Prior to participating in the LInC program, this would not have been a project at all. My class would have read certain pages of the social studies text. We would discuss the vocabulary and the passages. They would be assigned the questions at the end of the passage. Certain worksheets would also be assigned. Students would be assigned a written report on a particular topic in the book, but the research part would not be extensive. A report would be assigned, but it would not be extensive. It would not be a group effort. It would not include any of the exploratory technological skills that will be used in the project that I have now designed.
While I do enjoy teaching social studies and using maps and globes to discuss locations and distances, my teaching has been mostly of the lecture type in social studies. Of course, since my students are bilingual, I have spent a good deal of time translating the text as we go along. This can sometimes be enjoyable, but often going back and forth from one language to another in this way has been quite frustrating.
The typical assessment was a chapter test and mid-term and final exams. With the need to translate all of the text verbally, we would typically not get too far in the book.
I have always felt that working with the thick textbooks in social studies
with bilingual students was not possible to do well. I am hoping
that this project will make a real difference to the students. With
this they will be learning throughout the curriculum through the work they
are doing in social studies.
Public School # 15, Paterson, New Jersey 07501
Author(s): Marugerite M. Andre firstname.lastname@example.org