Rather than teaching social studies skills in isolation, teach them as children participate in hands-on activities incorporating other areas of the curriculum. Social studies integrate well with art, literature, and drama.
Social studies skills develop naturally through play, dramatizations, role-playing, field trips and through the study of hands-on themes.
Most young children enjoy making pictures and maps or models with Plasticine or other modeling compounds. They like to create with blocks, and listen to and act out stories. Social studies toys and puzzles also help children become familiar with the concepts of mapping and community.
Social studies toys and puzzles also help children become familiar with the concepts of mapping and community.
What social studies skills do my students need to know?
- work in groups
- gather information from personal experiences, books, videos
- share information in a variety of ways
Teach kindergarten social studies skills with literature
Great stories help children:
- build kindergarten social studies vocabulary
- develop a positive problem-solving mentality (in what ways can I solve this problem?)
- increase skills and knowledge in social studies topics.
Good social studies literature lead to:
- discussions of maps and landmarks
- creating graphs of characters or family members
- noticing differences and similarities between families, geography, maps
Every Book Is a Social Studies Book: How to Meet Standards with Picture Books, K – 6, published in 2011, shows you how a social studies lessons can be incorporated into nearly any subject. Each chapter is organized around one of the National Council for the Social Studies’ Ten Thematic Strands, covering topics ranging from community and individuality to science and technology.
Suggested literature and sample activities:
- “Rosie’s Walk” – kindergarten social studies mapping activities
- “The Gunniwolf”– mapping and safety concerns
- “Wolf Island” – Food chains, care of the environment