Lesson Launch Archives

"The Andy Griffith Show" and US History

January 4, 2018

Lesson Launch: a weekly academic social studies teaching tips blog, which occasionally touches on other topics.

By Dr. Paul E. Binford
President, Mississippi Council of the Social Studies 

Fishing Pole The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS), set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, was a beloved television show of the 1960s. It’s wholesome brand of humor, memorable ensemble of characters, and the wisdom, decency, and fatherly devotion of the lead—Sheriff Andy Taylor—made this comedy a favorite. In fact, it is one of the few shows that ended its television run (in 1968) at #1 in the Nielsen rankings.  The timeless themes of the show still appeal; even today, the reruns are watched by thousands of viewers.  Brief video clips from the TAGS episodes can also provide a humorous, entertaining, and interesting opening to your next US History class.

Read more: "The Andy Griffith Show" and US History

The Law Game

December 14, 2017

Lesson Launch: a weekly academic social studies teaching tips blog, which occasionally touches on other topics.

By Dr. Paul E. Binford
President, Mississippi Council of the Social Studies

The middle grades provide a perfect opportunity for students to experience the Law Game!

Read more: The Law Game

Powerpoint Challenge!

December 6, 2017

Lesson Launch: a weekly academic social studies teaching tips blog, which occasionally touches on other topics.

By Dr. Paul E. Binford
President, Mississippi Council of the Social Studies

Begin (or end) your next class with a “Powerpoint Challenge”!  

Select a top ten list that is relevant to your subject area (e.g., the ten states with the most electoral votes for US Government, or the ten largest nations based on land size/territory for World Geography, or the ten nations with the highest per capita income for Economics, etc.).

Read more: Powerpoint Challenge!

The Opening Minute

November 13, 2017

Lesson Launch: a weekly academic social studies teaching tips blog, which occasionally touches on other topics.

By Dr. Paul E. Binford
President, Mississippi Council of the Social Studies

What do students anticipate when they walk into your classroom?

Are they excited with a sense of curiosity and adventure or are they detached and subdued automatons or—even worse—resistant, off task, and disruptive or insubordinate? The opening minute of a lesson often sets the tone for the remainder of the class period!

Read more: The Opening Minute