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15 ways to make social science interesting

Updated on July 16, 2016
Dr Vishal Varia profile image

Dr. Varia, Ph.D., in education is making his educational research and contributions to ease the work of teachers and students.

Preface

There are four pillars of an education system: that are Child, Parent, School and Studies. Coordination between these pillars is very important. Parents play vital role in upbringing of children. Having selected a proper school does not limit your responsibilities towards child’s upbringing. Children remain for more time at home rather than at school. Therefore Parent’s role in upbringing of child plays major role along with school and teachers. With this approach, parents should make their efforts to increase interest of their child in studies. As Gandhiji said, “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent”, one must make efforts atleast to maintain the interest of child in studies. This way you will not only be helping your child to receive better learning but also will be helping the teacher indirectly by enabling the child to be curious about what he learns. Parents may not sit with their child to finish their homework or make them study the portion of the textbook but they must atleast make some efforts so that the child maintains the interest in studies and doubles the efforts for scholastic achievement. In this article lets see how can we make learning of social science more interesting.

What is Social Science?

Social science is a major category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science basically gives knowledge about the world, nation and society around us through the help of other disciplines. Economics, political science, history, law and geography can be considered as social sciences. Social studies help students think critically and to use what they know to be active citizens. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make reasonable decisions for the public as citizens of a culturally diverse and democratic society in an interdependent world.

Why is it necessary to learn Social Science?

Learning social science help the students to understand human interactions that occurred in the past, are occurring now, and that are likely to occur in the future. This may help students develop and nurture values that will make it more likely that they will be able to determine for any situation what the right thing is and do it, especially when doing the right thing is hard. It is about decency, respect, courage and honor.

  • Studying history help the students figure out their role in society as well as their place in history. They can learn how institutions, traditions and ideals change as society modernizes and how cause and effect, influence relationships between individuals, groups and nations. As students mature, the study of history gives students the chance to develop their research skills and the ability to think critically.
  • Education of geography explains the world in which we live. It encourages children to open their minds to many places humans live on this planet. As students learn about different places, they also become aware of the many cultural differences of the world’s populations. As they learn more about cultural differences, students begin to find that there are a large number of cultural similarities as well.
  • Civics helps the students to learn that they are part of a larger society that must have structure in order to operate for the good of all the people in the group. This basic sense of citizenship starts in the primary grades as students work to monitor classroom rules and expands as students study the electoral process, the branches of government and how citizens interact within the laws of a society in more advanced classes.

Enhancing Reading Skills in Students

General Issue of Low Scores in subject of Social Science

  • Students do not consider social studies to be an important area of study. English, mathematics, and reading rank higher because students see these subjects as preparing them for careers and teaching important skills which they will need in the future.
  • Social Science is a subject which requires lots of reading. Many a times it is found that students lack reading and therefore they score less.
  • For many students social science becomes a boring subject and they score less as they are least interested in knowing about historical events and history or about the government.
  • Other subjects like math and science can have practical life activities like finding measure of things around or experiments but for S.S. one can only visit historical monuments, natural parks or government institutes etc which is not always possible. This becomes another reason for scoring fewer marks in the subject.
  • Another reason for disliking the subject can be the lack of concentration during lectures or class activities which ultimately lead to fewer score.

Fifteen ways to make Social Science Interesting

  1. Tell students to imagine a particular moment in history mentioned in their textbook. This can help them to have a clear idea of the topic.
  2. Act out historical events: Skits, talk shows and plays are a great way to engage students and motivate them to find a love for social studies. Bring a historical event to life by having students act out a particular event in history. Have students produce an event and assign each student a specific role to present to the class. After each presentation have students discuss what they learned.
  3. Draw students in with technology: Technology has a way to motivate students and keep them engaged. Whether you are teaching a lesson on geography, history or on civics technology has a way to draw students’ attention.
  4. Make use of Internet: Internet provides many websites about educational topics. Many have fun games, multimedia presentations, quizzes etc. about educational topics. All these really make bookish topics more fun for the kids and help them to understand and retain topics much better.
  5. Try a Controversial Topic: An effective tool for encouraging critical thinking is to try a controversial topic. Provide students with a short background on any topic and let the debate begin. Write or say a statement that relates to the topic at hand and have each side plead their case. The parent serves as the mediator and poses questions and statements throughout the debate. There is nothing like a fun debate to get students motivated to learn.
  6. You can develop student interest and motivation in social studies by relating relevant content and current events into their daily lives.
  7. Be involved, discuss concepts with them and give them examples of social studies from their daily lives that they can relate to, instead of just complaining that the school does not teach in the right way. Give concepts your own twist.
  8. Do practical projects and experiments with them. Do not just wait for teachers to assign social studies or environmental projects. Doing really helps in understanding a topic instead of reading about it.
  9. Get interesting books about different topics for the children. Keep the books accessible so that they can take them out when bored and read them.
  10. Take your child to fun and interesting places like planetarium, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, museums, botanical gardens etc. to make the concept more clear to children.
  11. Making useful notes plays a vital role in helping the children to learn easily with perfection.
  12. Update your child with current aspects. Students can develop interest and motivation in social studies by relating relevant content and current events into their daily lives.
  13. Encourage the students to do collage work and take census of any particular area to make the subject interesting.
  14. Sometimes it is the everyday places that can be educational and interesting – your garden, the local nursery, the post office etc. Walk around the neighborhood and go to the local places of interest.
  15. Show them videos and documentaries of the events covered in their syllabus. This will enhance the interest in the chapter or episode in the history.

The bottom line

No effort done in this direction will be in vain. Every effort will have its own rewards on child’s learning. Keep doing the effort. We are sharing with you the various techniques for motivating a child for learning. Implement them in desired quantity and quality.

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