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History/Social Studies K/3

Social Studies: The Lost Subject?

Social Studies: The Lost Subject?

by Diana Remick, Monthly Columnist In the early years of education, the focus is on reading, writing, and math. Much of the school day is spent teaching the art of reading. Students also learn to write stories and practice handwriting. The foundations of math skills is introduced and practiced. With the curriculum and high-stakes assessment
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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Depending on the age of your students, the events of September 11th, 2001 may or may not be an appropriate lesson topic.  For younger students, there are more gentle approaches to discussing the events of that day.  The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein tells the true story of French aerialist Philippe Petit
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Booking Across the USA to Combine Geography and Literature

Booking Across the USA to Combine Geography and Literature

Picture books are sometimes overlooked for their perceived simplicity when their illustrations can actually create a story that rivals some of the greatest literary works of all time.  Using picture books for older students is a great way to tap into some new resources that appeal to all children.  A group of bloggers comprised mostly
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Speech! Speech!

Speech! Speech!

Idea by Kristy, Pre-K-Kdg. Teacher, Hummelstown, PA I love teaching my 4-5 year-old students about Election Day.  After reading, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004), I ask for volunteer candidates willing to make a speech in their bid for office. (The speech requirement automatically reduces the number of students
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Rings Around the Branches

Rings Around the Branches

Idea by Ronni, Kdg. Teacher, Surprise, AZ To help older students identify and research the three branches of government— the Executive Branch, (the President and about 5,000,000 workers), the Legislative Branch (the Senate and House of Representatives), and the Judicial Branch (the Supreme Court and lower Courts)—have them each draw three overlapping circles (pretzel style) on
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It’s My Party

It’s My Party

Idea by Judy, 1st Grade Teacher, Huntsville, AL To begin our election studies, I have my children bring in articles about the candidates running for office.  We then list some of their political views on a T chart. I then introduce the terms political party, liberal and conservative and what they mean.


Barnyard Ballot

Barnyard Ballot

Idea by Carrie, Kdg. /T-1 Teacher, Vancouver, WA To help students comprehend the details of the presidential election, I read aloud the book, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004).  We then hold a classroom election to determine which barnyard animal from the story should be president.


These Candidates are Easily Licked!

These Candidates are Easily Licked!

Idea by Amanda, Kdg. Teacher, Kinsman, OH I read my kindergarten students the book, My Teacher for President by Kay Winters (Perfection Learning, 2008).  We then talk about the election process, learn a bit about each candidate, and discuss the process of voting and secret ballots. We learn that voting is our chance to say
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On the Campaign Trail

On the Campaign Trail

Idea by Cheryl, Kdg. Teacher, El Campo, TX To acquaint our young students with the Presidential Election, we begin by discussing what is meant by an election. We read lots of election-inspired books, such as Duck for President by Doreen Cronin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004), and give examples of other types of elections.


Election Terms

Election Terms

Idea by Lisa, 2nd Grade Teacher, Chatsworth, GA I begin our study of the election process by introducing numerous relevant vocabulary words, such as political, party, incumbent, government, election, ballot, term, president, vice-president, campaign, budget, defense, etc. (You can harvest any number of such words from books, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts, etc. Also, ask students
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