15 Social Studies Projects for Book Creator Classrooms

by Dr. Monica Burns

Pages 4 and 5 of 77

15
SOCIAL STUDIES PROJECTS
By Monica Burns
FOR BOOK CREATOR CLASSROOMS
Table of Contents
What will you find in this book?
Introduction
4
Social Studies Projects for the Book Creator Classroom
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Introduction
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Join me as we explore social studies projects for students using Book Creator!
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How do your students share their learning in your social studies classroom? Whether you’re working with elementary, middle, or high school students, digital books are a fantastic way for kids to show what they know.

This book contains 15 projects you can tailor to your learning goals and student needs this school year. You’ll find stories from Book Creator Ambassadors and lesson ideas perfect for Chromebook and iPad classrooms! A few tips:
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Make your own version of a student project so your class understands what you’d like them to include in their final project.

Work together with students to create a checklist for what should be included in their book so students have ownership of their work.

Take a moment to review your speaking and listening standards and incorporate those expectations into your task development.
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Looking for more ideas?
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Here is a list of a few blog posts with more social studies resources:
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Share your ideas for using Book Creator in the classroom using the hashtag #BookCreator or tagging @BookCreatorApp or @ClassTechTips on social media!
Interactive Textbooks
Michael Cohen’s students bring their textbooks to life with Book Creator!
Fellow Book Creator Ambassador Michael Cohen (@TheTechRabbi) shared a fantastic social studies project. His students worked together to create their own textbooks using Book Creator.

For this project students researched a topic and wrote their own interactive pages. He also shares this project in his new book Educated By Design.
Students creating textbooks can benefit from ongoing feedback. As they create each page of their book, provide time for them to share with a partner or another group of students. By giving time for feedback and providing moments for students to share throughout the process, they can develop a strong final product with lots of topical information.

Do your students use a traditional textbook to learn about social studies topics? Use this textbook as an exemplar and have students model their interactive textbook off of this traditional creation.

They can brainstorm ways to make the content in these hardcover books pop off the page using the interactive features in Book Creator.
An interactive textbook can transform a traditional research project. You might ask students to include:
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A table of contents
A glossary with key terms
Photographs that include captions and citations
A bibliography connected to their research
A curated list of resources for further investigation
Interactive maps
A Classroom Scenario
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Students creating textbooks can benefit from ongoing feedback. As they create each page of their book, provide time for them to share with a partner or another group of students. By giving time for feedback and providing moments for students to share throughout the process, they can develop a strong final product with lots of topical information.

Do your students use a traditional textbook to learn about social studies topics? Use this textbook as an exemplar and have students model their interactive textbook off of this traditional creation.

They can brainstorm ways to make the content in these hardcover books pop off the page using the interactive features in Book Creator.
In this image captured for a Book Creator blog post, you can see Michael Cohen’s students in action as they create pages for an interactive textbook.
Content Area Books
Inspired by the books created by Kristi Meeuwse, create content area books with students.
You may be familiar with the work of Book Creator Ambassador Dr. Kristi Meeuwse. She has created books for her kindergarten students to provide “just right” and high-interest resources for students. You can create books for students on social studies topics to fill in missing pieces of your classroom library, or students can take on the role of creators to spotlight social studies stories.
Kristi created fantastic books for her young students. If you are working with older students, you might have them create content area books to tell the story of an event in history. Then they can share their creations with a group of younger students. This instant audience is fantastic for building connections across a school or district.

If students work in partners or small groups to write their content area book, set up a Teacher Library in Book Creator and turn on the collaboration features. This way students can work together on their book whether they are sitting side-by-side or working on different devices at different times.
Students can create a book that spotlights a moment in history. You might ask students to include:
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Notable historical figures present for the event
Description of the place an event took place
Key details from their research
Illustrations or annotation of an image
Audio recording of the text on the page
Colors and font that connect to the mood or tone
A Classroom Scenario
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Ellipse;
Kristi created fantastic books for her young students. If you are working with older students, you might have them create content area books to tell the story of an event in history. Then they can share their creations with a group of younger students. This instant audience is fantastic for building connections across a school or district.

If students work in partners or small groups to write their content area book, set up a Teacher Library in Book Creator and turn on the collaboration features. This way students can work together on their book whether they are sitting side-by-side or working on different devices at different times.
In the photo above, taken from a Book Creator blog post, you can see Kristi Meeuwse's students reading pages from “just right,” high interest books.
Create a Timeline
Use the Shape tool in Book Creator to design timelines of historical events.
Placing events in sequence and determining which events are important enough for a timeline, are two essential critical thinking skills. The Shapes tool in Book Creator lets students combine a variety of shapes together. This is a great way to have students create their own timeline of a special event in history, or the life of a notable historical figure.
With this type of project, you might ask students to choose one large moment in history that spans a set amount of time. Having a clear start and end can help students identify the important moments in between. For example, you might have students create a timeline for an event like a political campaign and start with a candidate’s announcement and end with Election Day. 

A timeline can also be part of a spotlight of a historical figure. You might ask students to research about the life of someone like Sojourner Truth or Susan B. Anthony. Then they can identify five to ten significant moments in their life and add them to their timeline. This type of activity might span multiple pages or be part of a collaborative book your class creates.
Students can create a timeline by combining Shapes on their page. You might ask students to include:
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Start and end date
Clearly labeled intervals of time
Colors that connect to the time period or person
Images next to key moments
Audio recordings to accompany each detail
Links to learn more about each event
A Classroom Scenario
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