SOS Story: Multiple Classroom SOS Mashup

The Spotlight On Strategies series (CDN subscribers) is one of Discovery Education’s most popular resources. First introduced 2012, these strategies help teachers use media in effective and engaging ways in their classrooms.

The best part about the SOS is that they are flexible and can be used across grade levels and content areas. We are excited to share SOS Story: a new SOS series that spotlights teachers showing how they put the SOS to work in their classrooms.

Teachers:  Jeannie Runyon and Brittany Myrick

SOS Strategies: Six Word Story (CDN Subscribers) and Tweet, Tweet! (CDN Subscribers)

District: Santa Rosa County, Florida

Roles: ELA/History and Science 

Jeannie and Brittany’s Story

This week’s SOS story is a two classroom mashup! Jeannie Runyon and Brittany Myrick, with the support of Discovery Education Professional Development STEM Consultant Dacia Jones, are moving their instructional practice away from teacher-directed and towards student-led engaged learning.


These teachers created a powerful mashup of instructional strategies that included a combination of SOS: Tweet, Tweet! (CDN Subscribers) and SOS:Six Word Story (CDN Subscribers), along with a Twenty Word Story summary. They wrapped them all together with a fun and engaging Beach Ball Review.

An exciting element of this SOS Story is that this mashup was incorporated into three different content areas and grades (8th grade history, 7th grade science, and 6th grade ELA), demonstrating that the SOS are neither content- nor grade-specific. Participating students reviewed information they learned about the Civil War, DNA, and Key Details in Literature.

Here’s how they did it:

Students were first given a study guide and asked to number the items on it from 1-40. The beach ball had corresponding numbers written on it in black permanent ink. The teachers explained that the ball was not the center of the activity, but rather the deliverer of the message. Students took turns tossing the ball to their classmates. The receiving student caught the ball and read the statement or question from their study guide that corresponded with the number his/her right thumb landed. All students then found the statement or question and followed along as the receiver attempted to answer it. If the student answered correctly, points were given and the ball was tossed to a classmate of the opposite gender. If the student didn’t answer correctly, another student had an opportunity to steal the points.

After the study guide was complete, students worked collaboratively in small groups to write a Twenty Word Summary to share out their learning from the guide. Summaries were shared on sticky notes and read aloud to the class.

Next, as individuals, students used the SOS 6 Word Story to reflect on and summarize their learning. They were to summarize from a point of view supplied to them by their teacher.  History students responded from either a North or South point of view, science students responded from the stance of inherited or learned characteristics and ELA students responded through the lens of a specific piece of text.

Finally, as an exit ticket, students were asked to write a synthesizing Tweet using only hashtags. For example, one of the students in the Civil War group incorporated details they’d learned by Tweeting #ElizabethBlackwell1stFemaleDoctor.

The mashing up of these strategies proved to be an effective way to review and help students retrieve and retain salient information needed for an upcoming test. It got them moving, engaged in conversation and actively using the information and they had a great time doing it!






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