Chapter 1 - Section 6

Integrating the Social Studies

     Since there is not enough time available to teach social studies in traditional ways, curriculum integration is a necessary strategy for teachers to use in order to focus on meaningful connections. By connecting learning activities from several subject areas to a related and meaningful theme, student interest can be enhanced and active involvement is encouraged. Interaction with other students helps students apply critical and creative thinking skills while practicing social and communication skills. Integration of the curriculum can be a powerful strategy to help students learn needed academic and social content and skills in a format that is more logical, cohesive, and learner friendly. Thus, integrated curriculum can result in greater student achievement, in better preparation for the real world, and in improved attitudes toward learning, toward the teacher, and toward classmates. Some strategies for getting started with the integration process can be found in a Scholastic article, How to Teach More in Less Time.

     When curriculum integration is used, teachers look for creative ways to meet the required standards while involving students in learning experiences that are relevant to their interest. Integrated curriculum has the potential to “act as a bridge to increased student achievement and engaging, relevant curriculum”. Additional benefits of curriculum integration can be found in an Edutopia article.

Curriculum Integration Example – Moon Over Manifest

     Examples of integrated activities for different curriculum areas are found in this example based on the Newbery award winning book Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte, 2010).

Camp Funston, Kansas (1918)
Source: The Library of Congress

Language Arts Integration Using Moon Over Manifest

  • Students will identify descriptive language in Moon Over Manifest.
  • (p. 1) Hearing Gideon tell about it was like sucking on butterscotch. Smooth and sweet.

    (p. 46) “________________ are so dry people shrivel up like November leaves and blow all the way to California.”

    (p. 101) “It’s not stealing. It’s like the library. You check out a book, look at what’s inside, and take it back.”

    (p. 175). “Ballast. Like the sandbags that hang off the basket of a hot-air balloon to keep it weighted and steady.”

    (p. 179) “__________ is like an explosion. It makes people take notice of things they might have overlooked.”

    (p. 248) “The Lord himself knew the power of __________. How it can reach out and wrap around a person like a warm blanket.” Students will create their own simile for a person or place they are familiar with and create a simile about Abilene Tucker.

  • Sister Redempta tells Abilene the word “manifest” is both a verb and a noun. (p. 112 and 237) Students will write three examples of how these meanings are important in the story.

Math Integration Using Moon Over Manifest

  • Students will solve word problems about the story.
  • Students will calculate the share Jinx and Ned each got from their fireworks sales and tell how each spent their share. (They made $50.75 selling fireworks. (p. 128) They each took half and Jinx got the extra 75 cents because he was the idea man. Ned gave his $25 share to the recruiting officer. (p. 131) Jinx bid $25.75 for the 1918 victory quilt.)

    Mrs. Cane passed away on July 1, 1918. She was ninety-three. (p. 167) In what year was she born? (She was born in 1825.)

  • Students will calculate the increase in population of Kansas places between 1918 and 2008.


Population of Kansas

Population of Kansas City

Population of Wichita






2,853,118 (2010)

143,801 (2006 est.)

357,698 (2011)





% increase




Sources: 1918 populations from
Kansas and Kansas City, KS populations from
Wichita population from

Social Studies Integration Using Moon Over Manifest

  • Students will label locations from the book on a map of the United States.






South Carolina



Abilene, KS

Charleston, SC

Des Moines, IA

Fort Wayne, IN

Frontenac, KS

Joplin, MO

Kalamazoo, MI

Kansas City, KS

New Orleans, LA

Omaha, NE

Pittsburg, KS

Shreveport, LA

Sioux Falls, SD

Springfield, IL

Topeka, KS


Camp Funston, KS (Fort Riley, KS)
Crawford County, KS

Science Integration Using Moon Over Manifest

Music Integration Using Moon Over Manifest

Crowe Company Mine No. 16, Croweburg, Kansas
Mrs. L. C. Caldwell
Kansas State Historical Society

Other Examples of Curriculum Integration

Delaware Social Studies Education Project

Resources for integrating social studies and literature

NAEYC Links to Science and Social Studies

Resources for integrating social studies and science for young children

Smithsonian Institution

Resources for music and social studies

North Carolina Social Studies Resources

Resources for music and social studies

Walters Museum – Baltimore

Resources for art and social studies

Smithsonian Institution

Resources for art and social studies

Section 5   Section 7