Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturday - Fun Social Studies Intro

This week we started our history unit in social studies.  We are starting from the beginning with Paleo Indians.  Today, I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her fun linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturday to share the way I introduced this unit.  This activity could be easily adapted for any topic.

In order to get the conversation started and get a good idea of what background knowledge students had, I created a SMART Board activity.  First, I typed in six facts about Paleo Indians.

Next, I covered each one with a "Click & Reveal" square.

I had my helper come up and click the squares one at a time.  Each time, my students held their thumbs up, down, or straight across, depending on whether the activity is something they would have enjoyed or not.

Each fact led to all sorts of conversations, including the pros and cons of traveling with a large group and the responsibilities you would have/not have when you are always on the move.

I enjoyed this activity because it gave students a nice overview of what to expect from this unit, and it sparked their interest in the topic so they want to learn more.  Now, we are all looking forward to the upcoming activities in this unit.

This activity can be easily adapted to any subject/topic.  If you are interested, I put it on a Google doc, and you can access it here

I am off to check out all the other motivational ideas.  Thank you, Joanne for hosting this linky.  I get such great ideas from here every week.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


  1. Great idea for beginning a new unit. Thanks so much for the great idea!!

  2. That is a great way to start a new unit and might even count as "inquiry" because I am certain they were discussing answers to those problems! :)

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle