Features of a Map
This handout created by Middle Grades Maven provides comprehensive graphics for each element of a map. The labeled graphics can be cut out and used in an interactive notebook or for a flip book students can use to study. The handout and project samples are available to download for free on Teachers Paying Teachers.
Social Studies Freebies
This series of articles posted on the blog “Teaching Resources” shares a number of social studies handouts, quizzes, activities, games and more that are available for free. The blog is created by teacher Laura Candler and is dedicated to sharing quality resources teachers can use. Most of these resources are geared toward the upper elementary age group. To see Laura’s social studies resources and/or to explore “Teaching Resources”, click here.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Poster
This beautiful poster created by Gavin Aung (Zen Pencils) lists the rights the United Nations agreed all human beings around the world have. The images are visually appealing and the text is easy for students of every age to understand. The poster is available to purchase for $25 in Gavin’s store and can be viewed in full here. Gavin Aung is a cartoonist and creator of the site “Zen Pencils”. Gavin’s work centers around inspirational themes and includes a number of other educational pieces. To visit “Zen Pencils” and see more of Gavin’s work, click here.
An Interactive Notebook
This collection of ideas for a social studies interactive notebook will help creating and organizing quality notes fun. This particular article focuses on physical geography (maps) and is one of many posts containing interactive notebook ideas. The whole collection of interactive notebook ideas can be viewed on the blog “The Middle School Mouth”. The Middle School Mouth is a blog sharing resources, teaching tips, and lesson ideas for grades 6-8. To read more about interactive notebooks and/or to see more from The Middle School Mouth, click here.
101 Social Studies
On her blog “Best Teacher Resources”, Mrs. S has compiled a long list of quality websites that can be used in the social studies classroom. Resources cover all age groups and are organized by the topic they focus on (i.e. World History). Best Teacher Resources is a blog dedicated to sharing quality resources for teachers for all ages and subject matters. To see the list of social studies websites and much more, click here.
Social Studies Inquiry Circles
In this post, Kristin describes how she uses inquiry circles in social studies to challenge her students. Throughout the post she provides links to the resources (available on TPT) she created for this purpose. Even without the resources, this post gives a solid description of inquiry circles and could help inspire future lessons. Kristin’s site “One Stop Teacher Shop” has this and many other resources created by Kristin partnered with detailed accounts of how these resources can be used. To see Kristin’s article on Inquiry Circles and more, click here.
Wax Museum Project
Here is a wonderful project idea shared by Jennifer Larson to get students into history. Students are assigned a famous individual that they will be responsible for researching. At the end of their research, students create a museum display that will serve as their backdrop for presentation day. On presentation day, students dress like their character and stand in front of their display, sharing who they are and why they are important when viewers press their button, just like in a wax museum! Jennifer breaks down each step of the project and her class experience on her blog “The Teacher Next Door”. For more information on this project and view more of Jennifer’s blog, click here!
10 Authors for Elementary Social Studies Teachers
Amy Broadmoore has compiled a list of authors who create meaningful children’s books centered around social studies themes. All of the authors recommended in this article have created works Amy could align with the Common Core Standards. Amy’s site, “Delightful Children’s Books”, is dedicated to finding quality literary material for ages 0-9 spanning multiple categories and themes. To see Amy’s author list and explore her literary library, click here.
Using Art to Teach Social Studies
This article by Meagan Sheakoski discusses the importance of using art in the classroom and gives suggestions/examples of how this art can be integrated. Even though many of the suggestions are geared towards the elementary level, all of the projects can be adapted for the higher levels. This article can be found on the site “Coffee Cups and Crayons” along with a number of other fun crafts for kids. To learn more, click here.
Virtual Field Trips
The internet has opened new ways to bring the world into the classroom. In this post, the author gives suggestions on how to organize internet material to take your students on virtual tours of the world. This article was created by “Kid World Citizen”, a website that focuses on global themes for kids. To learn more about virtual tours and to see more by Kid World Citizen, click here.
Kitchen Table Passport
Kitchen Table Passport is a company that puts together a variety of monthly packages featuring different countries around the world. Subscribers can personalize what they would like to include in their package but the country being featured each month is chosen by the company. The packages are informational with some local flare and are meant for families to enjoy, but they can be fun for the classroom as well. A teacher can use this is to learn along with the packages and have one package to share with their class(es). Since nobody really knows what is coming next, it can be a fun and relevant way to learn social studies concepts. To get students more involved, a teacher can use these as a project concept for their students. Students can make their own ‘packages’ featuring different countries (past or present) in which they cover key concepts/material. To learn more about Kitchen Table Passport, click here.
Social Studies Menu
On her blog “Polka Dot Lesson Plans”, Courtney has shared her experience using project menus in her social studies class. Each type of project (i.e. Poster, Interview, etc.) is worth a certain amount of points with bigger projects having more points associated with them. Students are then allowed to select which projects they would like to complete and must reach or exceed a certain point value in a given amount of time. In Courtney’s structure, the goal was to give students a menu every week and they would have to reach a total of 50 points.To access Courtney’s social studies menu and read more about her experience using it, click here.
Ashleigh and Leigh have shared some of their favorite science and social studies pins on Leigh’s site, “The Applicious Teacher”. The post starts with science but later turns into social studies ideas and resources with their necessary links. There are many fantastic projects shared that can help make learning fun. To see these pins and more from Leigh’s site, click here.
A Different Kind of Interactive Notebook
TpT user Middle School Matters has compiled her ideas for creating an interactive middle school notebook and has made them available for purchase on her TpT store. Unlike some of the other notebooks previously shared, these focus on applying the information students are learning in a creative fashion and require little cutting and pasting. To download the lesson collection or to learn more, click here.
(Disclaimer: FUTD is not associated with the creators of these resources and does not benefit from the sale/download/use of these resources in any way)