The study of history and social studies is a foundational subject matter for any well-rounded education. A good social studies education should include history, people and places, cultural diversity, authority and government, civics and citizenship, economics, and global connections and interactions. This study starts at a very young age with learning about the world around us and how we interact with it, as well as authority and rules at the most basic level. As kids get older they learn about their world with a more expanding view – first their country then their world. By the time students enter high school they should have received an overview of history from ancient times through the present, have an understanding of various forms of government and basic economics. Through the high school years, students will be exposed to more specific concepts in each of the areas of study that will help them understand the world we live in and how they can be an active part of that.
So often history and social studies are thought of as being dry and boring subjects. But it doesn’t have to be this way and kids will actually learn and retain more when it’s not! Yes, there is a need for the written accounts of history through a textbook, but that too often lends itself to being more like a fictional story than the reality of history. As a teacher or homeschooling parent you can help bring these concepts to life with hands-on activities and projects, researched based unit studies and interactive notebooks, and games that review what has been learned. You can find all of these fun and engaging educational resources on Educents.
A great way to learn about social studies is to connect it with other content areas. There are some amazing books that are a wonderful springboard for social studies lessons. At Educents you can find entire units and lessons plans written for these books. Looking for a more hands-on project? Let your students create costumes out of cardboard, duct tape, or recyclable materials. Recreate famous buildings or events using LEGO’s or even Minecraft!