Science & Social Studies Centers' Ideas

While this center does not take the place of Science lessons and Social Studies lessons it does give students the necessary opportunity to explore and research the world and takes the pressure off the teacher of having to teach these subjects every day. It can be tailored for elementary students, middle school students & high school students.

To do this center the teacher must have access to computers in the classroom (at least 1) and a computer lab that you have access to once a week. The teacher must also know how to use Powerpoint. If you have these requirements, the rest is free and easy...well it is free.

The idea is for the students to create an E-book. They will have pictures and facts about the subject just like a book.

This will cover too many curriculum standards to list, but they are reading for information, using technology, writing, typing, presented, working independently and hitting the content of social studies or science. An added bonus is after you have taught you students, you have some time in the computer class to enter grades, search the net for more teaching ideas, or what ever because it almost runs itself if taught properly other than a few questions that pop up.

Science & Social Studies E-Book

  1. The first thing to do is to select a subject to research. For science it could be an animal, the planets or any other subject that interest the students. For social studies it could be a city, state, country, culture or other interesting subjects.
  2. Once the subject is selected the teacher must come up with a list of questions for the students to research. The ideas for questions can come from books or web sites. Examples would be: What is the population of your country? Letting them add on extra or interesting facts that they like is a good idea.
  3. Next is the most difficult step, teaching your students how to use Powerpoint to make their E-books. This can only be done whole group in a computer lab. You should do a short research example and use modeling to teach it.
  4. Model searching on the web for the questions they need answered. You may want to assign a particular web site that can answer most or all the questions in the beginning. Eventually they need to be comfortable with using search engines
  5. Teach them how to search & save pictures into a folder. This is where their research comes alive. Seeing pictures of their animal or their country fascinates them and motivates them to do more.
  6. Have students write each fact on paper in complete sentences. You can have them create a simple research folder that they can decorate.
  7. Have students check out a book about their country. They may get some facts from their as well, but the point is for them to read it during a reading center, familiarize them self with the country and peak their interest. This will also make them understand that research can be done with books as well.
  8. They need to take steps of the writing process such as reading their project and rereading several times to make corrections at the end. They need to have at least 1 peer read their E-book. They can improve the look and add bells and whistles at the end.
  9. Finally, the give their presentation in front of the class, reading aloud their report showing page by page of the E-book.
  10. They can work as partners in the beginning. Each book can work in centers for a couple months because they can only do it a few times a week not including the 1 day a week in the computer lab