Substitute Teacher Kit

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Seeing the World (Grades 7-8), Social Studies


When you substitute in a seventh- or eighth-grade social studies class, you can raise cultural awareness by taking students on a "trip around the world." You can use this kit for a week-long tour of the world, or you can take a mini-trip by choosing just a few activities.

Classroom Management Tips

Before students arrive, write the following stage-setter on the chalkboard:
Imagine that you can travel anywhere in the world. The only rule is that you must leave the United States. So where will you go? Think it over and get ready to explain your decision.

As students arrive, ask them to consider the assignment on the board.
Once everyone has written their ideas, open the class discussion. Encourage students to name the countries or cities they have chosen. Then have them explain what they know about these places and why they want to visit them.
Take a class vote to determine where students would like to go most.

Where in the World Am I?
To redirect student attention, challenge the class with a Where in the World Am I? game.

Give a latitude/longitude reading for a specific location, such as:
  – 12°S, 77°W (Lima, Peru)
  – 37°N, 23 °E (Athens, Greece)
  – 40°N, 73°W (New York, New York)
  – 31°N, 121°E (Shanghai, China)
Have students use classroom maps or globes to find the location.
Award points to students who identify the location first.
Allow students to redeem points for extra free reading time or healthful treats.

Stress Reliever
Have students close their eyes and imagine they are in the most peaceful place on Earth.

Encourage them to look around, carefully observing everything they see. Ask students what plants, animals, and landforms are nearby.
Invite students to pay attention to their other senses as well. Have them note what they smell, hear, and feel.
After a few minutes, have volunteers describe the places they imagined. Ask them if their places are real or imaginary. Then have them describe what made their places so peaceful.

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