Posts tagged ‘culture’

Foldables® – Social Studies Continent Book

I have an old, new favorite.  Foldables.  I was exposed to them several years ago by a science teacher and used them in my Newcomer Social Studies class when I couldn’t find appropriate materials.  I was working on the 7 continents, the countries within those continents, and pulling facts from text.  I pulled maps from the Geography Coloring Book which was great because they were small enough to fit into my book.  I then assembled a foldable that allowed each continent to have its own two page spread.


Front cover of Continent Book

Front cover of Continent Book

Each continent had three sets of information:  country names, climate zones, and facts about two countries in that continent.  They were able to choose the type of information that they found on their countries.  They could choose:  animals, landmarks, culture, landforms, or historical events.  I checked nonfiction texts out from the library to help them find the information.  We used an atlas to find the names of the countries.


Left side of the continent book with country names.

Left side of the continent book with country facts.

Right side of continent book with climate zones and country facts.

Right side of continent book with climate zones and country facts.














By the end of this project, my newcomers were able to search for specific information from nonfiction text, pull that information from text, and use it in their book.  As a culminating activity, I had them answer questions using the book as their resource.  I was looking to see if they could pull specific information from their own book.

This activity was engaging, interactive, and students were able to work at their own pace.  A success all around!

Since then, I have discovered that Dinah Zike has created many books on the different types of foldables that you can use in classrooms.  Pictured below are some other social studies examples from her.  I purchased one of her books and am looking forward to incorporating these strategies into my classes.

from Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldable book.

from Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldables book




From Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldables book

From Dinah Zike's Notebook Foldables book















I will also be talking about math, science, and language arts foldables that I have created and used in my classrooms.




In education, it is important to recognize the cultures within the school and promote them. If an educator is not aware of a student’s culture, it could result in discipline issues. For example, “failure to make eye contact is usually interpreted as a sign of dishonesty or shiftiness. But in many cultures, children are taught that they should look down when being spoken to by an adult. Looking away is a gesture of respect” (Jameson, 2003, p. 55). If an educator is not aware of this cultural teaching, the student may find himself in trouble without realizing the cause of his punishment. “Students must first learn to understand their own cultures and then they can begin to understand and accept the cultures of others” (Jameson, 2003, p. 56). This understanding facilitates the transition into another culture such as the school setting. Without the understanding of culture in respect to the home and the school, a student may begin to blend the two cultures resulting in discipline issues not only at school but also at home. Relationships and awareness of student interests are a result of an educator’s knowledge of culture in relation to each student. The more that is known about the culture the more realistic an educator’s expectations of the student. Learning styles, interests, relationships, expectations, and parent communication and involvement can be improved through knowledge of culture.

Overall, a holistic view of culture can be seen through its various aspects. A culture that is viewed from only one perspective will prompt many questions and result in confusion. It is in the best interests of educators to educate themselves in the culture of their students. The benefits will abound reaching the students and their family. 


Jameson, J. (2003). Enriching Content Classes for Secondary ESOL Students. Illinois: Delta Systems CO., Inc.