FoodfindsAsia.com | When it comes to math, art, languages, and all science niches, it’s easier to inspire students to learn. That’s because the success in those subjects is based on practice. Even if the student doesn’t understand anything, they will learn if they practice more. But social sciences are different. Here, the success is based on studying. The student gets a textbook with dry information. Processing it is not fun.
Sociology, geography, law, history, political science, and economics can make students struggle. Some don’t have a problem to study and memorize information. For most, however, that’s boring. The teacher is responsible to make these subjects more interesting, so they have to find creative ways to teach social studies.
Tips: How to Teach Social Studies in a Non-Boring Way
- Watch Documentaries and Videos in the Classroom
Whether you’re teaching history, sociology, geography, or any other aspect of social sciences, you can always find a fun video to show. If you’re covering a moment from the U.S. history, find a documentary or a video lesson that covers the events from the syllabus.
When your students get a visual presentation of the textbook material, they see it as a story. That helps them understand the events and gain actual interest in them.
- Tell Stories!
Storytelling is the foundational approach to making social studies fun. You should say what the textbook says in class. Yes; you’ll cover the concepts to clarify them for your students. But don’t just paraphrase the material that they will read anyway. Tell them something to add context to it.
Each lecture from social sciences contains a story in it. If you’re teaching about the borders between African countries, tell your students about the people who had major influence over the way these borders were created. Tell them about the consequences these decisions had over the future. Find articles and information from the news, so your students will see the real implications of the historical moments that the textbook covers.
- Assign Team Research Projects
How could research projects make social sciences fun? Aren’t most students absolutely terrified by them? Don’t research papers trigger them to find writing essay services? Yes, they do. In the majority of cases, research projects can be overwhelming. But when carefully assigned, they will trigger the students’ curiosity to learn beyond the textbook material.
Teachers should assign fun research projects on unexpected topics. If you’re teaching about Napoleon, ask them to find out why he dressed like that and what uniform fashion meant at that point in history. Make this a team project. You can even share useful resources, so your students won’t have any difficulties to find facts for their paper. Wait; does it have to be a paper? No. It’s even better if they make it a presentation, so everyone in the classroom will learn from the research that each team conducted.
- Take Field Trips
Museums, public institutions, and monuments are awesome. If you take your students to field trips, they will get an opportunity to bond and they will definitely have fun. You’ll take advantage of the relaxed environment to throw in some educational information.
Through these practical lessons, your students will witness the things they learn about. They will be interested in the things they see, and the motivation will come from an inner drive to learn. Each student will understand that learning is great not for the sake of getting good grades, but for the sake of knowledge itself.
- Use Technology
As long as you have a single device connected to the Internet, you can make social science lessons way more fun. Together with your students, you’ll conduct an online research and you’ll feature the results on the smartboard. Hopefully, your school already invested in smartboards.
You can show visual presentations, as well as videos from Khan Academy and other educational sources. Of course; technology won’t replace your main role as a teacher. It only serves as an addition to your lessons.
You Can Make Your Students Love Social Sciences
You’re not teaching boring topics that only the most committed students will learn. You’re teaching something really cool; something that can get everyone’s attention as long as it’s presented in the right manner.
It’s time for social sciences teachers to move away from the good-old lecturing concept. They should bring the textbooks to life through cool stories, videos, field trips, and team projects.
With this approach, you’ll start loving your job more, too. When you make your students happy to be in the classroom, you’ll show up to work with a new level of enthusiasm, day after day.
Elizabeth Skinner dedicated her life to exploring new methods of learning and teaching. Online learning has changed the game. So far, Elizabeth has completed dozens of online courses and she doesn’t plan to stop… ever!