Jul 22, 2013

Social Studies Story Board {Monday Made-It}

History is one long story filled with many characters and details, right? I sure do love to tell a story! :). For this week's MONDAY MADE-IT, I've made a SOCIAL STUDIES Story Board.

First let me explain the "WHY" I made it, then, if you're sold on the idea, you can stick around for the "HOW" I made it, part of my post. :)


When starting a content area unit, I like to introduce the important names and vocabulary right from the start to avoid any frustration that might come up when reading a text. I am a firm believer that vocabulary is learned and retained best in context when it is relevant to the learner. So here's how I plan to set this up.

I will display all the necessary words, names, dates, etc. on our Story Board at the opening of our unit.  My students will receive a copy of incomplete notes that address the framework of our unit, including all terms, dates, names, etc. intentionally left blank. These notes will give them an overview of the time period and will address all the facts and details that our state standards requires my students to know.

I will then dim the lights for effect, and tell them the brief story, as dramatically as I possibly can, in time period costume, (okay, maybe just a hat) of our selected moments in history.  As I tell the story, I will make sure to hit all the important vocabulary words, names, etc, that we have intentionally left blank in the student copies.    My students will refer to our story board for reference, spelling, reassurance, etc. and complete the empty portions of the notes in their notebooks, thus hitting all the required names and vocabulary for the unit. This BRIEF introduction should give them the BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE and INTEREST to BEGIN the unit of study with ENTHUSIASM and CONFIDENCE. :)


Once we've covered the bare bone facts of the time period, and we've sparked our interest in the topics at hand, we'll begin diving into PRIMARY SOURCES, PICTURE BOOKS, NOVEL STUDIES, etc. to cover our ELA COMMON CORE STANDARDS, and to further deepen our knowledge of the topics that were introduced. As we cover each artifact during our study, we will add it to our story display board for reference.  The words, names, pictures, etc. will be displayed and readily available throughout the unit for revisits, inspiration for writing, reference, etc.

At the completion of each unit, I'll move our artifacts to a large timeline display that will wrap around one half of our classroom along the edge of the ceiling. Shhhh...please don't tell the Fire Marshall my plan.  Our timeline is still in progress.  We'll save that for another Monday MADE-IT post. :)

Thanks for reading and don't forget to click over and visit Tara to see what else your blogging friends have made this week.


I believe in our Social Studies Story Board so much, and I have had so much fun blogging this summer, that I want to do one last give away to help you get started on your own story board, or any other project you might need for your classroom.  :)

This is a SIMPLE "2 CLICK" GIVE-AWAY for all my Bloglovin Followers!  $20 to TARGET. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...

Follow on Bloglovin 
If you're a blogger and you blog about this little give-away, there's something extra from Starbucks in it for you to help jump start your first day of school!  Email me a link to your post and I'll email you a little treat!

Papers by Collaboration Cuties :)

Good luck and thanks for following!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Of course, I LOVE Target! And this board :) I've got an extra cork board I might be using for this...
    The Sweetest Thing
    Follow me on Bloglovin'!

  2. This is fantastic - I love that you will move the info onto a timeline around the class. You are so smart!

  3. I love the story board idea! It make so much sense! I think sometimes students who don't always think they like "history" don't see all the stories or even the big story... I love the idea of the story board! I know last year, I also showed a few scenes from America the Story of Us. Those videos are SO well done - it also really helped bring my students into the history! However, next year my content changes -- no more American History. So, time to try some new tricks ;)

    My Shoe String Life

  4. I love the idea of a SS focus wall and it's such a cool idea to move it to a timeline throughout the year! Plus, the chevron fabric is fantastic. :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  5. That board is a great idea!

  6. I love your board! Too often I think that Social Studies gets left out because at least in my state it's not a tested subject. Thanks for the details-this is a project I think I could make :)

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  7. I love this post! Such a great idea for social studies! Thank you for sharing!
    Teaching 3rd with Mr G

  8. I love this idea, especially how you will extend it by creating the timeline. Thanks for sharing.

    Quinnessential Lessons

  9. This is beautiful! I have a HUGE roll of cork! Now you've given me some motivation! What a great way to display learning! Love!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  10. I spent today at the first half of a Guided Inquiry Institute. As one of the example projects from the pilot had a lot to do with giving kids a sense of time and place I love the timeline idea.
    And your vocab storyboard looks awesome. I'm always trying to figure out how to do more of that background knowledge (well, and display during a project) kind of stuff. But with having so many grade levels (and no walls) it is a work in progress. Comes down to communicating as much with the classroom teacher as possible because some of that is done in her/his room and some in the library!

  11. Hi Brandee,
    Love your idea and your board looks great!!! Didn't know if you studied the Civil War. Last year to spark student interest in Social Studies I signed up to receive the "Civil War Traveling Trunk". It is filled with resources from books, videos, magazines, confederate money, a soldiers knapsack complete with canteen, toothbrush and more. Here's the link to sign up if you're interested: The Civil War Trust. My kids loved it.

    A storyboard like yours would really help bring the Civil War to life.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Brandee this is fabulous! I can see so many uses for this board!! THanks so much for your detailed description -it helps me see how I too can use it in my classroom! ...and it is SO stinkin' cute! :) I simply love it! :)

    Learning to the Core

  13. Love your social studies storyboard idea, and thank so much for the opportunity to win such a great prize! :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  14. What a fun idea to have a storyboard for social studies!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  15. I love this idea Brandee! Thank you so much for sharing! You are so very creative! I can't wait to see the pictures of you in costumes!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  16. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing the directions for making it!

  17. I love the idea of a Social Studies board!


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