Ideas for Theme Presentation for Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
by Beverley Paine, Nov 2020
It's easy to fall into buying and using student workbooks with the children reading text and then writing answers or drawing pictures to show that they've understood and learned the material. History and Geography can get a little tedious and boring if that's all we do.
We mixed it up a little, added plenty of excursions to interesting places. In fact, I don't think any outing, even to the shops, was devoid of informal and spontaneous chatting about some aspect of the trip that could easily tick boxes (outcomes) within the HASS curriculum. Most of our children's learning was either hands on activities or through conversation. It's amazing the range of topics we'd cover in a day. And I learned to not push the 'learning' aspect, not to overtly teach what I thought they should know, but follow their lead and feed their curiosity.
In the home there is lots we can do to make those dull and often tedious worksheets and lessons a bit more interesting. Yes, it takes a bit more work, organising and planning, and sometimes we spend more time looking for the materials to use than it takes to complete the activity! But it is worth it.
And I found that getting involved and making my own whatever it was modelled valuable practical and technical skills to the child.
A criticism of home educators and teachers is that we often do the work for our children - cutting, sticky taping, gluing, painting, etc. It definitely looks like that is what we are doing. And the kids like the finished product because it meets their expectations as all too often, especially when they are very young, their attempts look nothing like the picture in the book, video or their imagination. My experience says that it doesn't matter, unless your child protests and wants to do it completely on their own. You working alongside them, demonstrating these skills, helps to pass on those skills. My kids would sometimes appear with a finished project that used skills I know I didn't teach them or hadn't seen them use before, yet they'd become competent.
One way we can make learning in HASS more interesting (for ourselves as well as the children) is through 'making' and 'creating'. Have a look at this list for some ideas when working on particular themes:
- create an atmospheric corner or area specifically for that topic
- bark painting (make your own paint, use different barks, make your own paintbrushes, etc)
- make or play board or card games (we did this when studying Indonesia and tropical islands)
- make books (explore different ways to make books - some families use Lapbooking, which is a fun approach to recording learning when doing unit studies)
- create a Powerpoint slideshow, or YouTube video, or eBook
- dioramas are fun and can be big or small, simple or detailed
- present information using collage
- create a comic strip, this could be on paper or digital
- make a radio 'show' or 'podcast'
- create a 'stop go' animation
- arrange relevant resources and materials in a tray or box - create a 'learning centre' for your topic
- make costumes and / or masks, either for yourselves or for toys
- create a poster, mural, fabric wall hanging, or a map exploring different techniques and materials for each
- complete a time line and display it
- develop a flow chart to present information
- explore and draw graphs to present information
- make models - this can be huge fun, using materials from recycled packaging to small toys, LEGO and other construction toys
- borrow books and magazines on the topic from the library and place in a basket in a spot accessible to the kids, 'strew' them around the room for casual interaction while the topic is 'hot'
- display made objects on shelves
- use old photo and picture frames to present information, reuse for new topics
I am sure you can add more ideas to this list! Have fun learning!
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
if you want to learn
how to write your own education plans
your unique children's
individual learning needs?
Or you are looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips...
Welcome to the World of Home Education
and Learning without School!
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
3 ESSENTIAL STEP BY STEP GUIDES
Let experienced home educators Beverley, Tamara and April walk you through HOW to create a learning plan that builds on solid foundations that works for YOUR family AND ticks all the boxes for home educaton registration!
Tap into Beverley's
through her books
"Your books, your blogs helped me beyond words... they helped me to find comfort in knowing it is ok to choose exactly what is best for my family." Nisha
"Your books and information are mind blowing and already I am feeling good about this new experience." Diane
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie
"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
Advertise on this site.
Australia's premier online annual conferences, lifetime access to video and audio recordings, freebies, notes and associated resource guides.
EVERY SUMMIT IS UNIQUE!
$29 each 2023 2022 2021
$25 each 2020 2019 2017
"Biggest and best Aussie homeschool event of the year!"
Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.
Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!