Social Studies is more than history. It’s an integrated study that includes social science, geography, and political science. It can be overwhelming to a student. Particularly when those study elements are in constant upheaval.
Fortunately, there are ways to create solid curriculums that educate, engage, and excite.
Here’s a quick guide to plan social studies lessons.
Go backward from the basics.
The first thing to do in social studies lesson planning is to construct a foundation.
You must follow the guidelines put forth by the district and your school. After that, you want to go back into the plan and include additional resources.
This is when you add field trips related to learning blocks. Or you plan on having a speaker discuss a certain element of social studies. On top of these, it is mandatory that you leave gaps for the discussion or debate.
Recap each week’s current events.
Social Studies does more than review what happened in the past. It’s a place where your students learn about current events. Hence, you must carve out time in your lesson plans for a weekly recap of the news.
There are tools you can utilize for this. Several news outlets create print and televised material that reports the news for younger audiences.
Discussions help them understand global situations and how they might affect them.
Connect the past to the present.
The current social backgrounds of countries and societies stem from past historical events. However, it’s difficult to link these together without some context.
Therefore, when you plan your social studies lessons, you want to connect the past to the present.
It’s best to start an education block by discussing a current event.
For instance, the removal of Confederate statues and memorials from southern U.S. states. From there, you can talk about why these were constructed in the first place. Then, move on to the reasons why societies and governments have changed their minds about them.
Include historical fiction and biographies.
Telling students about history, politics, and geography engages students up to a point.
For a better understanding of those elements, you need to include regular readings connected to the subjects they learn about.
The first way to do this is through biographies of historical personalities.
Books on numerous figures have been created for readers of all ages. The second is historical fiction. These books place children their age into past environments.
Here, they establish a direct connection with the character because they’re like them. They also feel sympathy for the characters when placed in dire situations.
Discussion and debate.
Discussions and debates are two methods of education that engage your students.
The former offers a back-and-forth between you and the kids or amongst themselves in a peer unit. The latter open your students’ minds to differing opinions on an event.
Though they might feel uncomfortable hearing them, it prepares them to be better listeners as they grow.
Hopefully, this quick guide to planning social studies lessons help increase the interest of your students.
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