How Social Studies Creates Better Readers

Whether you’re following a strictly online learning curriculum, have gone back to in-person teaching, or you’ve mixed the two together with blended learning, exploring new teaching opportunities is critical. Finding ways to keep students interested and involved in their studies is important, especially for younger learners. According to a recent study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, social studies may be the subject for teachers to dedicate more time to, as it can turn elementary students into better readers.

It’s easy to assume that courses like language arts, phonics, writing, and reading comprehension may be the stepping stones students need to learn how to read. According to the Fordham Institute study, however, social studies may be the ticket to improved reading. The study examined 18,000 young learners, grades kindergarten through fifth grade, to determine how time spent in the classroom impacted their reading progress. What they found would likely surprise most parents: Increased amount of time spent on social studies was associated with improved reading.

Adam Tyner, one of the authors of the study, explained exactly why social studies can be used as a tool for reading comprehension.

“Social studies can help students understand history, current events, family and social relationships, and common narratives; whereas, reading passages that putatively cover other subjects, such as literature or drama, may assume the reader already has a grasp of such knowledge,” Tyner wrote, according to Chalkbeat, an educational reporting outlet based out of Colorado.

Social studies is a crucial subject for many reasons. Not only does it help students understand how history shapes our society, but it also encourages kids to grasp the individual role they play in the future of our country and our world as a whole. With an opportunity to read about ways they can stand out in society, children can get more excited about ways to get involved and make a difference in their local community.

While no single subject should be favored by elementary school teachers for its learning capacity, social studies should remain at the top of the mind. Creating a more engaging, high-quality instructional experience for the kids when it comes to teaching history, civics, geography, and other social studies areas can encourage students to get excited about reading and retain information at a higher level.

How to make social studies a fun, more engaging subject

AT TCI, we understand that young students may favor one subject over the other. If you’re looking for an opportunity to get them more involved and excited about social studies, we can lend a helping hand.

Teaching your students about history and social studies doesn’t have to involve lectures or reading from a textbook. Our  “Social Studies Alive!” programs are designed to teach students about different cultures around the world through fun activities and fascinating lessons. Our different programs include Me and My World, My School and Family, My Community, Our Community and Beyond, Regions of Our Country, and America’s Past. These options allow students to grasp multiple perspectives of our history and understand how society has transformed over time.

Explore our social studies elementary programs today.

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