This page contains lesson plans for all social studies subjects except geography, history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and archaeology. Lesson for those subjects have been moved to separate pages, but can still be accessed from the index. Last updated 7-19-2013!
Index: Large Collections of Social Studies Lessons; Civics; Current Events; Elections; Economics; Families; Genealogy; Geography; United Nations; Human Rights; Immigration; Presidents/White House; Psychology; Sociology; Anthropology; Archaeology; Rubrics for Social Studies; Return to Educational Resources and Lesson Plans; Go to the National Standards for Social Studies
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Many great lesson plans for social studies.
Studies Teacher Resources
From National Council for the Social Studies, this page provides many resources including lesson plans, curriculum standards, and position statements.
Social Studies School
An excellent resource with information and lesson plans for a variety of social studies topics.
United Nations Cyber School Bus
Lesson plans and resources in a variety of areas including human rights, cities, peace, poverty, women's rights, and world health.
The American Promise
Lesson plans and activities about democracy, government, and U.S. history.
Many social studies lesson plans, including some unique to this site.
Lesson Plans and Teaching
Scroll down the list for links to lesson plan sources.
Links to resources in all social studies areas.
Lesson Plans and Resources
For videos, activity books, and Internet activities in government and law, click here.
Center for Civic Education: Lessons Plans
Lesson plans for Constitution Day, lessons by grade level, and lessons by book.
iCivics Curriculum Finder
Several units for a variety of topics.
Civics and Government
Lesson plans from the Library of Congress!
The National Archives Teachers' Resources
Many lesson plans and resources using primary-source historic documents, such as Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution. and Congress and the Creation of the Bill of Rights.
Observing Constitution Day
Another wonderful lesson plan from the National Archives and Records Administration which uses original historical documents accessible via the Internet.
Constitution Center Lesson Plans
Many high-quality lessons including A More Perfect Union: Barack Obama's Speech on Race at the National Constitution Center.
Equality and the First Amendment
A high school module from the National Constitution Center.
Lesson Plan Library - Civics
Many lesson plans from MCREL.
Lesson plans from the New York Times Learning Network.
Civics Lesson Plans for Teachers
From the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Teaching with Historic Places
Civics lesson plans from the National Parks Service.
Follow the Money
High school lesson plans for tracking the influence of money in politics.
U.S. Government Lesson Plans
An entire semester (18 weeks) of high school lesson plans by George Cassutto.
Creating a Citizen
of the Community, Nation, and World
A lesson plan on citizenship and responsibility for grades 8-12.
The Declaration Versus
the Communist Manifesto
A high school lesson plan.
A middle-grade lesson plan.
Introduction of Restrictions
on Freedom of Speech
A high school lesson plan.
Separation of Powers
A lesson plan for grades 10-12 on the three branches of government.
Track the Life of a Legislative Bill
A high school lesson plan.
A high school lesson plan.
The Many Powers of the President
A lesson plan designed to help students become familiar with the many roles of the president.
Juvenile Justice, and You
A lesson plan developed for Special Education Students in grades 9-12.
Ask a Cop.org
Great site for crime prevention information and lesson plans.
Crime and Punishment
Seven units developed by fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute covering topics in the theory and practice of crime and punishment in contemporary America from the standpoint of politics and political theory.
Who Serves Time? Breaking Down Stereotypes about Juvenile Offenders
A lesson plan for grades 6-12 from LA Youth.
Justice for All
Another 6-12 lesson plan from the above source.
United States vs. Thomas
Cooper: A Violation of the Sedition
A lesson plan using original documents accessible via the Internet.
A lesson plan designed to help students appreciate the importance of rules and laws within a society and to recognize the process by which these laws are created and implemented. See also Laws 2.
Your Own Classroom
An activity designed for teachers who would like to allow their students to have a more active role in setting classroom rules, in decision-making, and as a means of settling differences.
A grades 4-6 lesson on conflict resolution.
Interesting lesson plan for trying the case: Jensen vs. White Star Lines.
Connect to hundreds of embassies.
Election Lesson Plans and Resources (Scroll down for lesson plans on the U.S. Electoral College)
Articles and activities from Scholastic.
Election 2012 Lesson Plans
From Speaking Globally.
Election 2012: Teaching Ideas and Resources
From the New York Times.
Elections in Action
Lesson plans and resources from the Center for Action Civics.
Access, Analyze, Act
A curriculum guide and elementary-level lesson plans from PBS.
Teachable Moments: High School Lesson Plans
Several lesson plans related to elections including 2012 Election: Stephen Colbert and the Role of Political Satire, Caucus in Our Classroom, and 2012 Election Wealth and Taxes: What's Fair?
2012 United States Presidential Election Unit Study
Many Montessori-based lesson plans.
Sticker Race Headquarters
From the Democracy Project. Start making stickers!
Primaries and Caucuses: How Do the Parties Choose a Candidate?
A lesson plan for grades 7-12 from PBS News Hour. See also Social Media and Advertising in the 2012 Elections.
Analyzing Election Cartoons
A secondary lesson plan from News Hour Extra.
The Electoral College
A lesson plan for grades 3-12 from Education World. See also Lesson Plan: The Electoral College and U.S. Electoral College Teaching Resources.
Does My Vote Count? Teaching the Electoral College
A 10th-grade lesson plan from Learn NC.
The Mystery of Voters Who Don't Vote
A high school lesson plan from EconEdLink.
Resources and curricula. You will have to register (it's free). See their 2012 Election Resources.
Smart Lesson Plans
Nine lesson plans on campaigns, political parties, and elections.
Donkies, and Elephants, and Voters, Oh My!
One of many election-related lesson plans for grades 3-6 from the PBS Democracy Project.
Why Vote? A Public Awareness Campaign
One more elementary lesson plan from the above site.
Copernicus Election Watch
Another source for election lesson plans.
Winning the Vote:
How Americans Elect a President
Three lesson plans from the Smithsonian.
Elections and campaign Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans from the Lesson Plans Page.
Primaries, Voting, and Elections
Many lesson plans from Education World.
Mock Election Curriculum Guide
Lesson plans and resources from The American Village.
National Student/Parent Mock Election
The above link takes you to their curriculum page.
Mock Election Teaching Unit
From the Washington Secretary of State.
Teaching Current Events Via Newspapers, Magazines, and TV
New York Times Learning
The above link takes you to their current events lesson plans See also their Lesson Plans by Category.
NewsHour Extra: Teacher Center
Many current events lesson plans for a variety of subject areas including the lesson below.
Teaching with the News
"Online curriculum materials and ideas to connect the content of the classroom to the headlines in the news."
Breaking News English
Current events lesson plans for EFL/ESL. See also English Current.
War and Terrorism
Many lesson plans from the National Council for the Social Studies.
Center for Middle East Studies
This link takes you to their lesson plans, many of which are related to current events.
Current Events and the Constitution
Lesson plans from the Bill of Rights Institute.
Maps and Current Events
A high school lesson plan from Xpeditions.
Local and International News Stories
A generic current events lesson plan. See also Current Events in the High School Classroom.
What Do They Do?
A lesson plan from Learning to Give in which students examine the role a selected philanthropic organization plays in a current event situation. See also What's the News and Inquiring Minds: News and Philanthropy for additional lesson plans from this same source.
Economics Lesson Plans and Resources
A variety of online and classroom learning activities based on economic topics in the news, all designed to help integrate economic concepts across the curriculum as outlined in the National Content Standards in Economics.
More lesson plans tied to the National Standards.
National Council on Economics Education
Many resources including the Mint, a resource on money management.
Lesson Plan Library - Economics
Many lesson plans organized by topic from MCREL.
Economic Forecasting: An Internet WebQuest
See also Can You Make Cents of Economics? and Econ-o-mania.
National Budget Simulation
An online simulation from EconEdLink.
for Teaching Economics
This site contains about 50 economics lesson plans, including 8 that have won awards for excellence. Click here to access their Home Page.
How to Budget Your Money
A secondary lesson plan on budgeting and responsibility. To access the two follow-up lessons click on the titles: Unexpected Expenses and Predicting Future Expenses.
of United States Labor History
An entire curriculum complete with handouts.
and Consumption in a Free-Market
A 4th-grade lesson plan.
An elementary lesson plan.
A secondary lesson plan involving a debate over a proposed new tariff.
A 9th-grade lesson plan using economic and geographic themes to demonstrate the concept of global interdependence.
Investing Money Lesson Plans
From Money Instructor.com.
Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities
Many activities and resources organized by grade level from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Virtual Stock Exchange
See also Free Stock Market Simulation Game.
Middle and high school money-management and basic economics lesson plans.
Classroom activities and lesson plans.
Families Lesson Plans and Resources
A K-2 lesson plan in which students to explore the family or household unit. See the three-lesson unit, Our Playful Community.
A first-grade mini-unit using the book, All Kinds of Families.
Families Are Different
Grade 2 activities for Nina Pellegrini's book by this title.
A 1st-grade lesson plan designed to help students realize that each and every one of them is a unique and special part of their family.
The Important Thing
About a Family
A 1st-grade lesson plan in which students identify the ways families provide basic needs to their members and then create and publish a booklet to display this information. This lesson is designed to have a class of older children work with the first-graders to help with the reading and writing. See also Family Responsibilities for another 1st-grade lesson plan from this source.
Families on Display:
An Introduction to the Study of
A 2nd or 3rd-grade lesson plan designed to help students recognize that there are different family structures and different roles played by various family members.
Introducing TV Families
A lesson plan for grades 2-5 designed make students aware of how families are portrayed on television and the differences between TV families and real families.
A 3rd-grade lesson plan in which students compare the social structure of ant colonies and their families.
Family ESL Lesson Plan
For the intermediate grades.
The American Family - Past, Present,
A 7th-grade unit that explores the family from a sociological point of view to see how “family” in America has changed, especially in the last twenty-five years, and how societal changes have had an impact on family life. It also looks at families from different cultural backgrounds.
Family History/Genealogy Lesson Plans
Genealogy for Kids
A site dedicated to the development of future genealogists! It provides resources and activities for teachers, students, and parents.
Family History in the Classroom
Information and several lesson plans from About.com.
Create a Family-History Totem Pole
From Microsoft in Education.
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which students interview their parents and create genealogical atlases.
A 5th-grade lesson in which students define "culture" and orally report on their individual family culture.
Genealogy Lesson Plan: Did Your Ancestors Fight in the Civil War?
A lesson plan for grades 6-9.
This is Your Life
A unit for grades 7-12 in which students explore their backgrounds and discover information about themselves and their families.
Lesson plans for geography and history have been moved to their own sites.
United Nations Lesson Plans
School Kits on the United Nations
Ordering information and sample units for these "kits" developed by the U.N.
Model U.N. Headquarters
Have a model U.N. conference! See also UN Simulation.
The United Nations:
An Introduction for Students
Information about the U.N. written specifically for students. See also The United Nations Home Page and United Nations System of Organizations.
About the United Nations/History
A concise history of the U.N.
The United Nations
A lesson plan for grades 9-12 dealing with the history, aims, and reasons for the United Nations.
Unions and Alliances
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 about the United Nations, its functions, purposes, and members.
Challenges and Hopes for the Future: "The United Nations"
A Web activity from Glencoe World History.
UNESCO Home Page
Information about the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
The Role of the United Nations in Post-War Iraq
A lesson plan from News Hour Extra. See also The United Nations and Reform for another lesson plan from this same source.
Model UN Lesson Plans
From the United Nations Association of the United States.
United Nations Day (October 24)
High school lesson plans and teaching materials.
Human Rights Lesson Plans and Resources
Human Rights Resource Center
Click Education Materials in the left index for information on human rights education.
of Human Rights
From the UN Cyberschoolbus. Scroll down the page to find suggestions for using the interactive declaration in your classroom. See also Human Rights and Human Rights in Action.
UNHCR Lesson Plans
Lesson plans for all ages from the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Online Human Rights Internet Guide
Links to several lesson plans and resources from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for International Education.
Human Rights for
Curriculum guides, teaching guides, and lesson plans from Amnesty International USA.
Partners in Human Rights
Lesson plans for all grade levels.
Human Rights Activities
From Humane Education.org.
Human Rights Lesson Plans
From Speaking Globally.
Resources: Human Rights
Lesson plans and activities for a variety of age levels from Oxfam Education.
Human Rights in the U.S. and the International Community
Several multi-lesson units from the University of Nebraska.
Population Diversity and Human Rights
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.
Health and Human Rights
A lesson plan for grades 7-10 in which students explore the concept that health is a basic human right.
Poverty and Human Rights
A high school lesson plan from a unit titled, For the Well-Being of Our Citizens.
Youth for Human Rights
Order your free human-rights education packet.
A big pdf file from Amnesty International containing lesson plans and service-learning projects.
Immigration Lesson Plans and Resources
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation. Inc.
Great source for information on immigration.
Coming to America: Immigration Builds a Nation
An Article and other resources from Education World.
Ellis Island Unit
A middle-grade through high school unit that allows students to take a virtual field trip to this famous historical site.
Where Do I Come From?
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which students explore connections to their ancestral homelands.
Coming to America: US Immigration
A 6th-grade unit in pdf format. See also Hopes of Our Ancestors: The Impact of Immigration on America for another 6th-grade unit.
The New Americans
Many lesson plans from PBS.
Immigration to the United States
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education.
Immigration: Why People Move
A middle-grade lesson plan from Xpeditions.
Immigration: Our Changing Voices
A secondary unit using documents from the American Memory collection. See also Immigration and Oral History for another lesson plan from this source. Scroll down the lesson plans page for other immigration lesson plans.
American Immigration Past and Present: A Simulation Activity
For high school students.
A Nation of Immigrants
This 11th-grade lesson plan explores the Immigration Act of 1965. For more information on this important legislation, see Immigration & Naturalization Act of 1965: Origin of Modern American Society.
The Immigration Debate and DBQ
A lesson plan exploring U.S. immigration policy and proposed legislation.
Similar to the above, but examining emigration form Europe as well as Asia, this unit uses Coming to America by Betsy Maestro, How Many Days To America by Eve Bunting, and The Long Way To A New Land by Joan Sandin.
Everything you want (or don't want) to know about immigration.
Presidents and the White House
The Presidents of the United States
White House source of information, pictures, etc. for all U. S. presidents . Use the left-side menu to find the president about whom you want information.
The American Presidency
Lesson plans organized by grade level.
Teacher guides and resources for all US presidents from C-Span. See also their Classroom Resources.
Presidents' Day Activities
Ideas from Education World.
Presidents' Day Theme
Many lesson plans and activities from A to Z Teacher Stuff.
Presidents' Day Lesson Plans, Activities, and Clip Art
From Mr. Donn.
Web Hunt: Presidents Past, Present, Future
President's Day Quiz
An activity for ESL students that could probably be adapted to other student groups.
The Many Powers of the President
A lesson plan designed to help students become familiar with the many roles of the president
Presidential Power and Influence
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Learning to Give.
Presidential Power: Its Use and Abuse
A high school lesson plan from Teachable Moment. There are five other related lesson plans with links provided here.
Portraits of the Presidents
Portraits of and information about each president from the National Gallery at the Smithsonian. Click on Educational Resources at the bottom of the page for associated lesson plans.
Winning the Vote: How Americans Elect a President
Three lesson plans also from the Smithsonian.
Lesson Plans: First Ladies' Library
Many lesson plans from The National First Ladies' Library.
Sites for information on Washington, Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan can be found at History Lesson Plans and Resources.
White House Home Page
This is a really good site! See their page White House 101.
From the White House of Yesterday to Today
Three lesson plasn for grades 3-5 from Edistement.
Let's Tour the White
A lesson plan for grades 4-6.
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Rubrics for Social Studies
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators: Assessment Rubrics
Information and sample rubrics for web-based assignments, oral presentations, group participation, cooperative learning activities, portfolio exhibits, research papers, etc.
Social Studies Rubric Makers
Social Studies Rubrics
Links to many rubrics from Rubrician.com.
Social Sciences Rubrics
A large number of rubrics from Rcampus.
Social Studies Rubrics
Three rubrics for grade 6, 7, and 8.
Developed for an assignment in which students compare two cities.
Social Science Rubric
An analytical rubric.
A rubric for comparison papers.
Social Studies Benchmark Performance Task Rubric
Timeline RubricPresentation Rubric
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