19 Powerful Activities to Teach Grade 5 Social Studies

Powerful Social Studies Activities

Grade 5 social studies is one of my favourite subjects to teach, but would you believe it was one of my least favourite subjects as a student? Well, 99% of the time I was in an elementary social studies class, we were reading a textbook and answering questions about it. I love reading, but even I found that boring! Reading comprehension is not what social studies is about.

Anti-racist Teaching Means Ditching Linguistic Superiority

Text reads: "anti-racist teaching & linguistic superiority"

A few years ago, I was teaching kids how to translate patterns. One boy was really struggling with it. I asked if he spoke another language, thinking we could use translating words as a jumping-off point. He said he spoke Mandarin but admitted that he didn’t “feel right” or “comfortable” speaking it at school. He turned to a friend and asked – “are we allowed to speak our language at school?”

The Power of Chloe Cho: The Importance of Diverse Books for Kids

Text reads: The importance of diverse books for kids. Below, an Asian girl in sunglasses sips a pink drink in a forest.

A few years ago, I read Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object to my fifth-grade class for the first time. As always, I introduced the protagonist before I began. Her name is Chloe Cho, so I wrote that on the board. One of my students, who shared her last name, shoved his hand up in the air and asked why his name was on the board. “Because that’s the character’s last name,” I said…

Black History Month FREEBIE!

Black History Month Freebie - black and white picture of the Colored Hockey League in the background

February is Black History Month in Canada and the US, and I’ve got a free article with questions for you English and/or Social Studies teachers! The Colored Hockey League was founded in 1895. They were a huge hit in Nova Scotia, but they’re virtually non-existent in our history books. What caused their untimely demise?

Teaching Puberty: A Social Justice Approach

When I teach about puberty, I want all my students to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to how their bodies and their classmates’ bodies work. I especially want to push back against the stigma around discussing menstruation. The way I see it, puberty education and social justice are inextricably linked. This is what I do to bring in social justice perspectives when I teach my fifth-grade students about puberty!