George Lucas Educational Foundation

Social Studies

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

  • Lesson Plans

    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.
  • Inquiry-Based Learning

    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.
  • Communication Skills

    Scaffolding Discussion Skills With a Socratic Circle

    Students deepen their understanding and build a sense of community by engaging with their peers’ reasoned arguments.
  • Critical Thinking

    Talking Politics: Valuing Different Perspectives

    Students learn how to share and listen to opposing beliefs with empathy.
  • Creativity

    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.
  • Project-Based Learning

    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.
  • Lesson Plans

    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

    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.
  • Game-Based Learning

    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.
  • Project-Based Learning

    Project-Based Learning Using Disney Movies

    Popular movies can be an entry point for students to dig deeper into historical studies.
  • Common Core

    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.
  • Technology Integration

    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.
  • Communication Skills

    Balancing Instruction in Social Studies

    The difficult challenge of teaching reading, writing, and speaking in addition to social studies content and skills.
  • Service Learning

    Creating Classrooms for Social Justice

    Teach your students about making positive change in the world by connecting with them, discussing real-world problems and multiple perspectives, creating classroom community, and including authentic assessment.
  • Diversity

    Sharing Immigrant Experiences in the Classroom

    Exploring the perspectives of immigrants with students helps them better understand the meaning of citizenship in a democracy.