The social studies core disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history are an important, but sometimes neglected, part of the elementary school curriculum. Social studies offers many benefits for elementary school students which include helping students to be prepared for changes which will occur in the future and their responsibilities as citizens in shaping the future. Social studies provides opportunities for students to learn and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills. As students work together on social studies activities, they have opportunities to learn and apply social and communication skills needed for success in and outside of the school setting. To maximize the time available to teach social studies, teachers need to be able to make connections between subject areas by using curriculum integration and other planning and teaching strategies that will be explored in subsequent chapters of this book.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota