Free Social Studies Lessons

Black History Month

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Celebrate and honor the many achievements of African Americans in every field, from science to politics, with our free lessons, biographies, and primary source activities. Resources include:

  • Lessons: Honoring Rosa Parks, Garrett A. Morgan Made His Community Safer, Black History: The Right to Vote
  • Biography Videos: George Washington Carver, Sojourner Truth, Marian Anderson
  • Primary Source Activities: Documents on the Rebellions of Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner, Booker T. Washington’s “The Atlanta Compromise” Speech, and The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Women’s History Month reminds us to elevate and celebrate women’s stories, contributions, and lives. Explore free lessons, primary source activities, videos, and biographies for K-12 classrooms:

  • Free Lessons: Lessons on the Nineteenth Amendment, the Trials of Joan of Arc, Era of Reform, the Clash Between Traditionalism and Modernism, and more!
  • Primary Source Activities: Why Was Lady Murasaki an Important Figure in Japan’s History?; Native American Women; Sojourner Truth: One Speech, Two Versions; and The Declaration of Sentiments Adopted by the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York (1894)
  • Biographies: Isabella Aiona Abbott, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, Empress Theodora, Ruth Ella Moore, Deborah Sampson, Gloria Steinem, Sojourner Truth, and Margaret Thatcher
Women's History Month

Election Year

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With the elections coming up, take the opportunity to get students involved. Cover voting, good citizenship, and the foundations of government with these free TCI lessons, including:

  • Decision Making in Government: Learn how leaders make decisions through voting. Model the democratic process in the classroom through voting on new rules for the class.
  • Primaries vs. Caucuses: What’s the difference between a caucus and a primary election? Make sense of the presidential nomination process, then research caucuses or primaries in your state.
  • Expanding the Right to Vote: Dig into the history of who has the right to vote. Then, explore the question: Do you think Americans take voting for granted today?

César Chávez Day is a federal commemorative holiday that celebrates the legacy of civil rights leader César Chávez. Check out these free lessons to teach students about how Chávez and other activists fought for the rights of farmworkers across the country. 

  • Making Communities Better: Create a human monument honoring the contributions of César Chávez.
  • The Widening Struggle: Analyze a poster and song from the UFW grape boycott and predict how the civil rights movement might have expanded.
  • César Chávez: Working for Change: Learn about the life of César Chávez, then plan a monument to honor his accomplishments.
  • Biographies: César Chávez (with video), Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong

Foundations of Social Studies

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Need a lesson to kick off the year? Check out these free lessons and primary source activities in Foundations of Social Studies to set the stage for the rest of the school year.

  • What Are the Social Sciences?: Find and share artifacts from home that represent economics, geography, civics, and history.
  • Investigating the Past: Act as a “history detective”! Learn about the past by asking questions and conducting inquiries.
  • America’s Founding Ideals: Examine primary sources to study the influence of the ideals in the Declaration of Independence.

Current Events Toolkit

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The Current Events Toolkit provides a structure for bringing current events into the curriculum. It includes strategies for navigating current events with your students. Resources include:

  • Strategies: Guide students through identifying perspectives, analyzing new stories, and discussing current events.
  • Graphic organizers: Main Idea /Detail, 5W’s, Evaluation Web
  • Class discussions: Sentence starters, speaking and listening checklists, and more
Current Events-News
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