Social Studies Pocketbook Units!


What are Social Studies Pocketbook Units? Find all of your answer here! Pocketbook units consist of a science or social studies topic for the first, second, third or fourth grade classroom. This post will include photographs of the social studies units. Each student created their own pocketbook to store their work throughout the unit which serves as a comprehensive portfolio. Parents and administrators LOVE this idea of showcasing student learning!!

How do students benefit from learning through pocketbooks?
Pocketbook units are multimodal resources that capitalize on different learning styles amongst students. The units are extremely organized (which we love!), which teaches organization, but also increases students metacognition when recalling and synthesizing information on topics. 

What types of resources/activities are included in the units? 

1. POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS: Begin the unit by engaging your class with a colorful PowerPoint presentation to grab their attention and get them thinking.

Easily move into a group discussion after the open-ended question is given on the last slide to give students a chance to demonstrate their knowledge about the topic. Re-visit the PowerPoint throughout the week based on the needs of your class and time frame of your lesson.
Samples from the Discovering the 7 Continents Unit!

2. STUDENT WORKBOOKS: The comprehension workbooks allow students to read on their own to answer comprehension questions related to the topic at the bottom of each page. Students may benefit from working with a partner or small group. For students below level, you may choose to open the document onto a Smart Board and read along with them in a whole group setting. Each individual unit includes one per week (20-40 pages per unit). Example Workbook from The U.S. Presidents Pocketbook Unit.

3. ANCHOR CHART: Use the colorful pictures and text at the beginning of the unit to create beautiful anchor charts that can be displayed in your classroom throughout the unit. As students move throughout the unit, have students recall facts learned and have them actively participate in creating the anchor chart. Re-visit when we wrote all about how to use anchor charts effectively in the classroom to promote a deeper understanding of informational topics.

4. VOCABULARY CARDS: Hang them on your word wall, classroom door, bulletin boards, or even make students their own copies of the cards to serve as an easy reference.

5.  VOCABULARY PUZZLE PIECES: Vocabulary picture-definition-word puzzle pieces are perfect to use for centers, partner work or even for practice as homework. You can laminate and cut the pieces to use year after year in centers or let the students have their own copies to put into their pocketbook. The students love to manipulate the puzzles and then use the vocabulary cards to check their work! Examples are from the Winter Olympics Pocketbook Unit.

6. VOCABULARY FLIP BOOKSStudents can demonstrate their knowledge of key vocabulary words using the interactive vocabulary flip book. Give students picture cards, and they can cut, match, and glue onto corresponding outer flaps. Then, students can write the definition/describe the vocabulary words using the lines on the inside of the book.

We previously shared 5 Steps to Help Students Master Vocabulary utilizing strategies that can be incorporated from our Pocketbook Units.

7. GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS & WRITING PAPER: Students complete graphic organizer either as an independent activity or whole group to demonstrate their knowledge of the topic, writing multiple key details and facts. Then, students can use the graphic organizers as a reference to create a longer writing piece, consisting of multiple paragraphs. There are 2 options for handwriting lines to easily differentiate student needs. We previously shared 5 steps for Informative writing utilizing the resources within the pocketbook units. 

8. SMART ART: Cut, color and glue to make a fun visual representation of the each topic. Students will then write a cohesive paragraph with facts they have learned on the back using the lined paper. Smart Art is perfect for bulletin board displays or can be used to hang around the classroom.

9. SUPPLEMENTAL PAGES & EARLY FINISHER WORK: Multiple activities are included to supplement the content learned through the student comprehension workbooks and the PowerPoint presentation. Activities can be used for morning work, early finishers, or for homework. Activities include: ABC order, a crossword puzzle, acrostic poem, and word search.

How do I assemble themInstructions for creating the pocketbook are included in your resource and can be found below! They are really easy to make! 

use the binding machine pictured. Use the instructions on your machine to make a book for each student.
 –> Binding Machine 
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After assembly, how much prep work is involved for the teacher? These units are extremely teacher-friendly. I can prep an entire week or even months worth of science and social studies materials all in one sitting. Simply organize your materials by the day that you are teaching them for easy access.
What units are currently available? We currently have 6 Social Studies units available! All units are in the same format to provide consistency to studies and increase time on task. Units can each be purchased individually or in a HUGE bundle that gives you access to 34 weeks of lesson plans and materials in a GROWING bundle! This means that you will have access to NEW units once they are posted at NO extra cost to you!

Want to check out this resource later? Pin here!
Leave a comment below with any other questions or comments about pocketbook units! Happy Teaching!

meet the teachers

Hi, we're Kelly and Stephanie, 2 teacher besties from Buffalo, NY. We love collaborating and creating hands on, engaging materials for all learners. Thanks for stopping by!

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