This guide is intended for beginners. Effective and beneficial social studies lesson plans incorporate several key elements. It is crucial for new educators to keep several things in mind as they prepare to teach their students.

Things You Will Need

Learning objectives

Step 1

Offer a motivation. Social studies lesson plans should always connect with the lives of the students for which they are intended. The issue may directly impact learners, or it may have a more nuanced effect. In the latter case, it may be necessary to provide analogies. For example, a political conflict is analogous to a sports game: each side has goals, leaders, advantages and disadvantages. One way or another, make sure you explain why the information is relevant!

Step 2

Provide an introduction. Next, segue from the motivation to an introduction. Make sure the class understands the topic that is up for discussion. You may want to discuss some objectives here, so that the pupils recognize what is expected from them as you move forward.

Step 3

Start the activities. These represent the bulk of social studies lesson plans. Do not fall victim to thinking that there is a hard and fast rule regarding timing. However, as a rule of thumb, an activity (or two or three) should fill up approximately 75% of the class. You can utilize presentations, lectures, teacher guided discussions, student guided discussions or any other type of approach. Just remember to make sure that what you do is aligned with the overall learning objectives for that day. Provide specific instructions for the activities then repeat them and clarify as needed.

Step 4

Use an assessment (or more than one, if possible). There should be multiple checkpoints in social studies lesson plans so that the teacher may assess accomplishment and adjust to fill in any learning gaps as necessary. If there is specific information that has not been clearly expressed, an assessment helps the educator to recognize it and make the necessary corrections.

Step 5

Evaluate accomplishments. If possible, social studies lesson plans should allow the educator to evaluate accomplishment of student aims. This may include collection of written work or an oral evaluation.

Step 6

Give closure. Sum up the events of the class, repeat the most pertinent information and ask learners to offer their conclusions. Social studies lesson plans can be tweaked between periods and between years, so that students benefit from the teacher's experience.
This step by step guide details the basic aspects of social studies lesson plans. It is a great place to start, but the craft of teaching is infinitely more complex. As you gain experience and confidence, you may find it worthwhile to modify your approach. Good luck, and remember to be yourself in the classroom - every teacher is different.

Tips & Warnings