View Lessons by Category > Creativity > Social Studies & Government
We begin the year with a Paper Maché globe project. The purpose of the project is to give the girls first-hand experience with the world in proper spatial terms. They independently complete a replica of Earth using traditional Paper Maché procedures. The process not only gives the girls hands-on experience, but also tends to give them a strong sense of ownership of the project as a whole. Next, we begin marking the important lines of latitude and longitude and outlining the position of the continents. This portion can sometimes frustrate the girls, as placing the continents on a round shape is challenging. When they finish, the girls feel accomplished and are excited to begin painting their globes. We use green for the land masses and blue for the bodies of water. With varying levels of success, the girls have created their own view of the globe in rough form. We move toward labeling continents, oceans and various other significant locations on the globe. This last step is very important as the girls fill with pride over having taken a balloon, paste, and paint and turned them into a replica of Earth. Some girls even use other colors depicting places of elevation, or dotting bodies of water within the continents. When the project is complete the girls reflect and share about the highs and lows of the work as well as what they learned in the process. We then take our globes and cut them into flat maps and affix them to poster board. The purpose of this crucial step is to give the girls a clear picture of exactly how a flat mat can be distorted. This portion of the project can be alarming at first, as the girls want to cling to their masterpieces. Once the dig into deconstruction, they embrace the new challenge. In the end, the girls have firsthand awareness of the relationship of the continents and oceans as well as how a flat map is innately inaccurate. These skills empower the girls to tackle maps with a new confidence.
One of the most engaging and interesting experiences I have had in my years at my school was in my eighth grade American Government class. We were given the assignment to create our own political commercial using the techniques of propaganda we had just learned in class. I thought this was a very engaging and fun experience because my friend and I decided we were going to “run against each other” so, I was in some of her commercials and she was in some of mine… I liked how we could film outside of the class and one of my most vivid memories was when I took a camera to my figure skating lesson and part of my commercial included a segment of me spinning. I loved the fact that we could do virtually anything we wanted with our commercial, while still following the guidelines of having at least three forms of propaganda in our commercial.