Spice Up Your Social Studies Projects for Upper Elementary

Alternative assessments are a hot topic these days. Students are being taught differently, so now is a great time to try out different forms of assessment. Not every student is going to thrive on basic paper and pencil tests, so it is so important to incorporate alternative assessments into your instruction. 

State Report & Float

One of my favorite ways to do this is in social studies with my state report and float project. This classroom-tested activity has been a favorite in my class for over 10 years now. 

True story, I had 4 kids complete the float project this year even though it wasn’t assigned. They all had older siblings who had done the project and they were REALLY looking forward to doing in 4th grade!

Different Learning Styles

I love this project because it allows students to tune into their different learning styles through research and creativity. I typically choose one region for students to pick their state from, and then they begin working on the research packet. I guide them with books, websites, and children’s databases to find information. Once the research is done (or nearly done) it is time to start building the floats! Most of the float work is done at home, but during recent years we’ve had “Float Workdays” at school, in which students brought in their floats to work on them for an hour or so. 

Celebrate the Project

Once the floats and packets are done, we invite parents and others in the school community to come to our “Parade”. During this fun afternoon we set up the floats on each students’ desk, along with their report and a compliment sheet (for visitors to write down something they liked about the report/float). We also pair the “parade” with some treats from that region. It truly makes for a magical afternoon! 

If you want to jump into the state float and report project with your students, be sure to grab my resource today! It has everything you need- report, directions, rubrics, examples, and more! This is one your students will be talking about for years to come!

Check out the full project here!

If you want to keep your students’ learning rolling, then be sure to grab my FREE state capital and location activities. Grab it today!

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