How do we learn about Social Studies?
Students will begin with a short journal entry describing their favorite aspect of Social Studies. (5-7 mins.) Students will share their writing with the class.
Ask students where they would go to find a telephone number, a recipe, etc. Make a list of these sources on the board. Explain to students that we go to certain places for certain types of information.
With a partner, students should list various places they could go to find information on the different areas of Social Studies they found yesterday. Students should record their list on Handout 1. If student responses are limited to print/electronic resources, prompt them to explore other areas by asking where the Social Scientists might have originally found the information to create the print/electronic sources in the first place.
After sharing their lists with the class, explain that most sources fall into two categories, primary and secondary sources. In groups of four, have students return to yourdictionary.com to review the definition of primary and secondary sources.
Provide a handout for students to categorize their previous source list into primary sources and secondary sources (Handout 2) before they proceed
Explain students that archaeology and anthropology also relate to social studies because of their connections to all the disciplines involved. Students should again visit yourdictionary.com to learn these definitions.
Anthropology : The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.
Archaeology : The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.
Still in their groups of four, each student will be responsible for one of the four aspect of social studies. Using the following Internet sites, the students must find an actual source relating to each topic and record it on the chart with an explanation of what type of source it is (primary or secondary). Review possible search criteria with students and suggest good search sites. See Yahooligans' suggestions for good Internet searches.
Suggested internet sites:
Brooklyn Public Library: www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org
National Archives: www.nara.gov
Natonal Geographic Online: www.nationalgeographic.org
As part of this activity, the teacher may practice observations skills in preparation for the trip to AMNH. The teacher may show an example of a source and guide students in their observations of the source.