|SOCIAL STUDIES WEDNESDAYS!|
Social Studies is defined by the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a part of a school or college curriculum concerned with the study of social relationships and the functioning of society and usually made up of courses in history, government, economics, civics, sociology, geography, and anthropology. It's a big subject! I also found at that site that the first known use of the term social studies happened in 1926. Obviously, it encompasses such a wide area and I know that many schools focus grade by grade on a set curriculum, yet within each curriculum study there is a wealth of possibilities. I imagine that what Tara is hoping is that we will share those possibilities.
In my thinking for this new challenge, I thought I would begin with a basic topic/theory I have often taught to students, or have had a student research it herself when appropriate. You may already know about it, and I think it's probably most appropriate for about 10 years and up. It is a theory of Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, named Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Essentially it is the idea that people need to fulfill certain basic needs in order to move to another level. I have used this when studying the motivation for cruelty in the world, for theft, for heinous acts like slavery and the Holocaust. It seems important to me that children learn some reasons for people's acts, to try to figure out their world.
Even young children can benefit from a conversation about the differences between "wants" and "needs".
The chart found in the link above, or in numerous graphics on Google images is endlessly interesting to students, and helps them to find out more about themselves, too.