Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. It examines the past, present, and future of human societies, emphasizing the relationships between people, groups, cultures, and institutions. Social studies provides the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary for active citizenship and responsible leadership.
Best practices for Teaching Social Studies
Start with the big ideas. What are the key concepts that students need to understand? Once you know the big ideas, you can start to build your lessons around them.
Use a variety of teaching methods. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching social studies. Use a variety of methods to keep students engaged and learning.
Make it relevant to students’ lives. Social studies should be relevant to students’ lives. Find ways to connect the past to the present and to help students see how social studies affects them personally.
Teach critical thinking skills. Social studies is not just about memorizing facts. It’s also about learning how to think critically about the world around us. Help students develop their critical thinking skills by asking them questions, challenging their assumptions, and helping them see different perspectives.
Involve students in the learning process. Social studies is more than just listening to lectures and taking notes. Get students involved in the learning process by having them do projects, conduct research, and participate in discussions.
Use technology to enhance learning. There are a number of ways to use technology to enhance social studies learning. For example, you can use websites, apps, and videos to help students learn about different topics.
By following these best practices, you can help students develop a deeper understanding of social studies and how it affects their lives.
Teaching Resources for Social Studies
We offer a variety of social studies resources and many which integrate reading comprehension. All of our social studies resources include multi-media, text, graphics, and many include video.
Here are some additional tips for teaching social studies:
- Use primary sources. Primary sources can help students get a firsthand look at the past. This can be done by reading letters, diaries, or newspaper articles from the time period.
- Take field trips. Field trips can help students see the places and things they are learning about in real life. This can be a great way to make social studies come alive for students.
- Encourage debate and discussion. Social studies is all about different perspectives. Encourage students to debate and discuss different issues. This will help them develop their critical thinking skills and learn to see things from different angles.
- Celebrate diversity. Social studies should teach students about the different cultures and perspectives of the world. Celebrate diversity by incorporating different cultures into your lessons.
By following these tips, you can help students develop a deeper understanding of social studies and how it affects their lives.