Home >> Prof. Development >> Prof. Development >> Social Science

Search form

Social Science

A Token Economy and Fifth Grade Financiers
Students in Beth Moore's classroom know what to expect if they break class rules -- a big, fat fine! That's business as usual in a classroom where everyone receives a salary, maintains a checkbook, and designs and sells goods in the class store.

Iditarod Turns Kids' Brains to Mushing
Alaska's Iditarod sled dog race is set to begin, and Herb Brambley, Target's "Teacher on the Trail" will be there to share firsthand experiences with students and teachers. Don't miss out on this annual "teachable moment" from the "Land of the Midnight Sun."

Dimes for Charity
In Linda Biondis fourth grade class, positive behavior earns dimes for charity. And Dimes for Charity demonstrates what can happen when children believe in the power of doing the right thing.

Hail to the Chief(s)!: Lessons from Presidential Libraries
Presidential libraries hold the papers and memorabilia of former U.S. presidents, making them available to the general public, and preserving them for future generations. Discover how you can use online resources from presidential libraries to teach students about U.S. presidents.

Career Education
Job shadowing allows students to see what a real job is like, shows them that they have choices in life, motivates them to set long term goals, and helps them make the connection between what they learn in class and what they need to learn to achieve their goals. Job shadowing, however, should be just part of a comprehensive career education program that spans all grade levels.

Kids Can Help Too
Children in the United States and around the world have responded to reports of the recent tsunami in Asia by contributing to the relief efforts in record numbers -- and in unique ways. Learn what they're doing -- and how your students can help too. Included: Where and how to contribute to tsunami victims.

Making Social Studies Work for At-Risk Kids
Joann Winkler, the 2004 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) elementary school teacher of the year, has her at-risk kids running businesses, collecting for the needy, and giving national park "tours."

Advancing the Need for International, Global Studies
Caryn Stedman is so eager to broaden her students' views of the world that she has invited visitors from other countries to her school. Stedman, an award-winning social studies curriculum specialist, talks about her zeal for international literacy.

Teach Geography with E-Mail
Next week is National Geography Awareness Week. Are you using the opportunity to look for an easy way to incorporate technology into your geography lessons? If so, you might consider one of the excellent collaborative projects available via e-mail. After all, what better way is there to learn about the world than by virtually chatting with the people who live here?

The Prop Box: Setting the Stage for Meaningful Play
Dramatic play is an essential mode of learning for young children, and "prop boxes," play materials grouped by theme, make this activity even more effective. Find out how you can use these educational tools to guide your students toward meaningful role-playing and creative exploration.

Author Explains Juvenile Justice System
Television court dramas may draw a lot of young viewers, but they don't educate the public about the juvenile justice system. Author and lawyer John W. Biggers hopes his Kids Law books will help adults and teens understand the juvenile system.

Strategies That Work: Service Learning
In its truest form, service learning connects deeply to the school curriculum. It offers students unique opportunities to learn responsibility, experience satisfaction, and provide benefit to the community as they acquire new skills.

Tour the USA WebQuest
A group of foreign exchange students has been invited to spend a semester at your school. The students will tour the United States by car before arriving in your town. Because they won't have time to travel throughout the entire United States, they've decided to focus their tour on only one region of the country. They've asked your class to help them decide which region to explore.

Strategies That Work: Teaching Manners
Although character education is a hot topic in schools, education in manners often receives scant attention. Teachers who "teach" manners say, however, that they notice a real difference in students' attitudes, in the way they treat one another, and in their schoolwork.

Strategies That Work: Playground Maps
A large-scale map painted on playground asphalt "provides a 'clean slate' on which students can do all kinds of activities," says Ed Bonne, known throughout the United States as "The Playground Map Guy." Included: Activities for using playground maps.

Strategies That Work: Teaching About Current Events
The statistics we read about students' awareness of world events are frightening. Every teacher must play a role in building students' current-events knowledge. A strong current events program can also teach essential skills related to writing, geography, and history.

Wire Side Chat: Lessons of the Holocaust
To help you provide your students with the information and insights they need to understand the events and implications of the Holocaust, Education World interviews Warren Marcus, a teacher educator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Dealing with War and Terrorism in the Classroom
With security alerts now part of American life and the number of troops in the Middle East growing daily, avoiding the topics of war and terrorist threats is becoming increasingly difficult for teachers. Today, Education World offers educators tips on how to address those issues with their students.

Teaching Students to "Go Fourth" Peacefully
Go Fourth, an anti-bullying program based on classroom discussions and exchanges among children around the globe, recently brought teachers, parents, and fourth grade students from East Greenwich, Rhode Island, school to Shaoguan, Guandong province, China, on a mission to promote respect for cultural diversity.

Learning and Living the First Amendment
Find out how you can use your school as a mini democracy lab, applying the First Amendments five freedoms to school governance and everyday issues. Included: Links to lesson plans and resources on the First Amendment.

Orphan Train: A Social Studies Project that "Clicked" with Students!
Two 4th grade teachers ride the rails of the "Orphan Train" as they use technology to add vitality to their social studies curriculum. Included: Links to lessons and resources you can use to develop your own Orphan Train project!

Voice of Experience: Teaching Religion in Public Schools: Removing the Angst
Do you run from any mention of religion in your public school classroom? How do you escape that during this month of holy celebrations? Educator Max Fischer has been thinking about this issue, and his thoughts might help relieve some of your angst.

Learning Geography Through E-Mail
A month ago, some students in Bellingham, Washington, werent even sure where to find Arizona on a map of the United States. Now they can find Australia, Korea, and even Azerbaijan on a map of the world, thanks to an e-mail activity initiated by their schools library media specialist.

Educating Students to Fight Hunger
Hunger is not the condition caused just by a lack of food; hunger is an issue tied to food access, distribution, and utilization. These are among the lessons of Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger, a curriculum about hunger issues tied into World Food Day, October 16. Sponsors of the program hope widespread awareness of hunger will lead to widespread efforts to eliminate it.

U.S. Geological Survey Is Gold Mine for Educators
A geographer who works in educational outreach for the U.S. Geological Survey, Joseph Kerski is eager to share the organization's publications with teachers -- and there are more than just maps! With more than 100,000 resources to choose from, every teacher will find something useful in the USGS warehouse. What golden nugget will you discover?

Kids Snap Communities in Internet Project
For the Internet project Communities Around the World, kindergarten and first-grade students from four states took pictures in their hometowns, created PowerPoint presentations about their communities, and used e-mail to share those presentations with one another.

Degree Confluence Project: At the Intersection of Geography and Technology
When Webmaster Alex Jarrett bought a global positioning system years ago, he didn't know that it would lead him on an online adventure! He set out on a trek to locate the point where a line of latitude and longitude met (called a confluence) and took pictures that he published on the Internet. This was the foundation of the Degree Confluence Project, an organized sampling of the world that is growing by leaps and bounds. With more than 11,000 confluences to be found, the project isn't about to run out of new goals for its participants. A confluence is within 49 miles of your classroom!

Close-Up: Four Schools With Award-Winning Service-Learning Programs
Education World "tours" a few of the schools recognized as National Service-Learning Leader Schools. Learn about their approaches to service learning and about the special projects that earned them their awards! Included: Tips from these top schools and information about how your school can participate in state and national Service-Learning Leader Schools programs.

Paper Clip Drive Helps Students Learn About Holocaust
Two Tennessee middle school teachers have created a unique project to teach about the enormity of the Holocaust. The students could use your help!

The Diversity Bus: On the Road to Understanding
The Town-to-Town C.A.R.E.-A-VAN is on the road to a new world -- a world in which people celebrate diversity. On a 13-month journey, this transformed school bus will visit 25 schools in 22 states. You and your students are invited along for the ride! Included: How you and your students can participate!

Use Editorial Cartoons to Teach About Elections Past and Present
Wise teachers around the United States are using news stories about the primary elections and the upcoming national election as a timely lesson in citizenship. But dont forget one other tool for teaching citizenship and critical thinking --- newspaper editorial cartoons! Bring the power of editorial cartoons ---the strength of their images and the power of their messages--- into your classroom! Included: Online resources that promote higher order thinking activities through the use of editorial cartoons. An editorial cartoon contest too!

Building a Working Community in the Classroom: One Teacher's Experience
Elementary teacher Toni Wing captured her students' interest by making them citizen-leaders of a city called Tinseltown. As business people, bankers, and employees, the students kept checkbooks and inventory and found out about the real world. See how the activity made learning across the curriculum relevant for students! Included: Ideas for creating a community in your classroom!

Explore the World --- Virtually!
What did your students do on their vacation? Probably nothing as exciting as the adventures they can embark on right in their own classroom! Even better --- there will be no sandy clothing, insect bites, sunburns, or lost luggage on these trips. Where are they going? Anywhere in the world --- with just the click of a mouse. Check out these online adventures. Then grab your students and hop aboard!

The News of the Century --- Reported by *Your* Students!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The News of the Century contest is in full swing. And it's not too late for your students to share in the fun and the learning. Find out how one class's participation spanned the curriculum and opened students' eyes to the world. Included: Students tell what they thought was so great about the project!

The Giraffe Project: Encouraging Kids to 'Stick Their Necks Out' for Others
Everyday heroes are toasted by the Giraffe Project! This organization, based in Langley, Washington, shares news of individuals who are making a difference in their communities. These heroes, called "giraffes," stick their necks out to help other people. With the guidance of the program, children are learning that they can not only find giraffes in their own communities, they can become giraffes themselves! Included: Comments from teachers and students who've been inspired by the Giraffe Project to help others.

Making Census 2000 Count for Kids
Map literacy. Community involvement. Data management. The U.S. Census Bureau and Scholastic Inc. have used those three themes to create Census in the Schools teaching materials --including a 4- by 6-foot U.S. map, in color-- that are available to teachers throughout the United States. Included: How to order your "Making Sense of Census 2000" kit!

Is Community Service a Waste of Time?
Many educators use the terms *community service* and *service learning* interchangeably. They are two very different concepts, though. What is the difference? Should your students participate in one or the other? Included: Education World talks to the experts about what it takes to create a real service-learning project.

Service Learning in Action Across the Grades
No matter what grade level or subject you teach, service-learning projects can add a new dimension to your curriculum. This week, Education World offers examples of three excellent service-learning projects --- one each at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each project is an example of true service learning. Included: Individual projects that involve students in creating Web pages for nonprofits, link the generations, and introduce students to the inner workings of community government.

Students Learn While Helping at Soup Kitchen
How do you teach compassion? A project launched by teachers and students at Presentation of St. Mary Academy in Hudson, N.H., is designed to do just that. Classroom learning is tied closely to the students' participation in a project carried on with the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter. Included: Details of how service learning can be tied to learning across the curriculum!

Extra! Extra! Eight Great Web Sites Connect News to Your Curriculum!
Discover eight great sites that will help you link the day's news to your curriculum and challenge students to look beyond the news! Connect the news to science, geography, social studies, art, math, languages arts, critical thinking, and technology! Also: Six on-line news quizzes for students of all ages.

Colorado Students Fight to End Slavery in Sudan
Just one year ago, Barbara Vogel's students were typical fifth graders, wrapping up a U.S. History unit on slavery. Today, those Colorado students are credited with spurring what has been called the largest abolitionist movement of the last century. What happened? As Education World discovered in an exclusive interview with Vogel, her students study slavery, but they learn "the power of one."

GeoGame = Geography + Fun
GeoGame is a popular email-based geography project enjoyed by teachers and students alike. Now it is unveiling an online Web version with easier access and continuous play! Are you up to the challenge? Included: Interactive geography projects across the grades!

Happy Birthday, Alaska!
As winter deepens, invite students to go on a WWW tour of the nation's largest state. What better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Alaskan statehood?

"X" Marks the Spot: Map Resources on World Wide Web
Don't lament the changing nature of the Internet -- capitalize on it! Because the Net immediately responds to political changes that forge new boundaries, your students can create and examine online maps that are more up-to-date than any of those in textbooks. No more searching through ancient atlases and dusty encyclopedias -- you'll find everything you need in the virtual world of the Web!

Bon Voyage, Keiko!
Keiko, the world's most famous killer whale -- the subject of two Free Willy movies -- is bound for the North Atlantic. Students can follow Keiko online as he travels from Oregon to Iceland on September 9!

Why Teach Current Events?
Why bother teaching current events? The research indicates that a regular dose of current events has a multitude of benefits! Included: Activity ideas and Internet resources for teaching current events!

Take an Internet World Tour!
Join Education World as we adventure in the South American rain forest, as we track tigers in Asia, and as we follow President Clinton on his recent African tour. We visit one Web site connected to each continent. Follow-up activities provided!

C Is for Citizenship: Using Literature to Teach Citizenship Concepts
The Fourth of July is a good time to explore issues of Citizenship. And the Social Science Education Consortium has created a terrific tool -- C Is for Citizenship: Children's Literature and Civic Understanding -- for using 20 tradebooks to teach citizenship concepts across the grades. Included: A citizenship lesson based on the book Brooklyn Doesn't Rhyme by Newbery Award-winning author Joan W. Blos.

"Baby" Helps Teens Think It Over!
A computerized doll, programmed to mirror the needs of a real baby, shows teens what parenting is really like.

"Live" from the South Pole!
Author Janice VanCleave shares icy experiments -- and adventure! -- from the coldest place on the planet. Join her on a Web site set up just for this adventure!

Multiculturalism: What Do Students Think?
Administrators, teachers, parents, and other public figures have voiced their opinions about multicultural education. But a survey by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company has asked students what they think about multiculturalism in their schools.

Every School Should Have a Playground Map!
Playground maps are great teaching tools! Thanks to Ed Bonne, "The Playground Map Guy," many kids will find a new addition to their playgrounds when school opens in a few weeks.

Teaching Citizenships Five Themes
Activities from the editors of Weekly Reader can help develop K-6 students understanding of the five citizenship themes---honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage.

Mrs. Burton Means Business
Recycling Kids, Inc.-- a business run by El Monte, California, third-graders--teaches business skills while involving parents and helping the environment.