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Ways to Reflect with Your Social Studies Students Online

Your students have an opportunity to interact with your social studies curriculum online during this time. How can you make student reflection engaging and fun for your upper elementary and middle school learners? Here are some positive and interactive ways to reflect with your social studies students online. Whether you use text, video, or project-based learning activities, reflection is key when it comes to working with your social studies students online.

Try an escape room.

Have you heard of escape rooms? Students solve interactive puzzles while learning and figuring out answers to related social studies content. First, try this escape room about historical figures that needed a growth mindset to obtain their goals. This growth mindset escape room takes about 45-60 minutes for students to solve. Share with individual students on Google Classroom or allow students to work in groups in Breakout Rooms on Zoom. This is also a perfect resource to use to facilitate reflection when your students return to the classroom. Each escape room activity comes with the following resources and pieces to round out the unit.
  • Four half page reading passages
  • Questions for each passage (multiple choice, fill in the blank and true/false)
  • Four decoders
  • Teacher directions
  • Answer key
  • Student directions
  • Hint cards
  • How to decode puzzles
  • Tips for how to save time if the activity is taking too long
  • Words to know: A glossary of terms
  • Early Finisher Activity: Text marking

  • This growth mindset escape room is so easy to use with your students. To begin, it's ready to print and go or simply share online with your distance learners with puzzles and activities focused on Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and other figures who had a growth mindset to help them succeed! One of my favorite things about escape rooms besides the engaging social studies connections made is the reflection afterwards. Have your students reflect on the activity. What worked or what didn't? In addition, what would they do differently next time? If they completed in groups, what did it teach them about teamwork? Escape rooms lead to engaging reflection!

    Journal about current events

    There is a lot going on in our world right now. With your students possibly learning from home due to the pandemic and race relations making the news, our students are undoubtedly struggling with their own sets of concerns and issues. Give your students an outlet by allowing them to reflect and journal online through Google Docs, Google Slides, or student-friendly blogging platforms. Some platforms you may share with your students include Google Sites, Edublogs, Weebly for Education, and Kidblog are all popular, safe sites for students to share their ideas. Provide prompts for your students or simply allow them to free-write about their own personal current events, their community, city, state, and the world. In addition, you may consider integrating current event articles from sites like Newsela or Tween Tribune for your students to read and then reflect upon with their own opinions, questions, comments, and connections. You may be surprised what you find out about your learners!

    Reflect on video

    Some students may feel more comfortable reflecting with their own spoken word rather than with the written word. Flipgrid is an outstanding way to do this. Simply start a grid for your class the post topics for your students to respond to. You may post topics asking students to reflect on a reading assignment, their goals for the term, or even their work on a project or test. Flipgrid is a safe platform for students to share their own reflections since you can limit student logons to specific email domains or student IDs if you desire. If you don't want to come up with your own topics for student reflection, check out the Disco Library including Conversation Starters like reflecting on Mr. Roger's message to "look for the helpers" or introducing their "one word" for the year. Try Flipgrid with your learners in your online classroom to help them reflect and share their own student voice! Using these tools for reflection with your social studies students online will help your learners stay connected while online. Reflection is so important to make content relevant to your student, have them focus on their own learning goals, and engage with you and other classmates. Have students make some of their reflections (when appropriate) shareable with their classmates. Sharing and collaborating on their own experiences deepens reflection in their social studies classroom rather online or off.
    *This post contains affiliate links.  By making a purchase using the links provided, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.  This commission does not affect the price of your items 🙂

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