Two sessions this morning Some good, some average, and one not so good.

  • The first session was “Authenticating Historical Novels” by Dr. Eric Groce from Appalachian State University. He talked about several ways to use historical novel to teach social studies, specifically with elementary and MS kids. Most of his stuff would work with HS too. He provided some examples of different trade books. Basically just reinforced what we all know about how fiction can be used to increase learning.
  • I was looking forward to the second session titled “Inquiry: An Engaging & Thoughtful Strategy for Social Studies” by Michael Yell from Hudson, WI. He talked about a strategy called “Discrepant Event Inquiry” and provided some good examples of using it with kids. I’ve read some of the stuff his written about the strategy before but it was fun hearing him explain it in person. Basically, you give kids a puzzling story or paradoxical statement. They then have five minutes to solve the problem by asking you questions that can only be answered with a yes or a no. An example would be the statement: “We never would have found this person if the person hadn’t been so hard to find.” The answer is King Tut. Use DEI to hook kids into a unit. Engaging, encourages critical thinking, sucks kids in, it does lots of cool stuff!A teacher says she modifies the strategy by projecting a picture/painting on the wall, having a student stand where she can’t see the picture, she then asks the rest of the class the same kind of questions.