The unit is focused on the examination of geography in terms of “place.” Students dive into inquiry to answer the compelling questions, “Where are we?” and “Who are we?” Through these two questions students will understand where they live and where people around the world live. Students will also dive into the term “culture” and define it through many characteristics. Students will examine and reflect upon their own culture and research different cultures of North America.
Elementary Social Studies
Social studies resources for remote elementary school learners. Providers include the Alabama Learning Exchange, the City University of New York's HERB Social History Project, the Digital Public Library of America, the Michigan Open Book Project, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This lesson looks at the natural resources that drew businesses to Alabama. Students will explore the adapted 1820 letter from Mason and Dexter in Cahaba, Alabama to Richards and Simmons in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Students will explain ideas within this historical text based on specific information presented in this primary source. This lesson can be used as a stand alone or can follow A Natural Attraction: The Natural Resources of Alabama During the Early Nineteenth Century . This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
In this lesson, students will work in small groups to examine a letter describing the environment of Alabama and identify reasons which might have encouraged settlers to move to Alabama in the early nineteenth century. Students will choose an interesting attraction of Alabama mentioned in the letter and design a postage stamp around that attraction. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
In this lesson, students will learn about the executive branch of government at the state level, especially related to the first governors of the state of Alabama. Their impact on the development of Alabama and Alabama's role in the United States will be discussed. Students will use research and note taking skills to gather information on an early governor. Then students will participate in jigsaw groups to share their information, discuss the importance of each governor, similarities, and impact. Finally, students will discuss the role of governor and how governors have an impact on the state and the impact these men had in Alabama and in other states. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Students will read a description of the pine barrens by Basil Hall and analyze the text by using the 3-2-1 strategy. Students will discuss the life and work of Basil Hall, including his travels and journaling in North America. They will observe how a camera lucida functions and debate whether using a camera lucida is "cheating" in art. Next, students will venture outside to create a sketch of their environment while appropriately utilizing materials. They will compare and contrast their products to the sketches of Basil Hall and critique each other's work. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
This lesson introduces students to American colonial life and has them compare the daily life and culture of two different colonies in the late 1700s. Students study artifacts of the thirteen original British colonies and write letters between fictitious cousins in Massachusetts and Delaware.
The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was the hub of a rich civilization that dominated the region of modern-day Mexico at the time the Spanish forces arrived. In this lesson, students will learn about the history and culture of the Aztecs and discover why their civilization came to an abrupt end.
Students will use information from Lessons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this unit concerning tornadoes, including the type of damage tornadoes cause and the locations where they typically occur. Students will work in groups of three to design a structure that will withstand and protect people from tornadoes. Each team will represent an engineering firm. They will select from a variety of materials available and sketch their design on poster board prior to constructing a prototype. Students will present their designs to the class and will undergo a wind test. This unit was created as part of the ALEX Interdisciplinary Resource Development Summit.
In this lesson, students will define archaeology. Students will make inferences from observations by sorting through garbage to analyze clues about the people who left the garbage. Students will compare and contrast two artifacts looking for clues from the past. Students will write a narrative story of an artifact. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Second grade students in Michigan continue their integrative approach to social studies by focusing in on the local community. Students are introduced to a social environment larger than their immediate surroundings.
Students will listen to a brief biography, view photographs of the March on Washington, hear a portion of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and discuss what King's words mean to them.
Using both families and schools as a lens for study, 1st grade students learn about geography, history, economics, and civics with strong connections to the literacy block!
After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to summarize the contents of the First Amendment and give examples of speech that is protected by the Constitution and speech that is not protected by the Constitution.
During this lesson, students will research the social, political, and economic impact of the Great Depression on the lives of Alabamians. Students will collaborate to create a presentation from the project-based learning activity and present it to the class. This unit was created as part of the ALEX Interdisciplinary Resource Development Summit.
Students will use primary sources to gain information about Hernando de Soto, his route, and his interactions with Native Americans in Alabama. Students will read two articles in order to identify information about Hernando de Soto and his journey through Alabama. Students will also learn about the impact of European Exploration on the Native Americans who were in Alabama in the 1500s. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Students analyze archival material such as photos, documents, and posters, to understand the who was involved in constructing, and the lasting phenomenon of, the Transcontinental Railroad.
When we hear the words Civil Rights Movement, we have visions of Dr. Martin Luther King and a few others. Through pictures, students will identify ordinary leaders in the crowd. Students will have the opportunity to analyze those pictures by doing a picture walk. Students will learn more about some of the people in the crowd, and how they made a difference in our beloved community. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Students will analyze a primary document and read a secondary source about the Marquis de Lafayette's Grand Tour of the United States in 1825. The Marquis and his entourage toured lower Alabama for a few days in April. Students will create an annotated timeline detailing his days and the events that occurred in Alabama as the country prepared to celebrate America's 50th birthday. The timeline will include dates and descriptions of the people, places, and events in informative summaries as well as appropriate illustrations. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
A curriculum unit of three lessons in which students explore Hopi place names, poetry, song, and traditional dance to better understand the ways Hopi people connect with the land and environment through language. The unit is centered on the practice of growing corn. Students make inferences about language, place, and culture and also look closely at their own home environment and landscape to understand the places, language, and songs that give meaning to cultures and communities
During the Middle Ages, the feudal system meant that most people in Europe lived in small farming villages. As the population expanded and the towns grew, however, a need arose to find ways to differentiate between two people who shared the same first name.