Social Studies is important for elementary school students to be familiar with because it is a way to connect children with the past and relate it to the future. Linda Levstik wrote a book called "Doing History" that explains how to teach Social Studies in a classroom. This book focuses on what teachers should teach, how to go about doing it, what are the best strategies, how to assess children, and guidelines for teachers to follow. This book taught me that it is important for students to personalize history so they can relate it to current events. I also have learned that it is important to have a strong literature based Social Studies program so that children can deepen their understanding of the topic and integrate it into other areas of study. In this paper I will discuss what I found useful in this textbook and how I will utilize the information learned in my classroom.
One of the major issues I found important was the idea of diverse perspectives. It is important for children o know that there are a wide variety of cultures, opinions, and ideas. It is necessary to look at all the different angles of an idea and then draw your own conclusion. Children need to be exposed to a wide variety of literature in order to be able to find out more about different time periods. In chapter twelve Levstik writes, "Children often think that people in the Colonial Era lived in log cabins or that everyone in the 1800's dressed in formal clothes all the time. Such perspectives are hardly surprising given that students are rarely exposed to differences within a given time period"(158). As a teacher it is important to remember that children need to be exposed to a variety of different ideas. Teachers cannot focus in on one issue without giving multiple viewpoints or ideas. This way, children will be able to form their own opinions based on multiple perspectives. .
Another chapter in this book that I found extremely important was chapter 5.