Teaching with Tableau's

For some reason, yesterdays post about Rounding numbers isn't showing up. I'll try to repost that later.

Today, in Social Studies, we tried the tableau's for our Social Studies reading passages and it went awesome!! Just in case you don't remember my past post about teaching with the arts, a tableau is a frozen picture with your body that represents an event, an idea, or big concept you teach.

I designated each group a paragraph from the Social Studies text about the beginning of the Civil War and told them to come up with 3-5 frozen pictures that go along with what they read. I really thought they would struggle with it, even after I modeled how to do it, but they did just super!

I read the paragraph out loud for each group and they performed their frozen picture story for the rest of the class. Then, we had a discussion about what each group did.

I asked them to reflect afterwards about how effective it was to help them remember what they read and they all agreed that it was not only more exciting than just reading the text, but that they really remembered and understood what they read because they were bringing it to life.

I also realized that this is a great activity to help teach teamwork. Each group has to work to together to brainstorm ideas for what tableau's they could use for each sentence or two. It helps them listen to each other and contribute their own ideas.

I'll stop bragging now, but just to reiterate, tableau's are GREAT for spicing up boring ole Science and Social Studies textbooks! Not that those subjects are boring because they're not. Just the text.

Your students will love you forever and have so much fun!


  1. I wish my teacher would have done something like that for me. I was a great reader - or fast reader - but because I was, my teachers just assumed I actually knew what I was reading but I didn't. Reading retention didn't come until years later!

  2. I have a student like that in my class now. She is a phenomenal reader. She pauses at periods. She puts expression in her reading. She inflects important words. But the poor little sweetie has no idea what she read half of the time!

  3. hello!

    i just would like to say that your self-introduction is so inspiring

    i'm also 26 and am still on the process of achieving my dream of becoming a teacher


  4. What a great idea! I am always a fan of getting kids up out of their seats as much as possible and what a perfect way to help them remember things- not everyone remembers just from reading something once :)


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