K-6 Social Studies Resources

December 2015

Virtual Field Trip Anyone?

There are so many ways to help make social studies come alive in our classrooms. Don't we want an exciting and engaging way of teaching social studies than just reading aloud from the textbook?

You can travel around the world, visit different cultures, go to different museums, and so much more. Take a skill you are planning on teaching to your students this grading period and see where the skill can come alive.

Virtual field trips help build 21st century skills, reduce the time in your lesson planning, increase excitement for social studies, and even support all of your different learners. More importantly it keeps you from going crazy collecting permission forms and money.

Resources with and without virtual website links:

Integration of Reading and Writing

The instructional time we get each day is priceless. When we take into account all the skills, academic and nonacademic, we need to cover it is crazy. Like we've looked at before, we need to do a better job at integrating writing and reading into our social studies lessons.

Reading-- Teaching reading during social studies is the easiest. There are always instances you can pull in those inferences, main idea, context clues, paraphrasing, and connection work. It is important that you are using the same reading academic vocabulary during your social studies time. By using the same language, students are able to see the connections easier of how it all ties together. Think of ways to read the lesson without reading it whole class each and every time.

Reading ideas-

  • Jigsaw the unit
  • Discuss the chapter using visuals and infer
  • Have students recreate the time period through a Reader's Theatre, drama, or role play
  • Have them partner read
  • Use Literature circles
  • Show them a video of what the lesson is about
  • Share a trade book instead of the textbook chapter (supplement with the textbook)
  • Use post it notes to track thinking
  • Skype with a visitor who would discuss the different topics for the day

Reading resources:



Writing-- Teaching writing during social studies is a little bit harder. Is it doable? Yes, but it takes a little more planning. Expository writing (ideas with proof) or persuasive writing is easier to incorporate during social studies. Writing during social studies is more than writing a summary at the end of the chapter or answering the questions at the end of the unit. It is getting students to think about what they've read and create something new from the information.

Writing ideas:

  • Journal as a person during that time period
  • Doing boxes and bullets (main idea and supporting details) at the end of a subheading/chapter
  • Writing a persuasive letter to a public official
  • Creating a newsletter
  • Creating a blog
  • Have students "Tweet" about what they learned during the lesson--have to narrow down the main idea to 140 characters
  • Create a campaign poster
  • Write a poem about the unit (use the poetry vocabulary)
  • Create an ABC book about a unit of study
  • Create a postcard from a particular place
  • Have students write and analyze from different primary and secondary sources
  • Compare and contrast different time periods, countries, cultures, monuments, etc.
  • Research and present different famous people, places, and events
  • Create a mind map
  • Create a newspaper editorial

Fun, Interactive Writing Apps (some might cost you money!)

  • Writing Prompts for Kids ($1.99)
  • Adobe Slate (free)
  • Book Creator ($4.99)
  • Write About This ($3.99)
  • Book Writer ($4.99)
  • Haiku Poem (Free)
  • Writing Challenge ($1.99)
  • Foldify ($3.99)
  • Popplet ($4.99)
  • Story Patch ($2.99)
  • EDNA ($1.99)--mind mapping
  • Sock Puppets (Free)
  • Word Swag ($2.99)
  • Notability ($2.99)
  • Evernote (Free)
  • Kidblog (Free)

Writing Resource:

Strategies for Teaching Social Studies
Inquiry Based Learning for Social Studies Teaching