Social Studies Alive! Me and My World explores the relationships in students’ lives with their families, friends, teachers, and neighbors. Students learn that people live differently in different places and that they can help care for the world.
1. Who Am I? In a series of Writing for Understanding activities, students explore what they look like, what they care about, how they feel, and things they can do. They then create “What Am I?” books and have classmates guess who is being described. Reading Further: The Story of Our Flag 2. What Is a Family? In a series of Writing for Understanding activities, students identify and picture the members of their families, the things they do together, and the special “gifts” their family members offer one another. Reading Further: Our Country’s Birthday 3. How Do I Get Along with Others? In an Experiential Exercise, students learn firsthand why taking turns is important for getting along. Reading Further: Rules Help Us 4. How Do I Make Friends? In a series of Social Studies Skill Builders, students learn four skills for making new friends. Reading Further: The First Thanksgiving 5. How Do I Solve Problems with Others? In a series of Social Studies Skill Builders, students learn and practice four problem solving steps: stop and calm down, talk and listen, think of solutions, and agree on a plan to try. Reading Further: Who Can Help? 6. How Can I Be a Good Helper at School? Through a series of Social Studies Skill Builders, students learn and practice four ways to be “handy helpers.” Reading Further: Who Works at My School? 7. What Is in My Neighborhood? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students take on specific roles to design and build a three-dimensional neighborhood. Reading Further: How Can We Improve Our Neighborhood? 8. Where Am I in the World? In a series of Writing for Understanding activities, students assemble a book of pictures that show where they live and then read their book to a friend. Reading Further: Symbols of Our Country 9. How Do People Live Around the World? In an Experiential Exercise, students discover that people use different languages to communicate. They also take an “airplane flight” to Japan to “share a meal,” and they play two cultures’ versions of a sidewalk game. Reading Further: Birthdays Then and Now 10. What Do People Need and Want? In a Response Group activity, students will identify examples of needs (food, clothing, and shelter) and wants in various images. They will predict how people can meet their needs in different environments. Reading Further: I Make Choices When I Shop 11. How Can I Help Take Care of the World? In a series of Social Studies Skill Builders, students discover where garbage goes after it is thrown away and learn specifically what they can do to recycle, reuse, and reduce. Reading Further: Saving Money
Social Studies Alive! My School and Family introduces the structures of schools and families. Students learn how to get along with classmates, follow school rules, and identify people who work at a school.
1. How Do We Get Along in School? In an Experiential Exercise, students discover the value of cooperating to complete a task. Reading Further: A Place to Share 2. Why Is It Important to Learn from Each Other? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students complete questionnaires that reveal their own interests and special talents. They then practice appropriate ways to talk and listen. Reading Further: The Grasshopper’s Choice 3. Why Do Schools Have Rules? In an Experiential Exercise, students play a game without rules to discover why rules are needed. They then read about reasons for school rules and talk about the consequences of not following them. Reading Further: Who Makes the Rules? 4. Who Works at Your School? In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze photographs of school staff and listen to a recording of each person describing his or her job. They then use this information to act out each role. Reading Further: Ms. Johnson Has Many Jobs 5. How Are We Good Helpers at School? In a Response Group activity, students explore four situations that they might encounter at school and discuss the best ways to be good helpers. Reading Further: Clara Barton Helped Others 6. What Is a Map? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students practice reading a classroom map, its key, and a compass rose. Reading Further: The Right Kind of Map 7. What Groups Do We Belong To? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students examine pictures and categorize them into groups as school, family, or community. They then read about and recognize the different type of groups to which they belong. Reading Further: My Groups 8. How Are Families Special? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students read about different family members, types of homes, and family activities. They then create a book to share how their own families are special. Reading Further: Families Live in Different Places 9. What Do Families Need and Want? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create triaramas (three-dimensional scenes) that depict what families would need and want on a camping trip, and then explain why selected items are needs or wants. Reading Further: From Farm to Table 10. How Do Family Members Care for Each Other? In a Response Group activity, students sort family pictures into three categories of caring for each other—helping each other, sharing knowledge, and spending time together. Reading Further: Taking Care of Earth 11. How Do Families Change over Time? In a Visual Discovery activity, students explore what happens when people grow older. They also learn some reasons why families change in size. Reading Further: Old Family Pictures 12. What Do Families Need and Want? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create triaramas (three-dimensional scenes) that depict what families would need and want on a camping trip, and then explain why selected items are needs or wants. Reading Further: From Farm to Table 13. Where Do Families Live? In an Experiential Exercise, students explore the term tradition and then experience family traditions for birthdays and holidays from two different cultures. Reading Further: Learning About the Dust Bowl 14. What Are Family Traditions? In an Experiential Exercise, students explore the term tradition and then experience family traditions for birthdays and holidays from two different cultures. Reading Further: U.S. Symbols and Traditions 15. What Do Good Neighbors Do? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, groups of four illustrate and assemble puzzles that show examples of actions good neighbors take. Reading Further: Trading for Apples
Social Studies Alive! My Community teaches students the basics of geography, economics, and citizenship in the context of learning about their local community.
1. What Is a Community? In a Problem Solving Group activity, students design a community that includes places to live, work, and play. Reading Further: One Community’s History 2. How Are Communities Different? In a Visual Discovery activity, students learn about the features, advantages, and disadvantages of urban, rural, and suburban communities. Reading Further: Instant Suburbs 3. What Is a Map? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students work in pairs to read and answer questions about maps. Reading Further: Mapping a Trip 4. What Is Geography? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, pairs identify geographic features and locate them on a physical map. Reading Further: Riding for Climate 5. How Do People Use Our Environment? In a Response Group activity, students explore how people use natural resources in various environments and discover the effects of pollution. Reading Further: Using Plants in New Ways 6. How Are Goods Made and Brought to Us? In an Experiential Exercise, students make a toy using assembly-line techniques, participate in a relay race to learn how goods are transported to stores, and read about how goods are produced and distributed. Reading Further: Food from the Desert 7. Who Provides Services in a Community? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students create puppets representing service workers and write descriptions of their workers’ job that they then present at a “job fair.” Reading Further: Working in Central Park 8. How Can I Be a Smart Consumer? n an Experiential Exercise, students make choices about what to buy and distinguish between economic needs and wants. Then they read about economic principles and practices that help consumers spend wisely. Reading Further: Shopping for School 9. How Do Communities Change? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students read about how communities grow and change. They then create a plan to make a neighborhood better. Reading Further: Los Angeles Grows 10. How Did One Community Change? In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze images of San Francisco in 1846 and 1849 and then create act-it-outs to explore what life was like during those two time periods. Then they build a timeline by placing the events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake in sequence. Reading Further: Family Stories 11. How Can One Person Make a Difference? In a Response Group activity, students propose possible solutions to given community problems and compare their solutions with how people actually solved these problems. Reading Further: Save the Park Day 12. How Do Leaders Help Their Communities? In an Experiential Exercise, students make predictions about what leaders can do. Then they conduct a mock demonstration urging community leaders to take certain actions to fix a playground. Reading Further: Leaders Vote for the Community 13. What Does a Good Citizen Do? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students create a Good Citizen book to record the good-citizen actions they will perform. Reading Further: Good Citizen Lincoln 14. What Do Communities Share? In an Experiential Exercise, students discover the economic interdependence of communities and states by exchanging product cards. They also complete a map illustrating social connections among communities. Reading Further: Happy Birthday, USA!
Social Studies Alive! California Communities broadens students’ awareness about the local and global communities in which they live. Students learn the fundamentals of geography and explore different cultures and public service roles.
1. Understanding the Geography of the World During a Visual Discovery activity, students act as space shuttle astronauts who are returning to Earth and learn about the geographic features of the globe as they get nearer and nearer to their landing site. 2. Finding Paces in California In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students use a map and compass rose to locate their community, identify directions, and measure distances to other places. 3. Geography and the Way We Live In a Writing for Understanding activity, students write and illustrate travel brochures for four communities in California based on physical features, climate, and natural resources. 4. American Indians in California In a Response Group activity, students watch videos of the environment in which three California groups live. They then predict how each group used natural resources. 5. Settling in California In an Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create a timeline showing the different groups of people who have lived in their community throughout history. 6. Making Communities Better In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create human monuments honoring the contributions of five individuals whose actions made a difference in the lives of people in their own community and around the country. 7. Government in the United States In a Writing for Understanding activity, students read letters to city hall, choose the office best suited to deal with the issue raised in each letter, and write a short response. 8. Citizenship and Participation In a Visual Discovery activity, students use their acting skills to bring to life images of public meetings, peaceful demonstrations, support for candidates, and voting. 9. Protecting the Environment In a Response Group activity, students work in small groups to investigate three case studies of communities faced with specific environmental problems. 10. Making a Difference In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students design, present, and implement a class project to help the world around them. 11. Understanding our Economy In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze a series of images about the economy and bring two of them to life. Then students ask questions about our economy, gather and evaluate sources, write explanations using claims and evidence, and present to the class. 12. Choices in a Free Market In an Experiential Exercise, students discover what happens to prices when supply and demand change. Students then predict what will happen to prices in hypothetical situations that affect supply or demand. 13. Using Money Wisely In a Response Group activity, students analyze a variety of situations dealing with money. They create arguments to explain the choices they would make in each situation.
Social Studies Alive! California’s Promise presents five regions of the United States through the lens of four social sciences — economics, geography, political science, and history.
1. California’s Golden Landscape In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students interpret maps and use them to identify the California locations where three photographs were taken. Students then explore the impact of earthquakes—an important part of California’s geography. 2. California’s Native Peoples In a Response Group activity, students learn about the six culture areas of California Indians and learn how the environment affected the way these groups lived. They then predict how California Indians used their environment for food, tools, and shelter. 3. Exploration and Settlement In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze historical perspectives to better understand the early European exploration and settlement of California. 4. The Mission System In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students work in small groups to create a multimedia presentation about mission life. Then they analyze primary sources and create sensory figures that reflect perspectives on mission life. 5. Mexican California In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students analyze historical images to gain a deeper insight into the lives of Californios. 6. California Becomes a State In a Visual Discovery activity, students explore images that represent key events in 19th-century California and discuss their significance. 7. The Gold Rush Changes California In a Writing for Understanding, students explore life in a Gold Rush town. Afterward, students summarize their experiences in a journal. 8. Connecting California to the Nation In an Experiential Exercise, students bring to life scenes from the building of the transcontinental railroad. 9. The People of California In an Response Group activity, students play The Peopling of California Game, which challenges them to use historical recall and critical thinking skills to analyze historical images of California in the late 1800s. 10. Bringing Water to a Thirsty State In an Experiential Exercise, students act out the roles of people living in California before and after 1900 in order to understand how water has been used and shared over time. 11. Surviving Depression and War In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students create exhibits to present the changes that the Great Depression, Dust Bowl migration, public works projects, the growth of the defense industry, and Japanese American internment brought to the state. 12. California’s Cultural Contributions In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students “visit” locations around California and identify related cultural contributions. 13. Our Country’s Largest Economy In a Visual Discovery activity, students tour California and analyze images related to key industries. 14. Governing California In an Experiential Exercise, students play a game in which they identify differences between the three levels of government. 15. Keeping California’s Promise In a Response Group activity, small groups discuss how they would solve three problems resulting from the state’s rapid growth. For each problem, students present their proposed solution in a different format.
Social Studies Alive! America’s Past covers American history from the first migrations into the Americas through the 20th century. Intense interaction with the personalities, places, and events that structured our nation leads students to be both keen observers of and informed participants in U.S. history.
1. Geography of the United States Essential Question: What can geography teach us about the United States? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students work in pairs to label features on maps and a diagram. They define geographic terms and apply them to the geography of the United States. Reading Further: Where Geography Meets History 2. American Indians and Their Land Essential Question: How did American Indians adapt to different environments in North America? In a Visual Discovery activity, students work in pairs, using maps and photographs to trace migration routes of the first Americans and to summarize how these groups adapted to different environments. Reading Further: Recording Lakota History 3. American Indian Cultural Regions Essential Question: How and why did American Indian cultural regions differ? In a Response Group activity, students analyze historical artifacts from different American Indian groups and then compare and contrast life in the various regions. Reading Further: Four Young American Indians 4. How and Why Europeans Came to the New World Essential Question: What did explorers take to and from the New World during the Age of Exploration? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, pairs take on the role of underwater archaeologists to examine objects from an explorer’s sunken ship and categorize them as navigation tools, motives for exploration, or new products from the Americas. Reading Further: Changes in Europe Spur Exploration 5. Routes of Exploration to the New World Essential Question: How did exploration of the Americas lead to settlement? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students use an illustrated classroom matrix to organize information about European explorers and then play a game in which they answer questions about the explorers. Reading Further: Who Wins Florida? 6. Early English Settlements Essential Question: What challenges faced the first English colonies? In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze images of Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth to create act-it-outs that show why settlers came, the hardships they endured, and the reasons why each settlement succeeded or failed. Reading Further: King Philip Decides on War 7. Comparing the Colonies Essential Question: How were the three colonial regions alike and different? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create a billboard for one of six British colonies and then try to persuade other students to settle in their colony. Reading Further: Choosing a Career in the Colonies 8. Slavery in the Americas Essential Question: What was the impact of slavery on Africans? In a Response Group activity, student groups analyze and respond to three dilemmas faced by Africans during enslavement: trading slaves for guns in West Africa, surviving the Middle Passage, and living as a slave in the colonies. Reading Further: How Slaves Kept Hope Alive 9. Life in Colonial Williamsburg Essential Question: What were key parts of life for Southern colonists in the 1700s? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students take a “walking tour” of colonial Williamsburg to examine aspects of colonial life, such as government, social life, and religion. Reading Further: A Religious Revival in the Colonies 10. Tensions Grow Between the Colonies and Great Britain Essential Question: What were key parts of life for Southern colonists in the 1700s? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students take a “walking tour” of colonial Williamsburg to examine aspects of colonial life, such as government, social life, and religion. Reading Further: A Religious Revival in the Colonies 11. To Declare Independence or Not Essential Question: What were the arguments for and against colonial independence from Great Britain? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, student groups represent six historical figures in a panel debate between Loyalists and Patriots. Reading Further: Patrick Henry, Radical Revolutionary 12. The Declaration of Independence Essential Question: What are the main ideas in the Declaration of Independence? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students examine objects on Thomas Jefferson’s desk, such as a letter and an invitation, to learn about the events and ideas that led to Jefferson’s drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Reading Further: Jefferson’s Conflict: Ideas vs. Reality 13. The American Revolution Essential Question: How did the colonists win the American Revolution? In an Experiential Exercise, students engage in a tug-of-war that demonstrates factors that helped the American colonies win the American Revolution. Reading Further: The Revolution’s Home Front 14. The Constitution Essential Question: What are the key features of the U.S. Constitution? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students play a game in which they are presented with a series of situations that the government might face and determine which branch or branches of government will resolve each situation. Reading Further: Inside the Constitutional Convention 15. The Bill of Rights Essential Question: What are the basic rights and freedoms of the American people? In an Experiential Exercise, students work in small groups to create tableaux vivants, or living scenes, to represent key amendments in the Bill of Rights. Reading Further: Individual Rights vs. Society’s Needs 16. Our Role in Government Essential Question: What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students follow an inquiry process to identify a local issue and suggest solutions in a multimedia presentation. Reading Further: How Students Make a Difference 17. Shaping America’s Economy Essential Question: How did the Founding Fathers create the economy we use today? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students interpret excerpts from the Constitution. They evaluate how the Constitution provides a foundation for our free enterprise system. Reading Further: The Rise of Cotton in the South 18. Manifest Destiny and Settling the West Essential Question: How did the expansion of the United States affect people inside and outside the country? In an Experiential Exercise, students act as 19th-century settlers and migrate into the western territories of an outline of the United States. Reading Further: The Cherokee Trail of Tears 19. The Diverse Peoples of the West Essential Question: What drew new settlers to the western part of the United States in the 1800s? In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create interactive dramatizations about the experiences of six groups of people who lived in or moved to the West in the 1800s and how these groups were helped or harmed by the westward expansion of the United States. Reading Further: Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Prairie 20. The Causes of the Civil War Essential Question: What factors helped drive apart the North and the South in the mid-1800s? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students use a metaphor to compare prewar events with a story about a brother and sister who disagree. Then students complete an illustrated storybook to reflect the growing tensions between the North and the South. Reading Further: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Book 21. The Civil War Essential Question: What factors contributed to the outcome of the Civil War? In a Writing for Understanding activity, students take a “walking tour” to visit five sites at the battlefield at Gettysburg in July 1863 and examine and take notes on written and visual information about aspects of the Civil War, such as military tactics and technology and combat conditions. Reading Further: Life After Slavery in the South 22. The American Industrial Revolution Essential Question: How did industrialization change the United States? In a Social Studies Skill Builder activity, students analyze primary source images and data related to industrialization. Reading Further: Buying Goods: Then and Now 23. The Modern United States Essential Question: How has life in the United States changed since industrialization? In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students work in pairs to create an illustrated timeline of modern American history. Then they play a card game to better understand the importance of the historical periods in the past 200 years of U.S. history. Reading Further: Challenges and Hope for Immigrants