"I like this. I think it is well-done for students. Overall, well done!" ''Dr. History'' radio personality --Dr. Charles Self, Professor of History

ISBN-13: 978-1535260145
ISBN-10: 1535260149 $17.50

(Formerly titled When Am I Ever Going to use this Stuff? ISBN 0-9706237-8-X ISBN-13: 978-0-9706237-8-2)


Description: Motivate your students to study history and social studies. When faced with an uninteresting part of their lesson, social studies students will sometimes say, “When am I going to use this stuff?”. This book addresses this common lament by providing 50 lesson plans that demonstrate how the skills learned in social studies classes are used in a wide variety of jobs. This is more than just another careers book. These activities give your students the chance to interview actual working professionals who use social studies skills in their jobs whether they studied social science in college or not!

From the Inside Flap: Introduction: When faced with an uninteresting part of their lesson, social studies students will sometimes say, “When am I going to use this stuff?” This book will address this common lament by giving several lesson plans that demonstrate how the skills learned in social studies classes are used in a wide variety of jobs. Despite the mandate of state officials that every student take history classes, not all of your pupils are motivated by the subject area. It is difficult for students, who are not already history buffs, to see the long-term value of what they are studying. Unfortunately, students often rank history among their most boring classes in surveys. Many see it as little more than another hurdle to clear to fulfill their graduation requirements. When they encounter a bit of historical trivia in class they will say, “Do I need to know this ten years from now?” They view historical knowledge as something that a student memorizes for the test and quickly forgets. Even in their popular speech, students often say, “That’s history, forget it!” What they don’t realize is that adults have a very different perspective on history. If you are a history teacher, I’ll bet you have had a conversation at a social gathering that went something like this: History teacher: “Hi, how are you?” Acquaintance: “Fine, thanks.” Acquaintance: “So, what do you do for a living?” History teacher: “I am a history teacher.” Acquaintance: “Oh, I don’t know how you can handle those kids. I could never do that job.” History teacher: “It is challenging, but I love it.” Acquaintance: “You know, I used to hate history in school. My teacher just droned on and on with endless lectures, and then we were expected to regurgitate these countless names and dates on a test.” History teacher: “Well, we do things really differently today. We use simulations, films, online activities, class discussions, debates, projects, etc. to keep it interesting.” Acquaintance: “Boy, I wish I had your class. The funny thing is that, today, I love history. I watch the History Channel all of the time, and I love a good history book. It’s fascinating.” History teacher: “I get that a lot from people.” After an adult has been in the workforce for a number of years, their perspective changes. There are skills from many different classes that have proved useful at one point or another in their career. Some classes have been more useful to them than others, but few have seemed like a complete waste of time. This book will show that even in careers that don’t seem directly related to social studies, working people use skills that they first learned in social studies classes. These skills help them in their current jobs. The core subject of social studies is history. All of the other social sciences have their origins in the study of history. In fact, the first thing covered in almost every college class is the history of that subject area. So, in essence, history is the starting point of every other discipline. A student can’t learn a subject unless he or she knows its history first, and everything has a history. This book will help you show your students that, on any given day, a professional might use skills that he or she first acquired in a social studies class. In each lesson that follows, a professional will be shown in a work situation that requires them to draw upon social studies skills. These lessons may be used in a social studies class at the beginning of the course to teach students the value of studying history. Alternately, the lessons could be interspersed amongst the regular history lessons throughout the year to highlight the various skills used in social studies. They could even be used as a part of a unit studying careers in a living skills or career exploration class. The possibilities are endless, but, no matter how you use them, your students will find them both interesting and practical.

Table of Contents:

Introduction 1

Teaching Tips 3

Why Do We Study History? 6

1. Historic Preservation Planner - Restoring an historic home 10

2. Publicity/Special Events Coordinator – Preparing for a retail store’s anniversary sale 11

3. Fashion Designer – Doing a retro photo shoot 12

4. Wildlife Resource Manager – Restoring the historic habitat of an endangered species 13

5. Interior Decorator - Decorating a restaurant with an historic theme 14

6. TV Producer – Producing an anniversary special for a classic TV show 15

7. Postal Service Worker - Creating an historic stamp 16

8. Building Contractor - Dealing with an Indian burial site during a building project 17

9. Sports Writer – Covering a local athlete who sets an historic record 18

10. Auto Mechanic - Restoring a classic car 19

11. Military Planner – Planning for military action in an international conflict 20

12. Drama Director - Staging an historic play 21

13. Collectables Dealer - Assessing a customer’s historic collectable 22

14. Police Detective - Reinvestigating a “cold case” 23

15. Software Developer – Creating an historical strategy game 24

16. Numismatist – Determining the value of old coins found by a customer 25

17. Musician – Discovering the history of a musical piece being performed 26

18. Minister – Revealing the historical background of a Bible story in a sermon 27

19. Antiques Dealer - Appraising an item found by a customer at an estate sale 28

20. Doctor – Researching the history of a medical condition 29

21. Animal Breeder - Researching the history of an animal breed 30

22. Urban Planner – Planning an urban renewal project 31

23. Computer Programmer – Upgrading the software for mainframe computers 32

24. Legal Assistant – Assisting a patent attorney in a patent dispute 33

25. Real Estate Agent – Checking historic property ownership 34

26. Film Archivist - Finding an historical film clip 35

27. Heritage Farmer – Demonstrating farming techniques at an historical site 36

28. Journalist - Commemorating a famous anniversary in history 37

29. Historical Reenactor – Being a movie extra 38

30. Genealogist - Writing a family history for a senior citizen 39

31. Missionary or Relief Worker – Participating in a disaster relief effort 40

32. Market Research Analyst - Introducing a product to a new country 41

33. Librarian - Upgrading a library’s collections 42

34. Legislative Aide - Researching a law for a member of Congress 43

35. First Person Interpreter - Portraying a famous historical character 44

36. International Civil Servant– Brokering a World Bank loan 45

37. Literary Critic – Discovering a new manuscript by your favorite author 46

38. Park Ranger – Supervising docents at an historic site 47

39. Diplomat - Being assigned to a post in a new country 48

40. Political Activist - Creating public awareness for your cause 49

41. Geologist – Discovering the effects of humans on the land over time 50

42. Consumer Advocate – Advocating product safety reform 51

43. Biographer – Writing a biography of a famous person who dies 52

44. Costume Designer – Creating historical Halloween costumes 53

45. Craftsman - Preparing for a Renaissance Faire 54

46. Lobbyist - Representing the interests of your group to elected officials 55

47. Military Design Engineer - Upgrading an outdated weapon 56

48. Club Officer – Recording the history of its rituals, membership and activities 57

49. Cultural Expert – Writing an article on the history of an ethnic group 58

50. Travel Agent - Arranging tours of famous historical sites for clients

59 Appendix: Career Information for History Students 60

About the Author: Richard Di Giacomo is a history teacher with over 20 years experience. He has taught at every level from preschool to adults. He has taught every level of students from at risk students and limited-Enlish students to the honors level. Students often rank his simulations as their most enjoyable and memorable activity of the school year.

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