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Skills and Best Practices


Adam Blatner in his article, “Role-Playing in Education” says that:

Role-playing is a methodology derived from sociodrama that may be used to help students understand the more subtle aspects of literature, social studies, and even some aspects of science or mathematics. Further, it can help them become more interested and involved, not only learning about the material, but learning also to integrate the knowledge in action, by addressing problems, exploring alternatives, and seeking novel and creative solutions. Role-playing is the best way to develop the skills of initiative, communication, problem-solving, self-awareness, and working cooperatively in teams, and these are above all–certainly above the learning of mere facts, many if not most of which will be obsolete or irrelevant in a few years–will help these young people be prepared for dealing with the challenges of the 21stCentury.

In this article he also describes:

  • Role-Playing as Simulation
  • Historical Background
  • Problems with Role-Playing
  • Role-Playing and Drama in Education
  • Future Implications of Role-Playing


Concept Mapping

Concept mapping can be done in a variety of ways. The Learning Skills Program suggests writing the main idea in the center of the page – it may be a word, a phrase, or a couple of juxtaposed ideas- then place related ideas on branches that radiate from this central idea.

Visit this site to learn:

  • How to do a Map
  • Some Organizational Patterns That May Appear in a Concept Map
  • Advantages of Mapping
  • Uses of Mapping

Teaching Concepts

Visit the Michigan State Department of Education Website for a discussion of how to use concepts in teaching. They note that it is important to use the language of the standards in your teaching. Likewise, when trying to teach a concept it is important to use the language associated with that concept.
Note: this site is referenced under the curriculum area of social studies standards.

Using the KWLH Strategy

The KWL strategy developed by Donna Ogle, is a good method to activate prior knowledge and to help students organize information for learning. However, many teachers use the KWLH version, which puts a special emphasis on how we can learn more from other sources of information. Reminder:

  • K – what we know
  • W – what we want to learn
  • L – what we learn
  • Hhow we can learn more from other resources

This site provides additional information on the procedural steps for using the KWLH strategy

Updated December 26, 2019 9:30am