Beth Robinson, Middle School Social Studies
Published August, 2015
Hi! I am Beth Robinson, 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher here at Woodlawn. Woodlawn is a special place that seems to “come alive” each day with lessons and activities that involve students, teachers and the community. Our integrated curriculum helps students make connections between subject areas and see the importance of learning about a topic or place. For example, while the 7th grade Social Studies students are studying the geography, culture and history of Japan, the Math class learns about population growth and density using the Japanese prefectures as examples. Visual Arts studies sumi e, a Japanese art form of brush and ink painting. Language Arts classes read and discuss Japanese literature. Our Japan unit also includes a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, guest speakers, Science lessons and a field trip about nuclear energy, and a formal debate over the use to the atomic bomb to end World War II in the Pacific. It is this type of instruction that creates life long learners who are informed and engaged global citizens.
I developed my love of learning from my own 7th grade experience back in the 1970's and from my parents, who were both educators. I have been teaching for 16 years and have raised three children while living in the Charlotte/Lake Norman area. I have travelled extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe and enjoy creating “thematic” vacations. Last summer, the theme was Civil War history. I attended the 151st reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, along with visits to Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Appomattox. These trips inspire my teaching and help me make lessons more relevant and interesting. I also enjoy creating role play activities for my Social Studies students. My classroom costume collection has become well known around campus and continues to grow each year. These costumes are not just for classroom use. The 8th graders also use them to entertain and inform the residents at the Brian Center for Health and Rehabilitation through our Service Learning program here it Woodlawn. Each month, our 8th graders share what they are learning in American History with the residents. One of our favorite programs at the Brian Center is our “Styles through the Decades” show where students highlight major events, famous individuals, music, movies, and clothing styles from the 1920’s to the Present.This activity helps stimulate the memories of our older adult friends at the Brian Center and helps our students to develop a deeper understanding of each important decade in American History.