Social Studies Toolbox

The hardest part of Social Studies is that it requires plain old memorization - there are a lot of facts to know!  Figuring out the best way for you to organize and memorize information are important skills.


 

Social Studies Toolbox

A little drill and practice every day will help you remember the material longer.  It takes a few days for the information to cement itself in your brain, and the it will be there whenever you need it (like for the final exam).  Cramming is counter-productive in the long-run.

 

Social Studies Toolbox

  1. Make the textbook work for you!  Each section begins and/or ends with a list of vocabulary and the main ideas of the section.
     
  2. Re-read all the Section Headings to refresh your memory about the content of the Section. If any of the Section Headings are totally unfamiliar, review that part of the section using the Boil-Down method.
     
  3. Vocabulary is the cornerstone.  If you can memorize vocabulary terms, you're more than halfway to success on any test (see below for tips). 
     
  4. Quiz yourself by answering the Main Idea questions that accompany the section.  This will help you focus in on what you need to study further, and what you've already mastered.

Social Studies Toolbox

Use some or all of these methods.  Experiment and see which ones work the best for you.

  1. Flashcards - a favorite!  They're easy to make and use.  Keep your definitions as simple as possible - don't write a novel on the back of your index cards!
     
  2. Work with a friend - quiz each other using your flashcards.  Whether you're the quizzer or the quizzee, you'll benefit from repetition of the information.
     
  3. Make pictures of key events or ideas. 

    For example, if you need to remember the four reasons the United States won the American Revolution, you can make cartoons of George Washington (Better Leadership); a smiling soldier carrying a French flag (Foreign Aid); a Continental soldier hiding behind a tree (Knowledge of the Land); and the Liberty Bell (Motivation)
     
  4. Create word games and devices to remember things. 

    For example, we used the initials HERS to remember what's important to the Puritans (Hard work, Education, Religion, Strict laws).  Songs and rhymes are good ways to remember things (like the Alphabet Song).

 

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