Social studies is exciting. It’s eye-opening and inspiring. It can transport students to places of the present and past, or encourage them to view events in a whole new light. Something else that’s so spectacular about social studies is the fact that many subjects can be incorporated right into it. While students are learning about history, for example, they can be strengthening their writing skills or practicing percentages. Bring science, math, ELA, and other exciting subjects into your social studies classroom with these engaging resources for elementary through high school:
Mr Bowyer’s Social Studies Showroom says, “My Newspaper Article Summary Activity (grades 9-12) is aimed at familiarizing high school students with reading the newspaper. Before we began using this weekly activity, only about 5 percent of them kept up with the news regularly. Upon starting to use the resource, they also had a lot of questions about the basic aspects of a news story: ‘Mr. Bowyer, when did this story happen?’ ‘Mr. Bowyer, how can I tell where this story happened?’ Now that we’ve used this resource a couple times, my students can breeze through it and have a substantive discussion about what the stories were about, why they may have happened, and how it impacted them.”
Surviving Social Studies says, “When I first started teaching I remember thinking, ‘How am I going to get kids excited about economics?’ Then it hit me: Make it about them! Included in The Economics of Checks, Budgets, Stocks, College, and Savings – 5 Activities! (grades 7-12) are activities I’ve done with my middle school students. They’re a tried-and-true hit every time! ”
“I’ve had huge success with Design Your Own Amusement Park (Mapping Skills) (grades 5-9) in my middle school classroom,” explains Addie Williams. “It combines social studies, math, and ELA as part of a geography/mapping unit. I ask students to design their own amusement park: They must draw a map to scale, use correct mapping techniques, and write a paragraph about their favorite ride.”
“I love integrating science into my social studies classes,” says Mr Educator – A Social Studies Professional. “When we study The Black Death, students analyze news articles and listen to an audio interview to learn what scientists are still learning about this medieval killer. Take a look: The Black Death & Modern Science: How Can We Learn More About the Plague? (grades 5-8).”
Amy Mezni says, “My students are still building up their research skills, so I designed United States Geography Regions & State Research Project Unit 4th 5th 6th Grade because it’s very flexible. Students can simply research a state and design a poster, or they can then take the information and write a narrative prompt about taking their dream vacation. They’re able to practice geography skills, research skills, and narrative writing skills.”
From Get Caught Engineering — STEM for Kids: “We love to integrate STEM with social studies. Whether we’re challenging students to design a blue print for a community, engineer a compass for an explorer, or design a trunk for Jamestown colonists, we’re always finding new ways to make real-world connections for our children. Our bundle of historical architecture provides fun and exciting hands-on STEM activities for the study of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Take a look: A Bundle of Ancient History STEM and Engineering Projects (grades 3-6).”
“I love to create social studies resources that also integrate reading and writing,” explains ideas by jivey. “That way, we can ‘do’ social studies all day long! We read about important people and events. We also do fun activities like puzzles, and we write about them to show our understanding, too. Here are a few activities I’ve created for 3rd-6th graders: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, & Sacagawea- Reading Integration Unit.”
“I love teaching social studies and integrating it with other subjects,” explains Marcia Murphy. “One of my newest resources is my 13 Colonies Posters plus Interactive Flap Books, Maps, & Printables (grades 3-5). Students get involved in history, geography, and language arts through the use of reading and writing with graphic organizers, a word search, acrostic poetry, map labeling, and more. It also brings in art when students are asked to design their own compass rose.”
Kristen Vibas says, “As an ESOL teacher who co-teaches in the mainstream classroom, I love how easily social studies integrates with language arts. I often consider the social studies curriculum when choosing books for my guided reading groups. It’s so important for my English language learners (and native English speakers) to have multiple opportunities to learning about and apply the new content. They’re more successful in their social studies class with this additional practice during reading. I created my Ancient Civilizations Mini Books (Bundle) (grades 2-5) just for that purpose.”
“Integrating topics is such a cohesive way to cover material across the curriculum and make vital connections for students to understand,” says Silly Sam Productions. “My Liberty Town, U.S.A. Build a City in Your Classroom! unit (grades K-4) covers several important social studies topics while incorporating math, health, science, and language arts as well.
Students brainstorm the important elements of a community and then choose a building to create for our town. They act as city planners to design roads, and they brainstorm names of buildings and streets. They delve into economics, community helpers, and American symbols as they create their ideal communities. They investigate health topics when figuring out what a good community needs, as well as the sciences when they consider farming and transporting foods, as well as every career and occupation. They use their language arts skills to write about their building and its importance along with the community helpers that would be found there. Then they consider the impact of good citizens in their community, and they write about their own contributions. We add lots of props and take tons of pictures.”
Adventures in Kinder and Beyond says, “My Now and Then resource (grades K-3) is a fun social studies unit that integrates math and science by teaching students about how things have changed from long ago! Included are picture cards, a cut-and-paste activity, a fact sheet, and much more!
“One of my best sellers is my Australian Aboriginal Dot Painting & Dreamtime Story: The Arts, Math & Culture pack (grades PreK-1),” explains Elizabeth Hah. “Creating the dot paintings incorporates counting by tens to 100. It also introduces Australian animals, their tracks, and traditional Aboriginal writing symbols. Other activities include reading and writing, storytelling, drama and performance, prop making and, of course, a variety of art projects. It was specifically created to incorporate literacy, math, drama and culture and is super fun for young learners!”