Many teachers struggle to motivate their elementary students to learn, especially when teaching social studies. Students struggle to understand why learning historical facts and figures matter and find the subject content boring. In an age when connecting with history matters more than ever, how do we make our K-8 social studies classrooms challenging and exploratory?
A pedagogical shift towards teaching social studies in conjunction with other subjects, and not as an isolated topic, has slowly emerged on the horizon in public schools for the last five years. In some states, standardized state tests in social studies have been discontinued for students in 6th and 7th grades because they are considered non-essential. Teachers continue to ask why social studies content is being pushed aside for language arts, math, and other STEM-based curricula. Social studies, especially at the secondary level, is a disappearing and often thought of as less important curriculum, but it doesn’t have to be.