Presenting content has historically been my least favorite component of teaching social studies and science. I feel that I often either overuse or underuse this part of instruction. Before we begin, let’s recap where we are at this point in the series:
- Organize your curriculum into units and mini units within units.
- Identify key vocabulary words within each unit.
- Develop a plan for frontloading or preteaching the vocabulary words.
- Prepare four different games that can be used to review the key vocabulary words.
The day after I teach the vocabulary words, I present the information and content to my students. This can be quite challenging, because for students to learn and remember any of the content, they must pay attention as you present the information. I’ve found it’s important to use a variety of resources, because the brain loves novelty, so I try to keep it fresh and interesting for my students. I also try to prevent the lesson from becoming a nothing more than a reading comprehension lesson. (We’ll get to that later!)
My hope is that by preteaching the vocabulary, students will be able to make more connections with the content as we read and discuss the material. I do not recommend giving students a reading passage with comprehension questions. I’ve done this, and I don’t feel like the majority of my students learned much from those lessons. I prefer to read and discuss the material together, while I constantly ask questions to check for understanding.