Social Studies is not just learning facts about history. It’s not just
memorizing states and capitals. It’s not just matching famous faces to
their accomplishments. Social Studies is so much more. Social Studies is
actually made up of eight different areas and five skills. These areas
are: history, geography, political science, economics, culture, civics,
psychology, and sociology.
So what does all of this mean? Here’s a brief description of each area.
History is the study of events and people of the past. This is when you
learn facts about battles, inventions, and important contributions.
The study of the earth’s landscapes, people, places, and environment is
Geography. This includes maps, longitude and latitude, and physical
characteristics of land.
When you study the government, you are learning about Political
Science. This covers how the government was created, what each person
in the government does, and important documents that were written for
Simply put, Economics means money. It’s the study of how money is
exchanged, the trading of goods, and how money is made.
Studying a country or group’s Culture can be fascinating. You’ll learn
about their foods, art, traditions, holidays, and language.
Civics is all about how YOU interact with the government. This includes
your right to vote, supporting political candidates, and volunteering for
Psychology is learning about how the brain works and how people act in
certain situations. It’s interesting to learn why people do the things
that they do. Psychology also includes lots of brain research and
experiments on people!
Sociology is a little bit like psychology, but Sociology focuses on groups
of people. Do you act differently when you are with your friends than
when you are alone? Do you act differently at school than at home?
The five skills of Social Studies are different. These are things you
need to learn. They include: good citizenship, critical thinking, problem
solving, cosmopolitanism, and conservation.
Many of these five skills are things that you probably already know and
do. If you are a helpful, respectful, caring student and friend, you are
practicing good citizenship. If you like to ask questions and search for
answers, that’s critical thinking. Having an argument with you friends?
Coming up with a solution is problem solving. Studying different
cultures and trying different foods makes you cosmopolitan, as you are
interested in studying the world. Recycling is an obvious for of
conservation, but writing and recording events means you are also
conserving your ideas for future people to understand.
Learning about Social Studies is a big task. There is a lot of information
to study, but it’s important to know these things, so that our future
generations can understand how we lived.