Lower Order Thinking Skills

Chapter 5 in Social Studies for the Twenty-First Century details three strategies for lower order thinking skills. Data gathering is the first strategy that can help students to move on to develop other skills. This strategy is much easier for students if it is related to other concepts instead of simple memorization. Clear requirements and situations where students can utilize the information they are given can activate memory and give the opportunity to scaffold new information. A main takeaway from this section for me was that drowning students in data can make instruction ineffective. Simple presentation of data here guides students to understand events and develop key information literacy skills. I believe this strategy is the most important for students to succeed later on.

According to the text, displaying information with media or organizing with chronology can help students better understand concepts.

The drama coaching section caught my attention because my teachers in high school utilized the strategy very effectively. Drama coaching creates a more realistic sense of story for the learners because they can participate and add to their own understandings. The text points out that the main focus of drama learning is to break down the detachment from history by humanizing figures and events. In my high school, we would participate in mock trials, debates, and interviews, which would give participants and observers a chance to learn outside of mundane lecturing and long readings.

A drama coaching activity could include students taking on the role of one of the three groups present in the Estates-General and attempting to solve the issues at hand during the French Revolution.