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Elementary Science

Combining Science with Social Studies?

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Brianna Salmond Brianna Salmond 455 Points

As a pre-service teacher, I am always trying to think of new ways to incorporate lessons that can cross subjects. Recently, I’ve done lessons on Social Studies and I would like to know if anyone has ever combined science and Social Studies in a lesson? What ways or topics could you cross? I was thinking more about the History of Science, but how can I make that fun for Elementary students? 

Hannah James Hannah James 115 Points


I am also a pre-service teacher from Iowa and we talk a lot about cross-curricular lessons, especially when talking about Science and Social studies as classrooms are seeing less and less time allotted for those two subject areas. I'm not sure what your state standards are like but some of Iowa's Social Studies standards talk about resources and the influence on migration which could easily be linked to talking about resources, where we get our resources, and even could tie into recycling/global warming and what happens we lose resources. NGSS has multiple standards that relate to resources as well (K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, and 3-LS4-4)

I would check your state standards and see what Social Studies standards you have that could easily link to the NGSS standards. 

Hannah James '20 Elementary Education
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Sandra Yarema Sandy Yarema 2480 Points

I've had success in using curriculum supplements, such as Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, and Project WET/WILD Aquatic.

Many of the activities are set up as Problem-Based Learning Scenarios which include role-playing and integrate environmental science with engineering design, social studies, civics, public policy, mathematics, and literacy. 

As an example, one activity frames a debate about whether to construct a dam in a wilderness area as a town-council meeting.  Various 'attendees' or roles for students to play include: the lone sheriff for the existing 700 people in the town, a Native-American tribes-person concerned that their heritage site will be flooded, a farmer- looking for relief from annual flooding, a  water-sports-enthusiast- escited for the possiblility of lake sports, a lumber-baron, concerned that their timber-land will be flooded, a fly-fisher- worried that their river will no longer exist, and town-council people who will make the decision, based on evidence that each of the former characters presents at the meeting. Social studies integration via historical parallels,  civics- workings of a town council, and civil planning, are integrated with environmental science, bio-diversity, and human impact.  

Maddie Johnson Maddie Johnson 2530 Points


It is absolutely possible to integrate social studies and science! I am a preservice teacher at UNI and I have found that since they have changed the social studies common core standards, they are a little easier to integrate into science! Social studies standards are now including things that relate to iquiry, citizenship, and other various topics. Something that I think is important to remember is that you cross curricular lesson does not have to cover both standards entirely. In most cases, standards are going to be covered over a series of lessons. Once you change your mindset and only look at parts of the standard, I think it will become easier for you to integrate!

Abby Staebell Abby Staebell 50 Points


I am a preservice teacher at Wartburg and I just completed a course about teaching social studies and in the elementary classroom. Our class read the book Question Fomulation Technique by Rothstein and Santana. This book focuses on teaching students how to ask good questions. It gives a procedure for students to formulate and discuss a topic in class. For high school students, you could tie science and social studies into the first question. The students develop a question about a picture or piece of content and formulate questions about the topic. Science can be tied in many different lessons. In the elementary classroom, students could read a book about geography and landforms and tie that into science as well as history. Books are a great tool to utilize in the elementary classroom. I hoep this helps! 

Abby Staebell, Wartburg College 20' 

Rebecca Murray Rebecca Murray 2215 Points



I am a current student at the University of Northern Iowa in my Science Methods course. I love the idea with integrating social studies and science. I think there are a lot of great ideas you could do. One thing that has really helped me figure out integrating Social Studies into Science is the common core standards. They provide you with ideas you can use. A lot of social studies standards talk about various topics. I think when you integrate all ideas into a lesson it is a great idea. A lot of the time you are integrating into your lesson and you don’t even realize it. I think taking a look at the standards will help you get started! I hope this helps you!

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