I've read about choice menus forever, but never tried it until just recently. I decided to created a menu to use during social studies review when students finish with stations early or we have a few extra minutes in class.
I introduced the menu a week ago and you would've thought I'd given my students gold! They were thrilled!! I asked if they'd seen a menu before and we talked about a fast food restaurant menu. Then I asked what they would buy if I told them they had $5 to spend at the fast food restaurant. We played around with that a few minutes and then, with great drama, I introduced the social studies menu. I told them they had 50 points to "spend" and they were beside themselves - some even wanted to know if they could "spend" more!
As we were going over the points values for different items one students even said, "All the fun stuff costs more points, but the boring stuff doesn't cost as much." I really had to pinch myself! How did this happen?!?!
We've had a week to work on the menus and they have really been successful so far. I've been amazed at the creativity my students have shown. It's also been really interesting seeing which people and time periods they choose to work with.
I think this is a strategy I will try to use again. Maybe next time I'll try something with reading - after a class novel or maybe even for their self-selected texts.
You can click on the picture to download a copy of the menu. It is specific to 4th Grade Virginia Studies, but it might be a good place to start for a menu specific to your social studies standards.
I'm linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for another great Tried it Tuesday linky.