George Lucas Educational Foundation

Social Studies

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in the social sciences.

  • Using Inaccurate Films to Understand History

    Hollywood can portray historical events with mistakes or omissions, but critical analysis turns these moments into teaching tools.
  • Unsung Heroes Add Depth to History Lessons

    Teaching students about the contributions of people who have been overlooked in textbooks gives them a fuller sense of history.
  • Modeling Writing and Revising for Students

    A high school history teacher demonstrates the writing process for students by composing and editing an article while they observe.
  • Scaffolding Discussion Skills With a Socratic Circle

    Students deepen their understanding and build a sense of community by engaging with their peers’ reasoned arguments.
  • Inquiry-Based Tasks in Social Studies

    Assignments that are bigger than a lesson and smaller than a unit are a good way to experiment with inquiry-based learning.
  • Studying Female Poets to Understand History

    Women have often been omitted from histories, but the work of female poets can give students a needed perspective.
  • Talking Politics: Valuing Different Perspectives

    Students learn how to share and listen to opposing beliefs with empathy.
  • 22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

    Look through the door of one classroom and you might see the students hunched over, not engaged, even frowning. Look through the door of another classroom, and you might see a room full of lively students, eager, engaged and participating. What is the second teacher doing that the first one isn't? He or she is using creativity in that classroom.
  • New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

    Researchers in Michigan show that project-based learning in high-poverty communities can produce statistically significant gains in social studies and informational reading.
  • Election 2016: Lesson Plans and Digital Resources for Educators

    Teach the 2016 U.S. presidential election with this curated collection, featuring lesson plans, multimedia, and interactive games for K-12 students.
  • Project-Based Learning Using Disney Movies

    Popular movies can be an entry point for students to dig deeper into historical studies.
  • Project-Based Learning: Raising Student Achievement for All Learners

    Researchers in Michigan showed that project-based learning in high-poverty communities can produce statistically significant gains in social studies and informational reading—see how they did it in this video.
  • Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom

    Minecraft is no longer a new tool in the field of game-based learning. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, teachers have been experimenting with different ways to use it in the classroom for a while now to teach math concepts like ratios and proportions, while others use it to support student creativity and collaboration.
  • Common Core in Action: 10 Visual Literacy Strategies

    Do you wish your students could better understand and critique the images that saturate their waking life? That's the purpose of visual literacy (VL), to explicitly teach a collection of competencies that will help students think through, think about and think with pictures.
  • 6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents

    The Common Core Learning Standards describe the importance of teaching students how to comprehend informational text. Primary source documents are artifacts created by individuals during a particular period in history. This could be a letter, speech, photograph or journal entry. If you're looking to integrate social studies into your literacy block, try out one of these resources for primary source documents.