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.
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.
- Make the textbook work for you! Each section
begins and/or ends with a list of vocabulary and the main ideas
of the section.
- 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
- Vocabulary is the cornerstone. If you can
memorize vocabulary terms, you're more than halfway to success on any test
(see below for tips).
- 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.
Use some or all of these methods. Experiment and
see which ones work the best for you.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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)
- Create word games and devices to remember
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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