Social studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach. Now wait, that's a bold statement! Science is equally spectacular and I love seeing students creativity come to life through their writing.... Okay, I retract my previous statement: I love it all.
Last year, I blogged about the Explorer Trading Cards my students created. In 5th grade, we have very few standards addressing early exploration and the explorers of the new world(s). In my opinion, in order for students to understand the Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War there has to be some background knowledge there. So - we still cover it, even if it is brief!
This year I decided to tweak our project and focus on map making AND exploration. In small groups, students researched one early explorer and focused on recreating a map of their journey. Some groups struggled to identify where on a map these explorers visited. It brought up great discussions of resources and geography of our Earth.
Next week, we will briefly discuss the 13 colonies and then hop right on into the Revolutionary War. Fellow 5th grade teachers, what are YOU studying in Social Studies?