Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturday - Student Choice (in social studies)

Hello, Everyone!  Today, I am linking up with Joanne from Head over Heels for Teaching for her wonderful linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

I believe one of the biggest student motivators is choice.  I give my students choice whenever possible, whether it's the book they read, a writing topic, type of project, ...

This week in social studies, we discussed some important post-Revolutionary War events.  I used our textbook and the Smart Board to load my students with some background knowledge on these events.  Students recorded page numbers and a few important facts on this foldable.

After hearing some general information, I had students write the three topics they were most interested in learning more about.  I divided the War of 1812 up into four categories, including two battles that we are required to cover: Beginning of the War, Battle of Thames, Battle of Lake Erie, End of the War.

I got lucky because I was able to give everyone their first or second choice.  I checked out our iPad cart (new to my school this year) and let students get to work on researching their event. 

The finished product will be a timeline.  My awesome partner created this form for each group to use.  (Students decorated the border to match their topic.)

Students had the opportunity to share what they learned with the class.  I definitely saw the benefits from student-directed learning and teaching.  I am looking forward to assembling the timeline.

Now, I am off to see all of the other great, motivating ideas.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this awesome linky!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Love this idea. My students are always so engaged when I let them teach each other.

  2. "Choice" is so very important. I love how you allowed for this with your Social Studies project and that you are incorporating the ipads in. It truly is amazing what kids will come up with when you step back and let go of control...this took me awhile to accept. I wish more people were brave enough to let that happen. I think they'd be amazed with the results.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'