Betty - posted on 09/01/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )
Social Studies is basically a reading subject so if some children have problems with this subject it could be a reading problem. Make sure the students have access to a dictionary they can understand and they know how to use it. If the students use a dictionary they will make life easier for you and themselves.
Social Studies, because the subject covers a lot of different topics, exposes the student to many new words and sentences patterns. And this is the main problem when teaching reading in social studies. The students are up against many categories of new words.
When you bring in a new topic, go through and explain the new words. This simple act of guided reading will go a long way to help the students understand the new session. Or put the students in groups and they can work out the meaning of the words themselves. If you leave it up to the individual students they wont do it because it takes to long.
Sometimes I turn it into a class activity and ask the students what the words mean or ask for another word with the same meaning. I write the new word on the blackboard and then get the students to write a similar word or the meaning next to the word. Any words or meanings that are wrong I just rub off. This way the students don’t get a self-esteem bashing.
When teaching reading in Social Studies there are many ways to get the students involved in sharing what they already know, and Social Studies is about new things