Social Studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach! But I also remember feeling overwhelmed by the curriculum, especially when I changed grade levels. Lesson planning took so much time!
What really helped is when I made resources that worked for more than one unit or lesson – or that could even be used year-round. They saved me from starting from scratch every time we began something new.
Here are 5 time-saving social studies resources that every elementary teacher needs!
Social Studies Critical Thinking Posters
YES to purposeful classroom decor! In my state, critical thinking skills need to be integrated into every history unit.
These social studies posters make it easy to keep those skills front and center in your classroom. They make a great reference tool for students and a helpful reminder for teachers!
I love these for a year-round bulletin board, but you can also print them for social studies notebooks and have students write examples.
Graphic Organizers for Any Social Studies Lesson
Graphic organizers are everywhere for Language Arts, but I had a hard time finding them for Social Studies. I created these printable and digital social studies graphic organizers to help students practice skills like sequencing events, comparing perspectives, analyzing decisions, cause and effect, and more.
These are especially helpful if you have students read informational text passages in your social studies block. And they also include graphic organizers like notetaking, vocabulary, and KWLs so you can help students keep track of what they’re learning.
Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to try a free sample!
5 Themes of Geography Activities
If you’ve taught the 5 themes of geography, you know this can be tricky for elementary students. These graphic organizers and mini-book help students clearly outline each of the 5 components. And you can use them over and over again as you teach about different parts of the world!
Primary Source Analysis Question Prompts
Primary sources are an awesome way to help students make historical connections. But I know they can also seem intimidating!
That’s why I love these question prompt cards that you can use with all different kinds of primary sources. The questions are really accessible for kids, but still get them using those critical thinking skills. And bonus, they save you from writing questions for every primary source each time you use one!
Digital Biography Report Templates
Biography reports used to make me cringe! I created these digital templates because I needed a break from the cookie-cutter reports we did when we were kids.
This activity actually makes it fun and easy for students to create reports on important historical figures. There are lots of template options to choose from so kids can be creative! And it works great to project if students are giving presentations.
There are also slides for teacher directions, notetaking, citation lists, and more.
Where to Find These Resources
You can find all of these resources by clicking the links below.
They’re also available in a discounted bundle so you can be set for the whole year!
I’m all about saving time when it comes to lesson planning, and these 5 social studies resources do just that. Whether you are new to teaching, changing grade levels, or just want to make planning easier, I hope you find these activities helpful!