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New to Teaching Social Studies? I've Got You Covered!

New to Teaching Social Studies? Read This Blog Post

If this is your first year teaching social studies and you want to get a head start on planning, I've got you covered. Maybe you've stepped into your classroom and realized you only have an outdated textbook or the teacher before you didn't leave you much in the way of materials. I've totally been there. But you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

1. Find Your State Social Studies Standards

Whether you have a full curriculum or nothing at all, one of the most important things to do before planning is to look up your state standards for social studies. Each state has its own set of performance standards or framework and grade level expectations.

Your state social studies standards are different than the Common Core State Standards. The CCSS does have a small number of standards that focus on social studies within reading and writing, but your state standards will outline what content you need to teach. If you aren't sure where to find your state social studies standards, you can use this free tool to look it up.

2. Join the National Council for the Social Studies

Next, I would highly recommend that you join the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) or at least get involved in the council within your own state or regional level. This is a great way to connect with educators in your state who are teaching the same standards or framework. Many councils offer professional development with sessions focused specifically on the standards for the state you're in.

3. Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Whether it's best practices, helpful back-to-school tips, or lesson plans and materials, the links listed below are designed to help you get started and save you planning time. Bookmark this page so you can come back to the links shared here.

Classroom Community/Back to School:

Lesson Plan Prep/Materials:

You can also find and download more than 15 free resources within this Social Studies Lessons Round-Up post.

Also, be sure and join the K-8 Social Studies Teachers Facebook Group where you can ask questions and collaborate with other educators!

Finally, please feel free to reach out at any time. I love chatting with new teachers all about social studies. I can be reached directly at

Social Studies Resources by Michelle McDonald


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