Monday, January 21, 2013

Social Studies Materials...Anyone, Anyone?

I love social studies. I was a political science major in fact, which is to say I went to college fully intending to be a lawyer and somehow ended up with a master's in education instead. :-) However, teaching a state's history has not been something I've had what I would call a "ton of fun" with. That is, until I moved to Virginia! This is my third year in Virginia and the first that I have truly embraced social studies. It might be the fact that Virginia has an amazingly rich history, or the fact that I have a teammate who is the expert of all experts when it comes to social studies. The man knows everything and he has truly been the reason that I have finally embraced teaching social studies. Now granted, I am very much still learning, and I answer a lot of questions with, "That's a great question for me to ask Mr. Smith." But hey...I'm getting there! I know more about The Civil War than ever before. You should see how intently I watch those movies. Of course, my second class always gets the more knowledgeable Mrs. O, but I am definitely learning a whole bunch and I am pretty excited about it! My War and Society professor would be shocked since that's the only class I dropped in my entire college career. I mean, I will talk law, but War and Society at 8am? SNORE!

Anyway, this all leads me to a great discovery. We are lacking in social studies resources! I can type in anything for reading, writing, and math resources and find a zillion resources, but social studies is coming up short. So, I've added social studies to my long list of to-creates that will probably be finished around 2020 :-) I want bright, colorful,  and fun social studies resources to match all of my bright, colorful and fun resources in other subjects. I am not sure what I will create just yet, but I know that as I learn, I will come up with something amazing.

I did notice that my friend Alison at Teaching Maths With Meaning has just posted some amazing clipart for social studies that I've already added to my wishlist. Look at these fabulous maps:

North America Clipart

Bright, colorful, and fun? I think so! I know I will be using these when I get to creating! There are so many wonderful activities I can use these for - identifying slave states vs. free states, ordering the states in the order they were added, identifying regions (ah, perhaps a cut and paste activity?)...I think I might be able to go on forever and that perhaps my list just got even longer. 

Have any of you found great sites for social studies resources? I'd love to do some projects, I just need to come up with something fun and exciting that will ignite my students' passion for history. Ideas welcome! 


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