Social Studies: Content Area Learning Resources

Social Studies: Content Area Learning Resources

George Washington PBS LearningMedia image

Painting of a US dollar by artist Djawid C. Borower, 2000. (German, b. 1958.) Medium: Oil on canvas; 70-1/2" X 78-1/2." Source: Dr. Donald L. and Dorothy Jacobs Gallery, Kentucky, USA.

WXXI Education has pulled together Social Studies learning resources for students in grades 6-12th grade. 

WXXI Education has curated a list of useful social studies learning resources (lesson plans, content collections, partner sites, interactives, and printables) for students and educators in grades 6-12. These resources help support students learning at home in multiple ways:

  1. Aligned to WXXI's Learn At Home broadcast and connect to content being aired
  2. Can be used/assigned as stand-alone learning pieces, separate from the broadcast
  3. Can be shared with parents and caregivers as another safe space for students to learn
  4. Aligned to state and national learning standards so they meet the needs of learners across the country

PBS LearningMedia: Social Studies Subject Area - Explore natural phenomena and scientific practices with videos, lesson plans, and interactive tools.

All of the above topic areas are available as PBS LearningMedia Social Studies One-Sheets to share with students and educators. One-sheets include a clickable link and QR code for easy access. 

Favorite Social Studies Collections
There are tons of Social Studies resources available through PBS LearningMedia, here are WXXI Education's top 5 Social Studies collections:

1. Teaching with Primary Source Inquiry KitsAs the perfect springboard for middle and high school student research projects, TPS Inquiry Kits have five primary sources, mostly from the Library of Congress, and one secondary source. Many of the primary sources are images, maps, audio, or video to support accessibility by students of any reading level. Each kit features three thinking questions to guide students, and web-based tools to help them analyze the historical sources. Explore each inquiry kit, and find the thinking questions under Support Materials.

2. PBS NewsHour | Daily News Story: PBS Newshour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, when, where, and why-it-matters of major national and international news stories. In partnership with PBS LearningMedia, we are proud to bring you the Daily News Story which takes the best of the PBS NewsHour news program and pairs it with discussion questions, lesson plans, and stories developed specifically for students. The lesson plans and resources help achieve Common Core State Standards goals and cover core academic subject areas ranging from civics and government to world affairs and education.

3. American Masters: American Masters, public television’s award-winning biography series, brings unique originality and perspective to exploring the lives and illuminating the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists and filmmakers – those who have left an indelible impression on our nation’s cultural landscape.

4. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: Noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. The series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Using video clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, this collection of lesson plans addresses a wide range of themes of the African-American experience from 1500 to the present.

5. Teaching the Vietnam War: This collection of videos and lesson plans can help students explore the social and political dynamics of the Vietnam War. Students will examine why, how, and by whom the Vietnam War was fought, how it affected U.S. citizens at home, and how factors shifted over the course of the war. Students will identify the Vietnam War’s legacy and lasting toll on veterans. This collection includes resources related to The Vietnam War, a ten-part documentary series that aired on PBS September 17-21, 2017. The series represents the latest work from filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and featured archival footage and testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including American veterans who fought in the war and Americans who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians. 

Additional Science Resources from Partner Organizations

Annenberg Learner Series - Educator Social Studies Resources