Monday, January 20, 2014

Integrating Reading and Social Studies

Ok...Have you ever gotten behind in your plans and had to play catch up?! Well, that we me this week.  I thought, what better way to catch up... integrate some of my subject areas.  This past week the students learned all about big businesses during the Industrial Revolution through reading.  To introduce the lesson, the students first read an article on the topic.

After the students read the article, they conducted a close read.  During a close read, students jot down their thoughts as they read, underline main ideas, star important information, make connections, and summarize each paragraph of the article. Close reading is important because it is the building block for larger analysis of the article.

Next, it was time for students to discuss their new learning, share any connections, and ask any questions they may have had about the article.  Students were placed in groups for this part of the lesson.  It was amazing to hear some of the conversations the students had and the connections they were making.  I was really impressed!  After the students had their small group discussion of big businesses we then had a whole class discussion.  I generated a set of questions which required students to draw conclusions from the article.  They had to support their answers with evidence from the text.

Our final part of the lesson required students to analyze a political cartoon on big businesses. Below is the political cartoon students had to analyze.

In order to have a discussion of the political cartoon, I wanted the students to jot down their thoughts on the cartoon.  Each learning club had 5 minutes to jot down whatever they were thinking while looking at this photograph.  Students wrote down questions they had,  described what they saw, and some wrote down things they were worndering.  We used their thoughts to have a class discussion of the political cartoon.  This was a very powerful part of the lesson, because students were able to take what they learned from the article and apply it to the political cartoon!

The students really enjoyed doing reading and social studies at the same time!  They asked could they get more lessons like that!  So, I am now challenged to integrate more of my subject areas!  I would love to hear how you integrate your subject areas!


  1. Nice ideas! I am excited to use the cartoon.

    1. Thank you! I love using political cartoons in social studies!

  2. I integrate Social Studies and Science into all of my reading block because we just don't have time to do it any other way. I loved looking at your pictures and how you added the text in them. I'm extremely visual! Thanks for sharing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. I would love to hear some of your ideas for integrating science and social studies into your reading block. I need to do it more often! My students loved it!