Social Studies Teacher Resources
Find Social Studies educational ideas and activities
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Students create their own website to illustrate a theme form history. In this history and technology lesson, students create a home page or website for a recent history or social studies lesson. Students work in teams to complete the activity.
Social Studies: Civil Rights Unit: Grade 1
First graders discuss civil rights. In this civil rights unit, the student analyzes the roles of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges in the African American Civil Rights movement. They discuss which activist they feel contributed the most to the movement.
History Through the Spyglass: Developing Research Skills for Social Studies
Research everyday life of people living in British North America in the mid 1800s. Use this British North America history instructional activity to have students discuss resources to use for researching history. They will read about the Hensley Horror, complete an analysis sheet for primary and secondary sources, and a photograph analysis sheet.
Baseball Challenge: Social Studies TCAP
Using a baseball theme, this presentation provides a review of social studies topics covered in sixth grade. Students play a game in which they score based on the answers to various questions involving Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, map skills, and more. This would be a fun and interesting way for students to review material. The questions could be altered to meet a teachers' needs.
Should America Have Gone to War in 1812?
Using an incredibly engaging activity and detailed lesson plan, your learners will serve as advisors to President Madison on whether to participate in what would become the War of 1812! Utilize a variety of effective instructional strategies to acquaint your class with the causes of the war. There are opportunities for group work and independent practice, analysis of primary sources, and written or performance assessments.
History of the Star Spangled Banner
We have all heard the "Star Spangled Banner" at many points in our lives, but how often do we take the time to truly understand what the words of the national anthem mean to Americans? Don't miss this opportunity to examine the lyrics and explore the history behind an important piece of national heritage with your class. If you are pressed for time, you can combine activities from days one and two for a great lesson.
The First Conservationists
Learners discover some of the ways Native Americans valued the Earth. Students identify at least two steps taken by Native Americans to protect the Earth and list three ways they take care of the Earth. They create a class book showing how we take care of the Earth, then read it to first and second graders.
FREEDOMS WE ENJOY
Middle schoolers use electronic media to prepare and present a comparison between the lifestyles of the United States and a selected foreign country. Economic conditions, human-environment interaction and human rights be compared and contrasted.
How the Cookie Crumbles?
Students participate in a trust building activity. For this trust building lesson, students discuss the definition of the word "trust." Students understand that by sharing time, talents, and treasures we learn to trust each other. Students create a picture with all hands joined and explain why this shows we trust each other.
A Call to Jihad
Students view a video clip about Islam in the Middle East. They discuss quotes by Hussein calling for a jihad and what jihad means. They examine Hussein's leadership qualities as well.
What's In A Name?
Learners explore the origins of four major types of British surnames. They compare British surnames to certain-types of non-British surnames and finally, research the meaning and history of their own family name.
Students view a video clip about bombings in Saudi Arabia. They discuss the causes and implications of other recent terrorist attacks. They examine the United States - Saudi Arabia relationship as well.
Explore profit and loss using this resource. Focusing on business, learners define the word entrepreneur and make a list of business people. Then, they discuss a particular type of business and develop a profit-making scenario. And, finally, they solve problems related to profit.
Fifth Grade Social Studies Practice-Multiple Choice
In this grade 5 social studies worksheet, 5th graders complete a set of 11 questions about a variety of 5th grade concepts. An answer key is included.
Baltimore – Caught in the Middle
Choosing sides is no easy matter, and this was certainly true for the citizens of Baltimore in the beginning stages of the Civil War. Using video, group analysis of several primary sources, and discussion, this detailed and thorough lesson plan will really get your class thinking about the divided loyalties that existed during the war, as well as some of the difficult choices that Abraham Lincoln was forced to make.
Marshall Plan: Convince the American People
This is an excellent resource for US history classes, especially AP history. After learning some background on the Marshall Plan, the class, divided into two groups, researches opposing positions on this aid program. Groups read and analyze primary and secondary sources at school and home. They also formulate questions for the opposition to be used following each student's speech about the validity of the Marshall Plan.
A Just War or Just a War?
What, if anything, makes a war "just"? This is an interesting and important question to explore with your class, and you can utilize an excellent lesson plan to support your group inquiry. The American Revolution and the War of 1812 are focus subjects in this investigation into the concept and justification behind war as a whole.
Citizens For and Against the War of 1812
Use this exceptional resource to examine the discourse and debate that occurred at the start of the War of 1812 with your class. Learners will first consider their own position on the war in a silent journal writing activity. Then after consulting primary source documents through guided instruction, independent practice, and working in pairs, your class will come together to summarize source material and construct an informed argument on the issue.
Checks and Balances: Safe Harbor
Train young political analysts by following the plans outlined here. After reviewing the three branches of the government, small groups analyze the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004, identify instances of checks and balances, and write their own bill about public policy and media. The bill is a complicated text, and while there is a jigsaw activity built in, more scaffolding might be necessary. Handouts and assignment sheets are all included in the file. The lesson is part of a larger unit plan; check out the rest of the lessons on the Take the Challenge website.
Was the War of 1812 Our Second War of Independence?
Though it occurred almost 40 years later, could the United States have been fighting for their independence again in the War of 1812? Using appropriate primary source material from each of the two wars, compare and contrast the situation that American citizens found themselves in, making connections and drawing parallels through inquiry and discussion.