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Social Studies Rocks! Engage Your Middle School Students With These Free Resources

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Friday, December 4, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Melissa Henning  
Infuse social studies into your blended middle school classroom. Discover free interactives related to the Battle of Gettysburg, curated booklists to integrate social studies in reading and an interactive related to important dates in history. Plus, learn about an engaging (and free) global collaboration project for your classroom using Twitter!

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Online tools, apps & resources
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Language arts, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this snapshot session is to introduce middle school educators to several FREE social studies resources that are ready to use tomorrow. A brief demonstration will be provided for each resource. Many of the tools are cross-curricular and useful beyond social studies. Our resource page will include additional resources. With the demands for standards and testing, social studies often gets the backseat to other curriculum topics. Our session will demonstrate simple ways to integrate social studies. Some activities require as little as 5 minutes per day. All activities shared could be done as a class or individually by students (or cooperative learning groups). Come and join us as we delve into important dates in history, Gettysburg (integrated with math), a Twitter activity that promotes global collaboration, topical book collections, and more. Participants are encouraged to follow along on their device and a question/answer time will be provided.

- Participants will learn ways to integrate social studies into their curriculum in as few as 5 minutes per day.

- Participants will learn about "ready to go" units to include with their current curriculum.

- Participants will engage in several free tools that relate to a variety of social studies topics.


:00 - :05 - Quick welcome and engagement poll
:05 - :10 - Introduction to TeachersFirst overall (non-profit FREE website offering over 15,000 tools that are all free)
:10 - :25 - Demo of Gettysburg by the Numbers, CurriConnects, Dates that Matter, Across the World Once a Week, and additional topics listed on resource page (if time permits). Participants are encouraged to follow along on their own devices and try out the free resources that are shared.
:25 - :30 - Question/answer and closing

Supporting research

Dhandhania, Tanushree. “The Importance of Social Studies in the School Curriculum.” The Progressive Teacher, 28 Nov. 2016,

Henning, Melissa. “Tech Tool of the Month: Gettysburg by the Numbers.” Infusing Technology: TeachersFirst Blog, 18 July 2018,

National Council for the Social Studies. “Powerful, Purposeful Pedagogy in Elementary School Social Studies.” National Council for the Social Studies, 4 Apr. 2017,

“Social Studies Curriculum Links.” Middle School Social Studies and Middle School Social Studies Curriculum,

More [+]


Melissa Henning, The Source for Learning

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