This post originally appeared on the blog A Lesson Plan for Teachers.
Teaching an entire geographical region can be intimidating, not only for the teacher but also for her students. Thinking about a continent in the context of its numerous countries, cultures, geographical differences, languages, business practices, and people, can overwhelm even the most diligent and detail-oriented pupil. However, using visual teaching methods and practicing chunking techniques can help students to analyze, categorize, and develop a deeper understanding of the content knowledge, ensuring they are able to better retain the specific information of each region.
Implementing learning techniques like visual teaching and chunking will help your students to better grasp the information they’re studying. By executing a fun and engaging walking tour like the Latin America Walking Tour featured in these images, students can use these methods to compare and contrast, explore, and retain critical regional information. These techniques are basic and are probably already in your wheelhouse to some degree, but formally expressing them in your lesson plans will help your students to transition from users of information to vessels of information.
Though there are many different learning styles, visual learners are likely abundant in your classroom. Many students learn much better when presented with images, charts, graphs, and other visuals. Using images to reinforce, compare, and contrast information can help students to understand and remember specific details. This Latin America Walking Tour guides students through Chile with images of the land, history, people, and business.
While certain stations in the Walking Tour will guide students to information for a certain country, i.e. introducing the people of Chile as pictured, other stations allow for even more comparing and contrasting with chunking techniques.
By following the discussion questions, completing charts, and analyzing the differences, students can use chunked information to draw conclusions about the region.
I’m Michele Luck, the author of A Lesson Plan for Teachers and Michele Luck’s Social Studies resources available on TeachersPayTeachers. I love the three Ts-Teaching, Traveling, and Talking, and I’ve spent the past few years traveling the country to talk about my love of teaching and all things TPT has to offer. Now I am returning to teach middle school Social Studies simply because I missed being in the classroom and seeing kids learn. Who knows what adventure I’ll get myself into next!