Social studies combines elements from geography, history, and political science — making it a really dynamic, but potentially overwhelming, lesson to plan for!
Downloadable worksheets are a great way to help structure your social studies lesson plans, offering up the most salient points of discussion and testing for understanding with fun, interactive exercises.
Here are our favorite social studies lesson plans that’ll educate your students about cultures, movements, and historic moments from all across the globe.
Build your next social studies lesson plan with these 10 worksheet bundles…
Learn about Aboriginal Australia
This 23-page worksheet bundle introduces your students to everything they need to know about Indigenous Australians.
The fact file explains the storied history of Aboriginal Australians, all the way through to European invasion in the 1700s, the modern struggles, and how they celebrate their culture today — which is a perfect way to kick off. Then, the colorful worksheets with maps and drawings make for a fun and engaging bulk of the lesson, especially if you pair them with historical photos that can be found easily online.
Finally, solidify their learning at the end of the unit with the “building vocabulary” worksheet included in the bundle.
Jump back in time to World War II
World War II can be such an in-depth and dense topic, it’s hard to even know where to begin when planning lessons!
We think you’re best introducing it as a broad concept, before narrowing down into the specifics. This World War II worksheet pack does an excellent job of covering all the basics; illustrating how the war started, then spread across Europe and around the world. It contains maps and timelines, with all the facts and figures you need to teach the topic thoroughly. Thankfully, it’s broken down into various sub-lessons to make sure everything is covered, without being too overwhelming. You can then drill down into specifics such as Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, Auschwitz, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more with dedicated worksheet packs.
Teach the Ancient Greek clash of civilizations
Ancient civilization study units are always a hit with kids, as they’re full of exciting and dramatic stories. And this worksheet bundle introduces students to two warring ancient cities: Athens and Sparta.
Beginning with basic facts, it then leads into all the juicy details about the epic war that spanned three centuries. It includes separate worksheets for all the main topics such as the Peloponnesian War, the use of slaves, and Greek alliances. It even explains what life was like for normal civilians in ancient Greece — which will be fun for kids to try and imagine — and how Athens managed to cement itself in history as a globally-relevant city.
Fall in love with beautiful Russia
When you’re choosing social studies topics to teach to your students, you have an opportunity to share some of the most amazing sights from around the world with them. This lesson on the Russian city of Moscow is a great way to introduce them to a far-flung culture and way of life that goes back centuries, but also still thrives today. For extra fun, you can supplement your lessons with photos from Google — after all, it’s a colorful city full of ornate buildings, which will certainly brighten up your classroom! The vibrant worksheets in this social studies lesson plan cover history and geography, and also explore the landmarks of the city.
Meet the First Ladies of the White House
Let’s be honest, sometimes the First Ladies can be way more interesting to learn about than the Presidents themselves!
This worksheet pack starts off with basic facts about the role of the First Lady of the United States, then profiles some of those who are most influential and well known: Michelle Obama, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Lady Bird Johnson, to name but a few.
Through this, your students will learn about various social justice campaigns and initiatives started by First Ladies — many of which have gone on to change the country! Not only does this social studies lesson champion these strong women, but it also offers a series of activities and illustrated worksheets to make learning about them fun. Our First Lady worksheet bundle also includes a quiz that you can give your students before moving on to the next topic.
Then, if you want to get to know particular First Ladies in-depth, browse our First Lady of the United States library for dedicated worksheet packs on each one!
Explore the historic Chinese kingdoms
Though the Shang Dynasty existed nearly 4000 years ago, it actually had a major influence on modern Chinese culture. This worksheet bundle combines history, geography, and cultural studies for a super interesting insight into an incredible ancient civilization.
Your students will be captivated by the facts and stories surrounding the rise and fall of the Shang dynasty, as the worksheets really bring it all to life. The in-depth pages include maps and graphics — which help set the facts straight — as well as interactive activities like a find-a-word, to finish the lesson off. It’s a really dynamic lesson plan, to keep your students engaged and wanting to learn more.
Introduce some female role models
Marie Curie was an amazing woman. The Polish scientist had an incredible life, her work leading her to become the first person to win two Nobel prizes. Our Marie Curie worksheet pack includes information on everything that led to her career in science — including studying in secret because women weren’t allowed to attend university at the time!
As well as being a fantastic insight into a historical figure, these worksheets also serve as a great introduction to chemistry as a scientific topic. The word search helps kids to flex their science vocabulary, and the ‘Polonium Basics’ will really put them to the test — ideal for a final push toward the end of class! Plus, it’s always important for female students to see inspirational female figures in a male-dominated field.
Navigate through the countries of Europe
Europe is geographically a small continent, but you could spend a whole year teaching it as a subject without even scratching the surface!
There are millennia of history to cover spanning all the different empires and civilizations. And current-day geopolitics and multicultural living make Europe a fascinating destination to visit in class.
This 26-page worksheet bundle contains an excellent overview of the last 2000+ years of European history facts, with plenty of modern-day information thrown in as well. Why not kick things off with facts about Europe, before honing in on the most popular cities — London, Paris, Berlin, etc. — before exploring some stand-out natural wonders?
Learn about the US Federal Government and how it works
Government studies is a tricky subject to teach — it can be hard to capture your student’s imagination whilst delivering all the detail, especially if they are young.
That being said, our Federal Government worksheet bundle and fact file is bursting with information, presented in a clear and concise way so your students can easily make sense of it. Each worksheet is broken into a different topic area, providing the perfect social studies lesson plan if you go through it chunk-by-chunk.
By the end of the pack, they’ll have learned about the different branches of government and what they do, as well as getting an overview of Congress, the President, and The Supreme Court. The included word hunt and vocabulary quiz list are a fun way to end the class; testing their understanding and making sure they’ve picked up on the key takeaways.
Sail the seven seas with pirates
This topic is always a fun one. Young kids are naturally fascinated by pirates, so they’re sure to be enthralled by a lesson about real-life swashbuckling stories
Our 23-page pirates work pack is a treasure chest of delights, covering the history of pirates, how they came to be, and how they ruled the seven seas centuries ago. The worksheets contain fun puzzles and games, so your students won’t feel like they’re in school at all!
And to make the lesson even more memorable, you can supplement your facts with a kid-friendly pirate movie, like the Disney cartoon version of “Peter Pan”.
Ready to plan your next social studies lesson?
If you’re looking for more support on social studies or any other subject, then head over to our site. We’ve got thousands of worksheets, covering everything from Physics to Phonics, and Vincent van Gogh to Victorian houses.
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