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Someone in a workshop shared this, and it has helped me. Ask the
teachers for a very brief overview of what they teach in social
studies. They can look at last years lesson plan and list stuff like
September: Native American Villages, October: Cities and towns, etc.
Try to find ways to link your activity to what they are teaching. Also
use relevant library books and read them out loud while the students
Display the state and national art standards. Ask them to show you
where holiday art is listed :).
I do activities around holidays that meet MY goals first, but do tie
in with the season, just because I have learned the students want
them. For example, I teach fifth graders how to make a paper skeleton
from one 12x18 paper. While we make it I teach the name of every bone.
(I am also teaching listening skills and they need to follow
directions very carefully or they mess up.) This activity is low on
the creativity end, but the students can take the skeletons back to
class and add to them... make hats etc. They hang them from the
ceiling in their classrooms.) When the teacher comes to get them I
make sure to ask them the name of one of the bones of the body.
Along with teaching Pilgrim hats, teach about colonial limners and
early sign and portrait painting. Since my budget is slim, I use lots
of construction paper from the general school supplies. The third
graders have already studied Japan, so I teach an origami lesson to
make a table. Then we use scrap paper to make the settings and food.
It gets very creative. Some students make chairs, etc.
Hope these ideas help.
Kayenta Intermediate School