General Teaching Strategies
- Tarr’s Toolbox outlines several teaching strategies. Some strategies are social studies specific, while others could be adapted for other content areas.
- Facing History and Ourselves provides several teaching strategies that could be used with social studies or any other content area.
- The Teacher’s Toolkit includes several teaching strategies that could be helpful in any classroom.
- Disciplinary thinking is an important best practice in social studies. The following posters were designed to help define questions experts in social studies disciplines would ask in their field.
Social Studies Pedagogy
- Social studies provides a rich avenue for students to engage with multiple primary and secondary sources. The creation of text sets is one way to ensure students can access authentic, complex texts. See a Guide to Creating Text Sets for guidance on how to create text sets.
- The Doing Social Studies Video Series from the Minnesota Center for Social Studies Education provides several examples of social studies classrooms and best practices. You can also check out their pages on concept-based instruction, inquiry-based instruction, discussion strategies, and middle school inquiry.
- Pedagogical Books for Social Studies Teachers - A list of notable pedagogical books for the teaching and learning of social studies.
- SCIM-C Historical Inquiry - Provides strategies to support teaching the historical inquiry process.
- TeachingHistory.org - Includes several resources for the teaching of history including strategies, lesson plans, pedagogical videos, and more.
- Crop It - Allows users to “crop” primary source images in order to look for details within the text and find evidence related to a posed historical question.
- How Students Learn: History in the Classroom is a free book published by the National Academies Press which outlines the research base for how students learn history.
- Elementary Video Series - A video series from the Minnesota Historical Society outlining best practices in the teaching of history, civics, geography, and economics at the elementary level.
- Research and Current Thinking - A webpage from the Library of Congress outlining research and current thinking of best practices in elementary social studies.
- Elementary Social Studies: Strategies for Strengthening Teaching and Learning - A white paper describing the problems facing elementary social studies education and works to address these problems.
- Pairing Children’s Literature with Primary Sources - A blog post outlines how to think about use notable trade books with social studies themes or content with relevant primary sources.
- Bringing History Home - A free K-5 curriculum that focuses on best practices in history instruction, but the site also includes several pedagogical supports for the teaching of history at the elementary level.
- ESRI Resources for using maps and geospatial thinking with elementary students.
- Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People - Each year, the National Council for the Social Studies publishes a list of notable trade books in social studies.
- Literature with Social Studies Themes - A resource from the University of Delaware identifying children’s literature with social studies themes.
- Elementary Primary Source Sets - Several elementary-specific primary source sets and analysis graphic organizers created by the Colorado Department of Education.
- Elementary Critical Thinking Skill Building - Lessons around building media literacy for elementary students released by Project Look Sharp.
- Social Justice Books - Several booklists available by themes, countries of the worlds, etc.
- Materials for an Effective K-5 Social Studies Program - This resource identifies the kinds of materials that K-5 classrooms should have to best support the teaching and learning of social studies at the elementary level.
- The Instructional Practice Guide for 6-12 History/Social Studies - A tool for teachers or district leaders to use in order to observe a lesson and provide feedback or to guide lesson planning and reflection.
Teaching with Primary Sources
- Videos from the Minnesota Historical Society outline ideas for teaching with primary sources.
- Tampering with History: Adapting Primary Sources for Struggling Readers - Outlines Sam Wineburg's thinking behind using primary sources for making history accessible to all students.
- Social Studies Central - Outlines not only several resources for finding primary sources, but also several strategies for effectively teaching with them.
- Thinking Like a Historian Video Series - This video series from the Georgia Department of Education features videos by Bruce Lesh in which he describes several components of thinking like a historian and analyzing primary sources.
Position Statements from the National Council for the Social Studies
- A Vision of Powerful Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies
- Global and International Education in Social Studies
- Media Literacy
- Powerful, Purposeful Pedagogy in Elementary Social Studies
- Revitalizing Civic Learning in Our Schools
- Social Studies Education that Respects and Affirms Indigenous Peoples and Nations
Open Educational Resources (OER) Hub
To better understand how to use OER, check out these resources:
AEA Statewide Resources
Iowa AEA Online provides all Iowa teachers and students access to several online databases that are ideal for social studies teaching and learning. Sponsored by Iowa's Area Education Agencies, the following is a list of the online databases available:
- AEA Digital Library
- American History in Video
- Britannica Online
- Change Britannica Online to Britannica Digital Learning
- Mackin Via
- SIRS Issue Researcher
- Teen Health and Wellness
Content Area Resources
- General Primary Sources
- Primary Sources Identified in Iowa Core in Social Studies Standards
- Behavioral Sciences
- Civics and Government
- Economics and Financial Literacy
- Geography and Global Studies
- Iowa History
- United States History
- World History