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Social Sciences Subject Center 5


The Bear Necessities
Does the idea of your K-2 students doing Web research seem impossible? Check out this simple, but engaging, lesson! With teacher guidance, students use a KWL worksheet and a single easy-to-read Web site to record what they know, what they want to learn, and what they do learn about polar bears.

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.

How Understanding Poverty Can Help Low-Income Children Learn
Teachers often come from vastly different social and economic classes than their students, which can lead to culture clashes in the classroom. A new book by Dr. Ruby K. Payne helps educators understand low-income students, and discusses ways to improve their learning.

Inform Your Vote
Do your students voice support for one candidate or another in this year's presidential election? Do you wonder what their support is based on? Offer students a chance to weigh in on the issues, and compare their positions with that of the two party candidates.

Elections, Voting in Words a Kid Can Understand
The vocabulary and idiosyncrasies that surround voting and the election process are difficult for adults to grasp. In America Votes: How Our President is Elected, Linda Granfield explains the whole process in words any fifth grader will understand.

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.

Country Comparisons in Current Events Class
Do you have middle or high school students who are eager to debate current events, but sometimes lack evidence for their arguments? Or, are students struggling to understand the challenges faced in a developing country? If so, this lesson plan, using online resources and a spreadsheet program, may be just what you need to inform and inspire classroom discussions!

Developing 9/11 Lessons That Are Informative, Sensitive
For the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Families of September 11, Inc., released guidelines for lessons about the attacks that are informative and sensitive to the needs of children who may have lost relatives or friends.


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