300 Social Studies

“Children who learn to ask questions are far ahead educationally from when they had experience only in answering questions, particularly in the fields of history and other social studies.” ~Ruth Beechick

Social studies is the “integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence,” as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies. Many such courses are interdisciplinary and draw upon various fields and topics including: history, geography, culture, maps, civics, government, politics, economics, famous people, famous places, current events, religious studies, psychology, anthropology, and sociology.

Social Studies Online is an innovative project that emphasizes the use of technology to deliver the Tennessee social studies curriculum for grades K-8.

Parents Helping Students Learn Social Studies PDF icon  – A listing of many ideas that you can choose that interest you or are easy to incorporate into your family routine. We have marked ideas that are particularly appropriate for early grade children with the symbol *. From the Michigan Department of Education.

Teaching Curriculum For Social Studies – Lesson plans, worksheets, and resources designed to assist teachers who are creating either a full curriculum or single lesson in the content area of Social Studies.

Social Studies Curriculum Sites – Online curriculum resources, compiled by the Southern Oregon Education Service District.

Social Studies Mini Lessons Elementary (K-5) 

Social Studies Worksheets

The Ten Themes of Social Studies – Excerpt from the “National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies,” by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Middle School

Middle School Social Studies Curriculum – Social Studies is probably the most mentally stimulating subject of middle school. Middle school students are usually mature enough, and their reading skills are sufficient to read books well beyond their grade level. They should be encouraged to read college texts and books intended for adults on this subject. They should also be encouraged to do extensive online research, and create term papers similar to college term papers. Urge students to go beyond their current thinking and explore all aspects of a topic. Approach controversial topics and encourage students to research both sides, to gain an understanding of multifaceted issues. Unfortunately public school Social Studies curriculum has moved into a direction which many feel compromises academic standards. This is forcing interested parents to teach at home as a supplement to modern curriculum. This site contains many Social Studies Curriculum Links.

World History for Us All– A powerful, innovative model curriculum for teaching world history in middle and high schools. World History for Us All offers a treasury of teaching units, lesson plans, and resources while presenting the human past as a single story rather than unconnected stories of many civilizations. All teaching units have been formatted in PDF to facilitate printing and duplicating of materials, especially Student Handouts. Each of the nine Big Eras of world history, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers one Panorama Teaching Unit. Panorama units address very large-scale developments in world history. Each one also includes a PowerPoint Overview Presentation. Teachers and students may view the overview presentations in HTML or download them into their own PowerPoint programs. The Panorama units provide a model for teaching an entire era of world history in a few lessons taking no more than a week or two of class time. It helps students understand the past by connecting specific subject matter to larger historical patterns, and may be readily adapted to a variety of world history programs. Panorama units also serves teachers who wish, or are obligated by local and state standards, to devote more class time to particular eras than to others. World History for Us All enables teachers to survey world history without excluding major peoples, regions, or time periods.

High School

American Government – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.

Economics – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.

Psychology – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards. Social Studies Elective.

Sociology – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards. Social Studies Elective.

World Geography – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.

The Student’s Friend: World History & GeographyStudent’s Friend was the first comprehensive guide to world history teaching on the Internet, and teachers continue to find it an essential resource. Among other endorsements, Student’s Friend has been cited by the Library of Congress as “a rich site with articles, lessons, and other teaching aids,” and it has been recognized as one of the top ten history sites for teachers by the Stanford University School of Education. This website contains a concise narrative of world history including significant events, people, places, and concepts; along with lesson plans, study guides, and other teaching tools. The Student’s Friend provides students and teachers with an understandable overview of world history that focuses on essential knowledge, an approach advocated by experts in the field of history education. The online version may be used as an online world history textbook, also termed a digital textbook or electronic textbook. Downloads are available in pdf and MS Word formats. If used in place of a standard textbook, the Student’s Friend leaves more time in the curriculum to consider important themes and issues and for in-depth learning activities such as projects, investigations and simulations. Part 1: Prehistory through 1500; Part 2: 1500 to the present. All of this is available for FREE.

World History – The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.

AP World History – This AP course takes a global view of historical processes and contacts between peoples in different societies. Major interpretive issues will be explored, as well as the techniques used in interpreting both primary historical evidence and secondary sources. Themes will be employed throughout the course; through the basic approach will be chronological: Foundations, 600-1450, 1450-1750, 1750-1900, and 1900-present. Students will pay particular attention to change and continuity over time, to the characteristic institutions and values of societies, and to the way such institutions and values are affected as a result of cultural contacts among peoples. Students will be expected to learn selective factual knowledge in addition to certain analytical skills. ONLINE CONTENT INCLUDES: Study guide, videos, homework packets, homework resources, fun links. BOOKS USED: World History, 6th Edition: (textbook) William J. Duiker; Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford; The History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage.

The Earth and Its Peoples (3rd Edition) – You may download the individual chapters, or download the complete book in one PDF file. This text provides a truly global approach to the world history survey. Its fundamental theme, the interaction of human beings and the environment, serves as a point of comparison for different times, places, and societies. Special emphasis is given to technology and how technological development underlies all human activity.

Human Geography: People, Places, and Change – A video instructional series on geography for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 10 half-hour video programs. Human Geography combines economic and cultural geography to explore the relationships between humans and their natural environment, and to track the broad social patterns that shape human societies. Featuring communities around the world that are grappling with major socioeconomic change, the programs help students understand present-day events within the scope of clearly recognizable trends, and realize the impact that government, corporate, and individual decisions may have on people and places near and far. This series may serve as an introductory course for students of cultural or economic geography, or as a resource for sociology, anthropology, or social science departments. Produced by the BBC for The Open University in Great Britain. 1996.

Readings in Social Studies

Click on the topics below to learn about key content areas in social studies. This is basic information that everyone should know:

U.S. History

World History


Civics and Government


Social Studies Glossary – A list of key social studies terms. Click on the links within the definitions to view interactive flashcards for certain key terms.

Additional Links

African Voices – This site from the Smithsonian Institution examines the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures over time in the realms of family, work, community, and the natural environment.

Ancient Cultures – The AncientWeb site contains educational resources on the ancient cultures of the world, an image library, videos, and a community forum for people who want to preserve their cultural heritage through appreciation of the past. Explore the ancient history of North America, South America, Europe, the Near East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Awesome Stories – This free, interactive electronic learning tool contains stories about some of the world’s most interesting people, places and events. The site also includes links to supplementary materials on the Web.

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection – This site contains an extensive collection of over 6,000 online maps. A new feature allows you to overlay maps of different time periods on a topographic map.

History for Music Lovers – Music videos that make teaching history more fun!

Holidays – A colorful collection of printable PDF files for holiday crafts, projects, and activities from Marilyn Scott-Waters, “The Toymaker.” Featured holidays include: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Purim, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Canada Day, Fourth of July, Rosh Hashana, Summertime Fun, and Diwali. In addition, there is a page of simple little gifts for you to make! Marilyn says, “My goal is to help grownups and kids spend time together making things.”

Hyper History Online – HyperHistory is an expanding scientific project presenting 3,000 years of world history with an interactive combination of synchronoptic lifelines, timelines, and maps. This site goes beyond a history of wars and politics and adds scientific, cultural, and religious facts and events to aid in developing a fundamental knowledge and understanding of society. For quick shortcuts to science, culture, religion and politics click on the colored boxes at the bottom of the page. HHO is complemented with a Book Text with 250 chapters of world history, accessible from the button on the lower right. In addition to that HyperHistory provides several hundred links to the world wide web.  From the Shakespeare text file, for example, you can find a link to the complete works of Shakespeare, etc.  and in the science section the student can learn about the history of the theory of matter, or the relativity theory, etc. Maps displays seven periods of world history with many links to dozens of regional maps. An index leads to an alphabetical index of over 1000 persons depicted within the lifelines of the people section.

The Map as History – An excellent online collection of historical maps that use animation, color and narration to bring history to life.

The Multicultural American West: A Resource Site – This site explores the history of the American West as the story of interactions among a variety of peoples.

Museum of Tolerance Multimedia Learning Center Online – This site contains an extensive collection of exhibits, photographs, and articles about the Holocaust.

National Geographic Maps and Geography – This site contains political, physical and virtual Earth map collections from the National Geographic Society.

People of the Past – Come face to face with Romans, Picts, and Ancient Egyptians and learn more about how they dressed, spoke and even shopped! Discover what life was like for Iron Age people 2000 years ago by exploring the Birnie archaeological site in Northern Scotland.

Scorecard – This site is a source of environmental maps and pollution data for communities throughout the United States.

Social Studies Skills – This site features links that include definitions of terms, procedures, methods, examples, and activities related to the comprehension of social studies materials.

U.S. Census Bureau – This is the official site of the United States Census Bureau. It provides access to both current and historical census data.

The Why Files – This site based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explores the science, math and technology behind the news of the day and presents those topics in a clear, accessible and accurate manner. Eager to explain the science behind the news, The Why Files produces a new story each week, alternating longer features with shorter stories. They also reprise older stories that become relevant to the headlines. The Why Files supports National Science Standards for grades 5-12.

World at WorkWikijunior:World at Work is a featured book on Wikibooks. It shows pictures of people all over the world working.

World History Videos Worth Watching – from Mr. Yankey’s World History Class.

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