Elementary Social Studies Teacher Resources
Find Elementary Social Studies educational ideas and activities
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Learn how to distinguish between curriculum and instruction. Utilize concept mapping strategies to organize a philosophy of elementary social studies education. Your class will be able to explain the process they underwent to organize their information and to identify their categorical headings.
Three recommendations to help keep your students engaged via outdoors social studies activities.
An incredibly detailed and focused resource, this cross-curricular unit uses text dependent questions, primary sources, and close reading to help readers interpret and analyze the content and structure of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." The unit is composed of three sections, each of which covers a different aspect of the speech. For teachers, there are detailed descriptions of the purpose of each activity, guiding questions and responses, and appendices with additional activities.
"The Gettysburg Address" is the basis of a series of activities that not only model for learners how to conduct a close reading of a text, but also how a close reading can help them comprehend a difficult text. The detailed, step-by-step plan includes an appendix of supplemental activities, other versions of the speech, a vocabulary list, and guiding questions with instructional commentary.
Second graders complete a web organizer that identifies groups I belong to, my family, my school and other groups. They describe differences among the groups and how they help each other. In addition, they present in front of the class their web organizers.
Fifth graders enact working and/or being a customer at French markets. Students then buy all the items on a shopping list at the appropriate markets (this is different from our supermarkets).
In this lesson, North Carolina Salt Dough Map, 4th graders create a salt dough map of North Carolina, Students use dough to form the shape of the state of North Carolina. Students label the three regions of North Carolina and all of the major rivers, lakes, other important landmarks, and the surrounding states and the Atlantic Ocean. This lesson is a great extension to a unit on North Carolina and its regions.
Identify core social studies subjects with adult learners. They will discuss key issues from twentieth century American history and identify key social studies concepts taught at elementary grade levels. They then modify this activity to work with elementary social studies students. Great for student teachers. Note: Links are included.
Second graders read about and discuss natural features of communities. They listen to a guest speaker, such as a park ranger to expand their knowledge of natural features. They go on a field trip, if possible, to a local zoo or botanical garden and take notes during the trip. They create a four-sided pictures depicting the four seasons and the class together creates a nature center in the classroom.
Eighth graders utilize a variety of reading and writing skills in completing social studies activities on "The Big Lie." students express their understanding of right and wrong actions based on the characters through a personal response journal.
Students complete the Know and Want to Know columns of a K-W-L worksheet about elementary aged children. They develop instructional methods for use in elementary social studies classroom that would increase content knowledge. They modify game strategies for use in reviewing social studies content.
Second graders, after listening to "A River Ran Wild," explore all the ways the natural environment has changed and how it affects the community and the people who reside within it. They collect data by interviewing a community member, taking a neighborhood walk, and view maps and photographs.
Second graders listen to a Japanese folk tale called "The Traveling Frogs". They role play the story using puppets or costumes. They locate Japan on a map and discuss several geography topics. They independently write about ways they could gather information about their community and the geography of their area.
Second graders listen to a book about how farms feed the world. They discuss elements of rural life. They listen to a story about the suburbs and discuss elements specific to a suburban community. They listen to a story about city life and discuss the elements of living in a city. They create a T-chart depicting the similarities and differences of each type of community.
Students read folktales from around the world comparing two of them using a computer generated Venn diagram. They create a game based on a folktale and use software to create a listening library of folktales.
Third graders, in groups, choose a research topic and generate questions to narrow their focus. They research the answers to their questions and develop correctly cited source cards that display appropriate bibliographic format.
Young scholars participate in various social studies activities in correlation to William Shakespeare's Macbeth. In this Macbeth lesson, students study maps of Scotland, England, and Norway to identify locations mentioned in Macbeth. Young scholars research the countries online and discuss the people and customs. Students research British kings and queens and make a list of kingly graces. Young scholars complete a comparison of the Parliament and U.S. Congress.
Here are some top social studies lesson plans and activities which present concepts in a memorable fashion.
Pupils investigate the human factors that create a community. They conduct research using a variety of sources. Students then create dioramas that depict a typical scene found in a community.
Second graders discuss maps and identify boundaries found on a map. They walk through their school and nearby neighborhood and collect information regarding important features of the area.