Social Studies and the Young Learner

Teaching About Elections During a Presidential Election Year


--Mary E. Haas, Barbara Hatcher, and Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
Introducing young students to some of the main facets of a national election (past and present): What is an opinion survey? What is democracy? How do we learn about the candidates? Is the election fair? How are Votes cast and counted? What happens at a national debate? etc.   --> read more »

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The Bear is Still Singing: Creating Lyrics with Social Studies


--Thomas Turner
This article focuses on teachers or students "creating their own lyrics" as a method of teaching about history--or any social studies topic.

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The Klondike Gold Rush: Using Technology to Learn about History


--Edith G. Mayers
A unit of study "taught to fifth graders that infuses technology into student-centered activities." Students create a story map, time line, a "newspaper article," and an oral presentation.

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Fourth Grade Historians: A Thematic Approach to Immigration


--Elizabeth Egan Henry
A thematic approach to the topic of immigration challenges fourth grade students to develop their skills as historians.

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Bridging the Years: An Intergenerational History Project


--Rahima Wade, Diane Gardner, Paul Doro, and Sandy Arendt
Children often lack meaningful connections with the elderly. This article describes ideas for developing intergenerational activities to enrich the social studies curriculum.

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Rope Circles and Giant Trees: Making History Come Alive


--Robert Millward
Students in grades 4-8 can get a feeling for what the colonial frontier was like when the lesson includes physical activity, paintings, artifacts, diaries, and discussions. (Includes 2-page color poster by Robert Griffing.)

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DeKalb Couty, Illinois: A Local History Project for Second Graders


--Danielle Bell and Mary Beth Henning
Second grade students use primary and secondary sources to learn about local history. Students "grapple with" tough-to-read historical texts and open questions, and then prepare a presentation on what they've learned.

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Symbols of Democracy: An Introduction to Icons and Ideals


--Jackie Kofsky and Barb Morris
Lessons introduce K-3 students to key symbols of our country. (And see following Pullout.)

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Listening to Children Think Critically about Christopher Columbus


--Mary Beth Henning, Jennifer L. Snow-Gerono, Diane Reed, and Amy Warner
Two fourth grade teachers strive to create lessons that are developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and historically accurate in teaching about Columbus's encounter with Native Americans.

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Using Archaeology to Explore Cultures of North America through Time


--Mary S. Black
Simulated excavations, as well as other indoor activities, can "create dynamic learning adventures." A full-page sidebar features resources about corn, especially popcorn!

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