regions and they appeared very interested. There were about four students appeared to have some difficulty and the teacher was observed spending time working with them, later when others were in there assigned groups. Once the students completed their vocabulary activities and reviewed the definitions of a synonym and they responded to Ms. Ceja’s question on which word is a synonym for area.
Overall, while the students were reading together and the teacher reminded them to look for the main idea in each paragraph they exceeded this area of understanding and objective. Once they found the main idea, it appeared easy for them to find details that go with it. The classroom had many materials on the bulletin board stating the lesson’s objective and the state standards. Together with the teacher, and her assigned group members in the classroom had seemed to help the various learners comprehend social studies subject matter.
Typically, this involved as observed by aiding the students in reading textbooks, periodicals, and trade books that were available for this lesson. The teacher was observed utilizing many approaches which incorporated well-grounded instructional strategies in reading and social studies. A few of these techniques observed was the K-W-L technique (Martorella, P, and Beal, 2002) is a basic way to initiate study of a unit by motivating students and activating their prior knowledge and accessing what they have learned after the lesson or unit was conducted.
In the onset of the teacher beginning the lesson, a sheet was give to each student and their assigned groups later, where together they resolved the answers the question “Where Do You Live? ” An illustration is shown below. Main idea and Details List three details that tell more about the main idea. Main idea [pic] Detail Detail Detail Detail Another strategy technique used was concept mapping, which aided the students comprehension. This technique as observed encouraged students to organize their categories of concepts and to identify relations among them.
The concept mapping technique has many variations when used for assessments or as a study tool. In one variation Ms. Ceja created a partial map that showed some of the concepts and linkages to demonstrate relationships and model the technique, thereafter students were asked to complete the map. The graph organizer, which is similar to the concept map, is a statement of the relationship among major themes in the reading route or passages. A question would be asked related to the materials that students have read.
The format used by the teacher was flexible as observing for a student, individually or in small groups, and to locate that supports both sets of answers. While observing and reflecting on research, it was understood by this writer that graphic organizers could be used in many forms, can be used by students before studying material as a way to discern how the teacher or author has structured information (Martorella, P, and Beal, 2002). Example of Graphic Organizer Branches of the government JudicialExecutiveLegislative Supreme Other Political HouseSenate court courtsparties
President CabinetRepublicans Democrats The teacher had did an excellent job of assessing the students in a variety of ways, especially understanding the value of using children’s literature in her instruction. This provided a clear model of how trade books could be integrated into the social studies curriculum in the primary grades. Ms. Ceja stressed the importance of planning ahead, good book selection, and student involvement in the planning and selection process. Therefore the following outline was modified some for this writer’s future lesson plans. 1. Build Background a) Activate Prior Knowledge ) Preview the Lesson c) Introduce Vocabulary 2. Teach a) Read Together b) Reading Information Tex c) Digital: Audio Student Text d) Summarize e) Skill: Physical maps 3. Ongoing Assessment: a) IF students are struggling to understand how the valley and desert regions are alike (Question 3), b) THEN ask them to picture these two regions in their minds, [both are flat, low areas. ] 4. Assess and Extend: a) Lesson Assessment (p. 8T6) b) Extend – Have students write sentences about their region and also about some places they may have visited outside their region.
Make sure they use the vocabulary words and terms from the lesson. c) Find Out More (p. 8T5) – Have students read the page and brainstorm, then draw appropriate landforms, with labels. The following suggestions would be used to enhance Ms. Ceja’s lesson plan and for universal access for English Learners, extra support and special needs or to challenge students the following outline would be followed. English Learners 1) Visualize the Vocabulary – Help students visualize the terms of the lesson through hands on activities. 2) Beginning (Level 1): Help students understand the vocabulary by providing images that represent the ords. 3) Intermediate (Levels 2 – 3): After providing visual images of vocabulary words, have students make an illustration in which three vocabulary words are represented. Have students label the three items. 4) Advanced (Levels 4 – 5): After providing visual images of vocabulary words, have students write a short paragraph that incorporates the three vocabulary words that relate to water (flood, dam, canal). Extra Support (This was demonstrated in the classroom. ) 1) Use vocabulary 2) Make connections Special Needs (This was demonstrated in the classroom. ) 1) Build Background 2) Discuss Ideas
Challenge (This was demonstrated in the classroom. ) 1) Make a Map 2) Apply Concepts Reflecting on this class observation it was refreshing to see how to use real historical understanding so it would require students to have opportunities to create historical narratives of their own. Thus, these narratives may have taken many forms: group stories dictated to the teacher, and individual stories, letters such as a child of the time may have written, journals, and reports in grades 2-4, for example. The historical understanding requires that students considerately listen to and read the historical narratives created by others and the teacher.
While the well-written historical narratives are interpretative, revealing conditions, changes, and consequences, and explaining why things happened as they did they offer and promote important skills for students to become historical thinkers. Even the events described and the explanations they offer, raises important skills in historical thinking. Overall the observation was very successful and the teacher’s classroom management was the highlight with excellence and the students accomplishing their goals in learning. Reference Martorella, P, and Beal, C.
Social Studies for Elementary Classrooms: Preparing Children to Be Global Citizens, pp 220-221. Third Edition. 2002, Upper Saddle River, NJ http://www. chicousd. org/pvlib/teacher2. htm Retrieved 4/5/09. California Connections: Grade Content Standards Links ———————– Lesson Plan: How have people used the land in your region? Grade Level: Primary to Intermediate (Grades 3 and 4) H-SS 3. 1. 1 Identify geographical features in their local region (e. g. , deserts, mountains, valleys, hills, coastal areas, oceans, lakes).
Content Paths: What are the land and water like in your area? Core Instruction: Text Path: Pacing 50 minutes Materials: a)Student Text, pp 3-8; b) Student text transparencies, pp 3-8; Find c)Find Out More Handout, p 8T5 Assessment: d) Digital – Lesson Pretest e) Lesson Assessment, p. 8T6 f) Digital Lesson Quiz English-Language Arts Support Reading transparency, R1 Reading Comprehension Skill a) Main Idea and Details: ELA 3RC2. 5 b) Vocabulary Development c) Synonyms/Antonyms: ELA 3RW1. 4 California has four major land regions. valley desert mountain coast