Monday, October 28, 2013

Writing in Social Studies

My classes are currently studying the Gilded Age and the Expansion of cities during the early 1900s in US History.  Recently we discussed European Immigration and Eliis Island, looking back on family histories to see if we could connect the dots!  The students were eager to discuss and desribe what it must have been like for the individuals entering America for the first time.  Writing is something I really strive to do more in my classes, and this was an opportunity for my students to be creative, practice their writing skills, and imagine what it must have been like to have been an immigrant and experiencing the process of Ellis Island, where nearly 40% of Americans can still trace their roots!
The assignment was very open, I provided them with 6 writing prompts, placing them in different situations surrounding the topic...they had to choose four and just write!  I was amazed at the results!  Many of them really painted a picture with their stories, and students who I never would've expected to get into this assignment, surprised me with their skills and creativeness.  Although they may not tell me, I feel as if many students really enjoyed the activity, I hope to do more like this in the future.  Also, in concluding this activity, I explained to the students that writing is a life skill, not just one that they will use in school.  For this reason we will continue to "practice" this skill in my social studies classes!  Below are a few excerpts of student writing, as well as the assignment given to them.  Enjoy!

Writing Prompts:

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