4 Types of Supplemental Aids For Social Studies

We’ve previously written about supplemental aids in relationship to the STAAR test, but only generally. In this post, we’ll be offering you 4 types of aids you can use specifically for the 8th Grade Social Studies and U.S. History tests:

  • Blank Graphic Organizers
  • Mnemonic Devices
  • Blank Maps
  • Timelines with Dates

1. Blank Graphic Organizer

Graphic organizers are critical tools for our students because they visually display information. It’s important that your students understand the concept behind the graphic organizer because it’s really just a memory jog.

2. Mnemonic Devices

We all know that mnemonic devices are a learning technique to assist our students with memory. There are plenty of familiar mnemonics used in Social Studies and US History.

One great example is using the word MAIN to teach the causes of World War I: Militarism, Alliance System, Imperialism, Nationalism. Come test day, simply remove the words and leave the initials “Main.”

You can also use a phrase such as “My Nice New Car Needs Re-Painting. Maybe Dark Violet? No, Shiny Gold!” to remember the original 13 colonies of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Just make sure that whatever phrase you use, it does not contain any of the actual answers.

While it may be tempting to scour the internet for mnemonics, the most powerful ones are created together by your students and you.

3. Blank Maps

During instruction a teacher may use a labeled and dated map to teach about westward expansion. However, come test day, no labels are dates can be used. Simply remove them from your map, and it becomes an allowable supplemental aid.

4. Timelines with Dates

You likely use timelines during your Social Studies or U.S. History courses. While we can’t show the complete timeline come testing day, we can remove the colors, graphics, and labels and it becomes an allowable supplemental aid.

Check out our STAAR Stuff series for more tips, techniques, resources, and advice related to STAAR

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Region 13 PGC

The Progress in the General Curriculum Team provides professional development and technical assistance that is applicable to grades kindergarten through twelve to school districts, schools, and charter schools. Their goal is to provide support for people who are involved in the education of students with disabilities to ensure these students are involved in and show progress in the general curriculum through curricular and instructional adaptations in the least restrictive environment.

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