Unit 4: Functional Academics – Science & Social Science

4.1 Role of Science & Social Sciences in day-to-day living

4.2 Methods of teaching – discovery method, project method, problem solving

4.3 Skills for teaching – dramatization, story telling, narration and explanation, excursion

4.4 Preparing adaptation in structured material

4.5 General Knowledge – National Symbols, festivals etc







4.1 Role of Science & Social Sciences in day-to-day living

Social studies teaches students fundamental concepts of culture, economics and politics – skills to groom them into educated, productive citizens. Social studies centres around understanding how the world works on a social level.

The main definition of social science is – “The social sciences subjects are those subjects which describe and examine the humans”. Social science is the society related study — the primary reason for Social studies to help students to develop the ability to make the right decisions. It increases the social considerate of students.

Social studies are also important for teaching students basic values, such as justice and equality, which are the foundation of modern society. For every student, social studies are often based around being a good member of the community at the local level. For example, the early levels talk about neighbourhood relationships, social responsibility in terms of helping others, and then understanding how the individual affects the group. A good understanding of how history has influenced the modern world gives people knowledge that they can apply to other subjects and everyday life.

When we analyze social studies, we can identify some relations with personal life and its influence in daily life. Social studies help a person to improve his personal life. Following points may reveal the importance of social studies in daily life-

1. It describes the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups.

2. It demonstrates an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in diverse ways, citing reasons for the differences in views.

3. It demonstrates an understanding that people in different times and places view the world differently.

4. It helps to use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools such as atlases, databases, charts, graphs, and maps to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

5. It helps to examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment.

6. It helps to observe and speculate about social and economic effects of environmental changes.

7. It considers existing uses; and proposes and evaluates alternative uses of resources.

8. It helps to work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals.

9. It is useful in identifying and describing examples of tension between an individual’s beliefs and government policies and laws.

10. It helps to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his/her social group such as family, peer group, school and class.

11. It is useful in identifying factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.

12. It ascertains and describes examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people such as in homemaking, child care, work, transportation and communication.

13. It examines the influence of public opinion on personal decision-making and government policy on public issues.

The aim of social studies is to promote civic competence or a practical understanding of how to effectively participate in public life, ultimately aiming at a comprehensive understanding of society. It is taught to young students as a preparation for their future life.


4.2 Methods of teaching – discovery method, project method, problem solving

A teacher has to make use of various kinds of methods, devices and techniques of teaching. A teacher has to make use of a suitable method for making his teaching meaningful, purposeful, interesting and effective. A good method of teaching can bring out good results even from a weak curriculum. On the other hand a bad method of teaching can make a mess of a good curriculum. Therefore, it can rightly be said that success or failure of teaching depends on its methods. The methods of teaching should be according to the needs and interests of learners.

Characteristics of a good teaching method

·        It should provide a group of related experiences and activities, arranged on an individual as well as group basis.

·        It should give scope for the creative expression of the child’s individuality.

·        It should rouse a large range of interest in the minds of the students.

·        It should shift emphasis from verbalism and memorization to learning through purposeful, concrete and realistic situations.

·        It should train the students in the techniques of self-study and the methods of acquiring knowledge through personal effort or intuition.

·        It should stimulate the desire for further study and explorations.

·        It should awaken an interest in the materials and techniques used by  social scientists.

Factors which determine the selection of a teaching method

·        The nature of the child

·        The objectives of instruction

·        The nature of the subject matter

·        Class room environment

·        Expertise of the teacher who adopts a method



Discovery Learning is one of the general social studies strategies and as such it is very open-ended and broad. The book describes this strategy as any activity that the teacher structures to help students find answers on a particular topic through problem solving. Instead of lecturing about a topic or assigning a specific piece of reading, the teacher complies different resources for students to look through and draw their own conclusions from. For younger students, the book suggests that the teacher pre-make resource files that contain articles and pictures that will help the students with their research, while older students can be allowed to search for their own sources in the school library or online. This strategy can be used for many social studies topics from researching a historical figure to looking at a specific society of people. The most important thing to keep in mind with this strategy is that there typically is no right or wrong answer to find; the focus is on guiding students to discover research and making their own interpretations from it.




·        ‘How we think’ reflects this approach

·        In this method the learner is required to solve a problem, making use of his previous knowledge.

·        According to Dewey ‘the problem fixes the end of thought and the end controls the process of thinking’


Criteria for problem selection

·              The problem should be intellectually challenging to children.

·              The problem should not be entirely unfamiliar to the learners it should be related to their previous experience

·              The problem should be related to a basic human activity

·              The problem should have practical relevance

·              The problem should have the potential to create interest among in the specific problem in particular and problem solving in general



a.     It serves as a preparation for adult life

b.     It develops the power for critical thinking

c.      It makes pupil active recipient of knowledge

d.     It develops values of tolerance and open mindedness

e.      It helps for the easy assimilation of knowledge

f.       It helps to establish harmonious relations between teacher and pupils



·        This method will become monotonous if used too frequently

·        The problem solving method can easily lead to the selection of trivial and untimely topics

·        This is appropriate for developing cognitive competencies,but not for bringing about affective changes




Project method is based upon the ideas of the great American educationalist, Mr. John Deway. The credit of developing these ideas into a method goes to Mr. William Kilpatrick.According to him ‘A project is a whole hearted purposeful activity,proceeding in a social environment’

According to Stevenson : “A project is a problematic act carried to completion in its natural setting”.

According to Deway, Children should be given education to satisfy their needs of life and the school should function like a mini society in which and through the students would acquire education by engaging themselves in a variety of group projects nothing is forced upon children .The teacher acts only as a guide.

Steps in project method

1.     Providing a situation

2.     Choosing the project

3.     Planning the project

4.     Executing the project

5.     Evaluation of the project



·        It gives freedom to children

·        It enable the children to learn from their own experience

·        It is free from the defects of the text book method

·        It is a natural method of acquiring knowledge

·        It gives training in social adjustment

·        It gives training in democratic way of living

·        It trains the children in solving problems

·        It helps the teacher to understand his pupils



·        It hampers the completion of syllabus

·        There is a possibility of giving more importance to less    importance

·        It may lead to unsystematic learning

·        It may lead to monopolization by some students

·        It may disturb the school working system

·        It increases work loard of teachers

·        It is an expensive method


4.3 Skills for teaching – dramatization, storytelling, narration and explanation, excursion



Dramatization has been described as a ‘synthetic art’,involving the purposive co-ordination and control of the delicate organs of speech and muscles of the body combined with a sense of rhythm, with a view to free and intelligent expression of emotions and ideas.

·        Drama has its great social value.            

·        It is a co -operative enterprise and develops the qualities of co-operation and social understanding

·        There are many activities in a drama,and as such students of diverse aptitudes get chance to choose items for which they are best suited and satisfy their urges, e.g.: self-expression through the various activities of a drama

Selection of play

·        Plays chosen should depict the evils of the social customs

·        A play should have a literary value also

·        The students should be able to understand and appreciate the play

·        It should also have entertainment value

·        It should be free from objectional subject matter

·        There should be no vulgarity in the play



Storytelling may be broadly defined as an ancient method of conveying ideas, intimations, and emotions in a narrative form with or without the accompaniment of music or visual art. Originally an oral tradition, storytelling has evolved from its earliest form to include a variety of multimedia applications. Folklorists generally do not approve of such inclusive definitions. In her scholarly analysis of the history of storytelling, The World of Storytelling (1990), Anne Pellowski defines storytelling as:

The art or craft of narration of stories in verse/and or prose, as performed or led by one person before a live audience; the stories narrated may be spoken, chanted, or sung, with or without musical, pictorial, and/or other accompaniment and may be learned from oral, printed, or mechanically recorded sources; one of its purposes may be that of entertainment.

Purpose of stories
Stories can serve multiple functions in the classroom, including sparking student interest, aiding the flow of lectures, making material memorable, overcoming student resistance or anxiety, and building rapport between the instructor and the students, or among students themselves.

Stories Create Interest
As an instructor, you can capitalize on the inherent narrative structure of research as the quest for knowledge. Science is the process of solving mysteries; in fact, writers of journal articles are often advised to make their findings into “a good story.” Psychologists often start out by confronting an intriguing problem.

Stories Provide a Structure for Remembering Course Material
Coherence is the hallmark of a good narrative. Remembering a list of isolated concepts and definitions is difficult, but recalling the flow of a research story may be easier for students. As mentioned above, stories may also help create vivid mental images, another cue for recall. Because stories provide natural connections between events and concepts, mentioning one part of the story may help evoke the other parts of the story, just as hearing one bar of a familiar tune may bring the entire song to mind.

Stories Are a Familiar and Accessible Form of Sharing Information
Some students may be intimidated by abstract concepts, or may doubt their ability to master or understand the material. A story may provide a non-threatening way to ease students into learning. A narrative opening may seem simple and straightforward, allowing students to relax and grasp a concrete example before moving into more technical details of a theory or finding. Sometimes stories can even be about the learning process; tales of previous students who struggled but then succeeded might serve as inspiration for current students. 

Telling a Story From Experience Can Create a More Personal Student-Teacher Connection
This rapport can lead to a positive classroom climate. Perhaps you are a clinical psychologist who has seen a patient with a particularly compelling presentation of the disorder you’re discussing in class. 



“Narrative, in its simplest sense, consists of a series of connected events, and a particular way in which these events are told. The first element is the story, and the second element is the narrative discourse… It follows from this that a story can be rendered through different narrative discourses”


 “simply means teaching through lecture”

·        Teacher explains the matter  in simple and understandable manner.

·        The method is particularly used in the secondary classes and above.

·        This method can be used to motivate students,to clarify, to review and to expand contents.

·        Lecture method is for imparting authentic,systematic and effective information about some events and trends

·        It gives the students training in listening

·        It develops good audience habits

·        It  provides opportunities of correlating events and subjects

·        It enables the linkage of previous knowledge with the new one


·        A well prepared and a well delivered lecture can make social studies interesting

·        Lecture gives the teacher an opportunity to come into immediate contact with the pupils

·        Lecture gives the pupils training in in listening and taking rapid notes

·        Lecture saves time and energy

·        Good lectures stimulate brighter student

·        It facilitate rapport between the teacher and the taught

·        It is more useful for brilliant students

·        It helps the implementation of others



·        Makes students inactive

·        There  is a very little scope for pupil activity

·        May include irrelevant material

·        Discourage self-effort by the students

·        Every teacher is not expert enough to deliver lecture

·        The pupil lose opportunity to make self-study

·        Lecture can soon  result in monotony

·        Lecturing  is against  the principle of ‘ learning by doing’

·        An average students may not be able to fix up their attention to a lecture of  40-45 minutes


The word ‘excursion’ means a journey, trip, tour planned for social studies students in which the students actually visit places or site and has the first hand experience which excursion results in easy, interesting and effective learning.
It provides ample opportunities to student for ‘seeing’ ‘hearing’ examining, gathering data, and asking questions, such excursion are most conducive to learning.
Process of organizing excursion

·        Decides the get information and details of the site you plan to visit and think of objective for organizing this trip.

·        Take principal’s permission, take parents’ permission and get an ok from the place you are going to visit

·        Orient the student about the trip, give them the details, give them a list of the thing you need to bring

·        Conduct the trip take chaperone with you. Guide the students at the place. Then ask the student to write a report about their report.


·        First hand expose.

·        Brings reality in teaching.

·        Gives concrete experience.

• Time consuming.
• It is not applicable to all the students of the students.
• It is expensive.

4.4 Preparing adaptation in structured material

When instructional materials present a barrier to student learning, teachers often adapt the materials to allow students greater access to the information to be taught. These adaptations may involve changing the content of the materials (the nature or amount of information to be learned) or changing the format of the materials (the way information is presented to the learner).

Adapting Instruction

Students with special needs often benefit from the same type of teaching that benefits other students. There is ample evidence, however, indicating students with special needs in inclusive classrooms achieve at a higher level when teachers take steps to accommodate their particular needs. Adapting instruction for students with special needs could involve accommodations, changes in input and output processes in teaching and assessment, and modifications, including changes to content or standards. Some examples of evidence-based instructional adaptations include: adjusting the pace of instruction to individual learners, appealing to multiple learning styles via multi-sensory approaches, and providing immediate individual feedback to a specific student with a disability.

The following strategies for students with special needs in social studies are suggested:

1. Activity-oriented instruction

2. Instruction related to students’ everyday experiences

3. Interesting social studies activities

4. Appropriate linguistic and conceptual social studies content demands

5. Efficient classroom management, establishing ground rules and procedures for social studies activities

6. Focus on skills development throughout social studies activities

Adapting Assignments

Adapting assignments falls under the modification category of instructional adaptations, and is often necessary in order for students with special needs to experience success with the general education curriculum. Assignments can be adapted in numerous ways. Evidence-based approaches include: breaking academic tasks into smaller steps, shortening assignments, incorporating modeling into instruction, and using materials at an instructional level more suited to a child’s ability. The choices teachers make when adapting assignments should always be based on the particular needs of the student receiving the support. Often, social studies materials require modification. A summary of the basic concepts of the lesson, for example, may be more beneficial than the textbook. When modifications of materials are provided, teachers should monitor students with special needs to ascertain their effectiveness.

Facilitating Progress Monitoring

There are many permutations of the concept of progress monitoring, but its most important function is as an assessment method to monitor a student’s progress towards standards or benchmarks on a more frequent basis. Students have a vested interest in understanding their own mastery of different skills and concepts, and progress monitoring can provide valuable assessment information to both teacher and learner. Promoting progress monitoring is an approach closely tied to the concept of self-monitoring mentioned above, and focuses on teaching the student to record and understand frequent measures of academic progress. Regular use of formative assessments provides needed information for the teacher for adjusting instruction and for providing students with frequent feedback. A variety of types of assessments should be used frequently to get a true understanding of what students know.

Use a KWL chart to begin a new chapter or unit or as a framework for a short project. Have students explore various cultures or regions. Groups of students can research various aspects of a culture and use KWL charts to organize their information. As a class, groups can share their learning and engage in a discussion about cultures.

4.5 General Knowledge – National Symbols, festivals etc

In today’s world, general knowledge is critical for your child’s growth and success. There are various choices available for today’s generation. The key is to learn and gain more knowledge about different areas. It is especially important for them to learn beyond the classroom. Going beyond academics helps children excel in different areas. A child’s success depends on how much he or she is learning from the surroundings.

The information that your child gathers and the learning that (s)he has will develop his or her mental abilities. This directly affects how (s)he will perform not only in school, but also in personal and professional life later. As parents, we want the best for our children. We put all our efforts and focus on doing what is best for them. It is important to know what general knowledge means for your child and how do they benefit from it. All the knowledge and life skills that your child acquires will help build their confidence and skills.

General knowledge plays a huge role in the holistic development of your child. The learning from basic education becomes his/her strong and sturdy trunk. Your child’s awareness and general knowledge become the fruits and leaves for your child’s tree. When it comes to general knowledge, schools focus primarily on fixed academic curriculum and might not necessarily teach bits like – the reason behind special days, knowing important facts about the country, stories from the lives of famous people and various interesting science facts etc. This extra bit of knowledge is beyond academics but is important.

General knowledge that helps your child’s holistic development is actually a very broad topic. It can cover a variety of topics. In simple words, general knowledge refers to the knowledge of a vast number of topics.

Advantages of General Knowledge

Ways to Improve General Knowledge

General knowledge and information on current affairs are interrelated to each other. The news of today is general knowledge of tomorrow. Even other areas are also important simply because they put you in the wise light. Parents should insist on the need for acquiring general knowledge gradually right from an early age and emphasize the different ways to improve general knowledge among their children. This general knowledge acquired is not helpful only in the field of education but also in enhancing the overall personality of the child and competitive spirit in him. People tend to look up to you because you are knowledgeable and wise and can talk about most things they want to get information on. Acquiring knowledge can be done in many ways and few of these are listed below: