By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki
Next year’s presidential election is already on most of our minds, and is likely on the minds of our students as well. Though these students won’t vote until they turn 18, it’s never too early to educate them on the current and historical events that impact their world.
This is a great time to remember why we want our students to have a strong social studies education. Learning about history, geography, religion, and civics allows students to understand and interpret current world events from a place of knowledge. Being informed about society as students creates empowered, thoughtful adult citizens.
A study released earlier this year revealed that American students’ social studies knowledge has stagnated. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that only 18 percent of students scored at or above proficiency in US History. Educational leaders are rightly concerned about what this means for America’s future.
“How do we, as a nation, maintain our status in the world if future generations of Americans do not understand our nation’s history, world geography or civics principles or practices?”
– Michelle Herczog, president of the National Council for the Social Studies. (via EducationNews.org)
At Curriki, we offer a large selection of social studies courses. We’ve chosen a few to feature this month for elementary, middle, and high school students. These selections span a wide range of topics—everything from current events to historical ones. One thing they all have in common? They are sure to excite students and are bound to foster lively classroom discussion.
These courses are all free to access, and we’d love to hear how you use them in your classrooms!
Elementary and Middle School Courses
- Me and the World, the World and Me – Resources for an introductory social studies curriculum for kindergarten and first graders.
- Harriet Tubman: A Portrait of Determination – This unit teaches students to investigate colonial history, ask questions about people and their behavior, and gain a better understanding of how determination can change a society.
- A Matter of Chocolate – A Social Studies and Science Integrated Thematic Unit on the History and Chemistry of Chocolate.
- Lewis and Clark and the Louisiana Purchase – The resources in this collection all feature Lewis and Clark and the Louisiana Purchase.
High School Courses
- Political Parties – Students will examine the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties by looking at the viewpoints of each party in relation to current controversial issues.
- Anne Frank – This collection contains a complete set of resources for teaching Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, including 22 daily lesson plans with discussion points and connections to a social studies curriculum on World War II.
- China’s Great Leap into the 21st Century – Lesson plans for all grade levels with timely information about China’s tremendous economic growth, contentious social and political issues, and China’s foreign policy.
- Oil in Society – Resources that illustrate the history, science and events surrounding the extraction, use and politics of petroleum.
- Bill of Rights and the Media’s Influence on Public Opinion – A high school course that investigates the way media affects people’s opinions on politics and current events.
Do you have a favorite lesson or resource that promotes Social Studies? If so, please share it below!