If I ever had to move out of my wonderful elementary world and up to the land of the bigger kids (high school), I think I would be a social studies teacher. It definitely is one of my favorite subject areas to teach. There are so many fun and engaging social studies activities out there, and I seem to find more new ones every day!
Check out these 5 Social Studies Activities for Upper Elementary you’ll love to try in your classroom!
13 American Colonies Flipbook
The families I have worked with LOVE flipbooks! I don’t know what it is about them, but the students will do any work you ask them to, as long as you put it into a cute little booklet with fun characters. This American Colonies Mini Flipbook is no different. Included in this bundle are links to several different articles that are perfect for research, as well as the template for the flipbook. Since we are 1:1, I share a google drive with my students to let them read on their own, but you can set that up in whatever way works best for you. Don’t forget to print off and use the bulletin board words, they’re perfect for displaying all your students’ hard work!
Explorer Report Flipbook
While we’re on the subject of flipbooks, what better way is there to organize a research project? I especially love them when talking about explorers, like with this activity.
The links included cover some of the more well-known explorers like Ponce de Leon and Cortez, but the blank flipbook template would work for any European explorer.
Be sure to check out other flipbooks you can use in your elementary classroom!
Latitude and Longitude
Besides remembering that “Lat is fat,” what do students need to know to understand how the world is divided? This latitude and longitude bundle has everything you need for a complete lesson on geography in a way that will stick with students. Each set comes with the following:
My students loved the group challenge included at the end of the bundle. It was also a nice formative assessment for me! Win-win!
Gold Rush Grams
If you have a creative class, they will adore the gold rush grams! As the teacher reads the “Gram,” from the gold rush, the students get to illustrate what they think is happening. They also add hashtags to try and summarize the events of the “gram.” This is definitely a crowd-pleaser and one that students ask me to do again and again!
California Missions Mini-Book
If you live in the great state of California, you know that there are probably about as many missions as there are cities. Students can pair up and have a mission of their own to research and present on. I use this book as a way for them to organize themselves as they research. The students love it so much they put on a gallery walk to show off their creations!
Since the mini-book focuses on informational writing, it’s a great way to integrate language arts curriculum into social studies!
What activities get you and your students excited about social studies? What are your top 5 Social Studies Activities for Upper Elementary? Check out these and other Social Studies research projects for 3rd through 5th grades!
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