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Social studies is a classification tool used by everyone to identify the study of different societies. When students are actively studying a social studies unity, they are learning about the world around them. The unit could include a study of their homes, families, communities and the world.
In an independent study of social studies, a student will learn to empathize and understand another person's needs. Many historical biological reports and biographies are considered both historical and social studies in nature. As both are historical records of people's lives, hobbies, lifestyles and ways of life, the line between history and social studies is a very thin one. Where history discusses places and times, social studies is all about the people.
A social studies unit is intended to help children see that even though people might look different or talk different, deep down we are all the same. Some areas of social studies deal with different cultures while others deal with learning about rules, regulations and responsibilities of people to one another.
Bonus tip: Social studies is a great format in which to introduce career week. Teacher and students travel to local businesses to observe how they operate their business, see different occupational possibilities and participate in a job shadow activity.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|