Social Studies

Last weekend we went up to Didsbury to celebrate Father’s Day with my husband’s parents. After dinner they took us to the small, rural school where they work and gave us an in depth tour of the classrooms, class pets, and class room decorations. My favourite class room decoration was in the high school Social Studies room. On one wall was a large world map with post-it notes stuck all over it. Each post-it had a headline regarding political, economic, or cultural events happening in or near the country on which the post-it was attached. I got excited thinking about high school students scouring the newspaper, learning about the world around them and gaining knowledge about where the event was taking place. I was excited, but also mildly jealous.

This is something I would like to be doing more often. I generally don’t pay close attention to the news, and my geography knowledge is terrible. But I’d like to become more engaged. This video shows how Ken Carbone engages with the world around him and I would like to mimic this habit. Using my journal as a tool for creating a personal response to the news seems like a useful (and fun) way to become a more active participant in the news rather than passively reading headlines. I think it’s also important to speak back to print media and was reminded of this the other morning at Starbucks when I watched a woman scour the paper with a blunt, black pencil crayon in her hand. I thought that was a great way to read the newspaper, to be prepared to dig out the bits most interesting to you, or to speak back against those things you know to be untrue, or, given our current time, to circle jobs in which you might be interested. Reading the newspaper was an active experience for her. I’d like it to become an active experience for myself as well.

All of this also reminds me of this post from Bobulate where students dug out the parts of the newspaper that were most important to them and learned to travel. I think it’s time I sat down with a newspaper, a black pencil crayon, a pair of scissors, some tape, and my journal.

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