Sunday, February 17, 2013

Formative Flap Books for Social Studies & FREEBIES!

I know I have professed my love of literacy several times now.  You may or may not know that I also love history.  I love it so much that it was my minor in college even though it really didn't have any direct correlation to what I would be teaching in elementary school.  :)  I'm not exactly teaching my kiddos about American History or World History, but I am completely enamored by it nonetheless.  Truly, I think history has always appealed to me because of the great narratives... because it's basically the story of our human existence.  It shows us the common threads that weave throughout the centuries and bind us together as one people.  LOVE! 

Of course, in third grade, we are still laying the foundation for all of the meaty history lessons that will come later on, but that doesn't mean that our lessons can't be enjoyable and meaningful too!  The only problem is, most Social Studies textbooks are a little... shall we say... humdrum... and bare-boned.  They just, um, leave a little to be desired.  So, in an effort to beef up my lessons and add a little formative flair, I have created Formative Flaps to enhance my instruction.  I've had formative assessments on the brain lately, and Social Studies is one area that I knew I had to step up the game in that respect.  If you're interested in taking a closer look at this file, you can have a little looksie HERE.  {As a sidenote, you wouldn't have to use the flap books for assessment.  You could easily use them to enhance your vocabulary and concept development lessons instead.}

In other news, look at the cute hearts I found at Dollar Tree!  :)  They were perfect for a little preposition hunt...Valentine's Day style!  {The basket was also from Dollar Tree!  I picked up a TON of them in green, teal, and hot pink!  They made my heart go pitter-pat!} 

As you can see, I wrote words inside of each heart.  Vocabulary and spelling words... to be exact.  I simply folded little mini sticky notes inside of each heart, and then I placed them around the classroom!

The kiddos walked around the room to find hearts.  Then they recorded sentences that told where they found each word.  For example, they might have said, "I found the word commercial BESIDE the nonfiction basket."   :)  It was a nice quick lesson to do after our Valentine's Day Book Reports!   If you want to snag a copy of the recording sheet for next year, click the image below! 

We were also able to squeeze in our Valentine's Day Centers during our Morning Work slot.  Unfortunately, I ran out of room on my camera after taking a bazillion pictures of their projects.  So, I don't have any action shots.  :)  Instead, I just have my centers plans at a glance.  I will keep them out this week too, especially since it's a short week for us!

In closing, I want to share another resource with my RS peeps.  :)  Recently, I decided to print journals for each story to tackle the essential questions rather than having them glue the questions into their notebooks.  {I love my kiddos, but they can be a little bit on the slow side when it comes to cutting and pasting, so I took those materials out of the equation to maximize class time.)  So, to make a long story short, I uploaded the journal covers and writing template to my Google Docs, and you are more than welcome to snag a copy if you think you can use them!  We will be hitting "America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle" this week, but they are in the correct order in the file.  :)  Just click on the image below to download the file! Happy Sunday!


  1. Thanks for the fantastic post! I love the Flaps!
    Georgia Grown Kinders

  2. Your literacy centers look super cute!

    Leap In To Learn

  3. The flap books are an awesome idea! Well done! Thank you for always posting great ideas for S. S.

  4. I love the flap books. So simple, yet effective!

  5. Love the baskets! I'm kind of obsessed with baskets and containers. I just picked some up from the Dollar Tree as well! I'll have to look for these next time! :)

    Permanently Primary

  6. Amanda, I hear you on the "slowness" of cutting and pasting! I'm almost to the point of eliminating their spiral Reading Journal and having them keep their work in their binder instead. I'm not crazy about that idea...I loved the Reading Journals when I taught 4th grade, but I just have not been as thrilled with them this year. I will be downloading your journals and giving them a try! Your Formative Flaps are great! Planning on checking them out more closely. Loved teaching Ohio History in 4th...have had a hard time getting excited about 3rd grade SS...but your great ideas keep me going! Thanks!

  7. Love the Formative Flaps! And I love the heart preposition idea. I might have to use plastic easter eggs though! Thank you for always sharing your awesome ideas and keeping my teaching fresh and alive for my students!

  8. I taught high school social studies for 13 years. You might like the History Alive curriculum through the TCI (Teachers Curriculum Institute). Its fabulous. I'll be uploading social studies lessons on my blog at some point. I love that you call yourself a teachaholic! The good teachers are ;)