Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

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Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby Super Alice » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:25 pm

My DS just got back his final SEC1 Result. The humanities subject such as Literature, History and Geography are poor. Any advise how to improve these humanities subject?

And understand that it is not easy to get good humanities tutor to advise him on these subject. Not too sure whether there is any special study method for these humanities subject. Appreciate if anyone can advise.

Super Alice
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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby weatherbee » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:08 pm

For Geography and History, can try mind-mapping. For Literature, I think it's hard to score. Maybe can ask the teacher for some advice? Anyway, I don't think it is necessary to get him a humanities tutor until Sec 3 as he may not be doing the same humanities for O Levels.

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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby Super Alice » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:26 pm

weatherbee wrote:For Geography and History, can try mind-mapping. For Literature, I think it's hard to score. Maybe can ask the teacher for some advice? Anyway, I don't think it is necessary to get him a humanities tutor until Sec 3 as he may not be doing the same humanities for O Levels.


Thanks for your advice.

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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby ianwongkj » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi,

For Literature it is important to be able to formulate ideas of your own and not rely too much on the teacher's notes/memorisation. Make sure that he has a clear understanding of the text and the themes behind it. Once that understanding is established he will be able to give answers and substantiate them. Literature doesn't always have a right or wrong answer so it is important to be able to come up with your own answers and make sure they are logical interpretations.

For History memorisation is quite an effective way to do it. Mind-mapping, as suggested, is a good method. Try making and compiling his own notes as well.

For Geography, it's about memorising the technical terms and mind-mapping can help as well. For the human geography part, it's good to understand the why/how aspects and with logical answers + statistics, usually the answer is correct. For the physical part just need to visualise abit, very helpful.

Hope this helps.

ianwongkj
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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby Skyed » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:44 pm

Humanities just have to memorise, especially for geog. History and lit... Depends on how insightful your kid is.

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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby SunBrazen » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:46 pm

For lower sec, just memorise. History you need to analyse and understand the sources for SBQ. However, at upper sec, the syllabus is more complicated and tougher.

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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby clioclio » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:27 pm

For History: Not just memorising. The content is only for you to use to substantiate or support your arguments. Its not like our time anymore where its pure regurgitation.

I teach Upper Sec History, but the skills are more or less similar for lower sec, hope to share some tips with you:

Usually the teachers will provide the topics to be examined.

Break down the topics into smaller sub-topics. U may wish to draw up a checklist for your child as he does his revision.

For example:(Random egfrom upper sec history)
Topic: Reasons for outbreak of WWII in Europe
Sub topics: Long term reasons/Short term reasons/trigger factor
Who was to be blamed for the outbreak of WWII in Europe
Was appeasement wrong/a success?
The outbreak of WWII in EUrope was inevitable. Do you agree?

These sub topics are common areas a question can be asked. So memorise the details along these lines. I think there is no escape from memory work. However, the pain can be lessened if the child knows the big picture of the story/topic. It is like understanding a story. Eg. The story of Red Riding Hood. We understand the big picture of what happened. Then need to go memorise the details of what led Red Riding Hood into the Forest, what was the food she brought along, etc.


For Structured Essay Section:
From my understanding, Lower sec requires a few sub parts to essay question.
The way of asking is always standard. So, good to have a preset guideline of how to start off the answer. Last qn is always judgement/assertion question. Eg. "Hitler was to be blamed for the outbreak of WWII in Europe". Standard framework is One para why Hitler was to be blamed. and one para why hitler was NOT to be blamed.
Paragraph must have topic sentence, elaboration (there is where the memory work comes in) and link (sum up why the content knowledge in the elaboration shwos that Hitler should be blamed).

SBQ:
Skills are standard, so..child must be able to identify what is the question type he is answering. (Inference? Compare and contrast? Reliability?Utility?Assertion?)Once the child can identify the question type ,There is a standard framework in which he can approach the question.

Most importantly for SBQ---Practice, practice practice!
For essay also need practice. But if no time to write out full essays, essay outlines are good training too to prepare for exams. :)

HOpe this helps.

clioclio
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Re: Poor Humanities Subjects. How to Improve?

Postby bandmate » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:34 pm

In my opinion, I think using acronyms is very suitable for memorizing things in geography, and sometimes you don't really have to come up with fancy acronyms. The acronyms may make sense at all like (HBN or VISE) but if you memorize these short acronyms for awhile they are really useful for the exams. For instance, I used HBN and VISE as two of my many acronyms I use for geography. They represent Health (H), loss of Biodiversity (B) and loss of Natural Species (N) as the disadvantages of GM food. Whereas for VISE, it represents nutritional Value (V), increase in Income (I), increase in Supply (S), and reduced Environment impact (E) as the benefits of GM Food. Notice that they all represent the keywords of the factors, so don't include amorphous terms like Loss (L). It doesn't represent clearly the loss of what. Of course, if you choose to use this tactic you have to be really clear with your factors. Most of the time, I realise that the understanding of the topic is there but the difficult part comes when you have to memorize the factors and keywords. For me, I think it's rather effective because I forgot to memorize one of the key development chapter for my geography exam and I spent 30 minutes revising that chapter, which my teacher had only gone through once, and still managed to score well. I hope it works for you as well!

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