This is a guest post from Debbie Stephens, a sixth grade teacher of reading and social studies at Woodward Academy, North campus, in College Park, GA.
People have always asked how in the world I could find the time to include Angela Maiers’ Classroom Habitudes in my lesson plans. I ask, “How can I not include the most valuable lessons for my children?”
I realized years ago that ancient civilizations sounded like a tough sell for sixth graders, but I thought, what if we could really get to know the people of those distant times?
I looked at my to-do list of civilizations and realized I could easily fold in the Classroom Habitudes. Without curiosity, how would mankind have exploded from hunter-gathers into an agricultural revolution? I let my students use their own curiosity and imagination to explore and ask questions rather than the read-and-take-notes pattern of many social studies classrooms.
As we began examining the Neolithic people and the effects of the agricultural revolution, my students were creating a cause and effect chain across my boards. I was facing our Classroom Habitudes bulletin board.
The minute they reached the idea of specialization, I asked one question:
What Classroom Habitudes would these people have as they began to meet the needs of a Neolithic village?
The ideas exploded and the next thing I knew we were creating advertisements for the new “careers” that would be needed!
One student remarked, “How could you do any of this without passion?”
Here are some pictures of their creations: