I absolutely love to get students out of their seat – however when you teach Social Studies, you don’t have a lot of time to waste – so movement must be meaningful. I have used the 4 Corner Strategy in several different ways, but one of my favorite is the 4 Corner Analogies. This uses both movement and higher level thinking to allow student to process their learning.
What is it?
Students determine commonalities among specific content concepts and random things, experiences or images in order to increase understanding of the content.
How Does It Work?
First, ask students to take three or four minutes to jot down their response to a prompt that focuses on a key aspect of the unit or a specific event such as Westward Expansion or the Texas Revolution.
Ask students to imagine or visualize what it would be like to be at that location during that time period while the events are actually taking place. What would you see, hear, and feel? What would other people be doing? What would the environment be like?
Then ask students to decide whether their vision of that event is more like (a) city, (b) beach, (c) mountain, or (d) bull riding. Then students group together with others who chose the same metaphor and share reasons for their selection. As a group, they brainstorm as many responses as possible to the following:
Westward Expansion is like _________ because…
The teacher may choose to create posters for each group to utilize when brainstorming their responses.
Alternatives: roller coaster ride, hot air balloon ride, or various movie genres such as horror flick, comedy, drama, etc.
Why use it?
This strategy allows students to think of complex issues in novel ways.
I use these images to create my 4 Corner Analogy signs – Enjoy!