Teaching Your Students About Civics and Government

Civics and government is a very important part of your kindergarten and first grade students’ education. Understanding the basics including rules and laws is going to be vital as they grow up and enter the world. Unfortunately, it can seem a little dry trying to teach it in a way that your students will find fun and interesting. 

To do this, you want to find engaging lesson plans for your students so they will not only learn the material, but really understand and retain it. The key is to make your lessons fun! This is especially important with any lessons you do for kindergarten and first graders. The more fun the lessons are, the more interested they will be, the more they will learn! 

I have you covered with my Civics and Government bundle!

This extensive resource includes nine full weeks of detailed lesson plans and everything you need for the entire unit. You’ll also get a home connection parent letter, American History Journal with a wordbank, a rubric for the journal, 9 interactive notebook pages, and posters for your classroom, 

This Civics and Government resource will cover:

  • Primary Sources
  • Sequencing events
  • Calendar Skills
  • Being a GOOD Citizen
  • Rules and Laws
  • Conflicts and Fair Decisions

Extras included for centers: primary source activity, months of the year (what comes next), sort the pictures activity (rules vs laws),  Tattle Tale Officer Activity (to teach your students the difference between being helpful and hurtful), big problem, medium problem, and small problem posters, and a Write the Room Activity (a great way to incorporate writing into your social studies lessons). 

I created this resource to make your life easier and take the stress out of lesson planning! My goal is that this resource will cover all standards and truly engage your students so that they learn and retain the lessons. 

Check out my tips for for social distancing while teaching here! 

civics and government
civics and government

 

Do you have any tips for making civics and government fun? Let me know in the comments below! 

civics and government

 

Can Schools Open Safely in the Fall

Not My Regular Kind of Post

I’ve been waiting to hear from our government about the guidelines and plans for opening schools this fall so I could make an informed decision.  My number one priority IS the safety of my children, family and community.   I watched the Secretary of Education on an interview today. NO PLAN being their PLAN made my blood boil!

Lucky?

I’m lucky. I have the option to NOT send my kids back. Not everyone has that option. This will leave the working poor forced to send their kids back to school, putting their neighborhoods at a greater risk. It’s tantamount in my opinion to ethnic cleansing. Huge profits for private schools.

I WANT to OPEN Schools

We need to open in my opinion because…

  1. Education is not the same online
  2. Social skills are important
  3. The economy will suffer and is important to mental health

BUT, if we can’t do this safely, don’t do it at all! In a matter of months the public went from “Teachers are underappreciated, we should pay them triple!” to “Get in the classroom to WATCH the children so we can get back to work, even if it kills you.” Children must receive vaccinations to enter most schools, yet we are allowing this???!!! All of this is falling on the individual schools and teachers with no help from the people who are in positions to make a real difference from the top down.

Scientific Data

The general public doesn’t believe the data available because HONESTLY, it is flawed. Teachers teach science. We know how important data collecting is and if it’s flawed, we need to fix the way we collect data. Scientist still observe the flawed data to make decisions of how to make corrections for future data to be more accurate. We don’t ignore the data.

Thoughts or Solutions?

I know that teachers have it hard when thinking about Back-To-School! Worrying about their own families and careers while having to solve this HUGE MEGA problem without help from officials who have access to information to make intelligent suggestions for real lifesaving solutions.  Many know if they make a big stink about how they feel, they could be out of a job, so they are silent. Please feel free to leave comments or send me an email at cindy@teachersbrain.com so I can be your voice without using your name about your concerns or maybe some REAL solutions to how we can open safely.

Betsy has not plan

 

Tips For Your Back-To-School Open House

Back-to-school Open House night is very exciting for students and their parents because after a long summer, they finally get to go and see what the new school year will be like and meet their new teacher. For teachers on the other hand, it can be a little stressful, especially if talking in front of groups of adults makes you a little nervous! This is completely natural. These are people you are going to have a relationship with for the next school year and you want to make a great impression, while not showing how nervous or overwhelmed you might be. 

Your goal for an Open House is to meet your students and their families, establish rules, explain how your classroom will run, and most importantly, make a great first impression! This is a huge day for everyone. The key to a smooth open house is to make sure you plan ahead so you are prepared and make sure there is plenty for the parents and students to do besides just talking to you.

Here are some tips to make your Open House night a success

  • Have a slide show ready for the parents to watch. Include in your presentation a little about yourself, what they can expect for classroom structure and routines, rules, and expectations. This is great because it not only saves you from having to do a lot of public speaking, but it also helps set the tone with the parents from the start so you are all on the same page. 
  • Take family photos of each child with their family. This can be a fun way to help break the ice and get to know your students and their family. You can use these pictures in fun crafts with your students later in the year. You can even use them in some classroom decor to help your students feel more relaxed and comfortable when they start the school year and see a picture of themselves with their family. 
  • Set up some fun crafts and activities for the students to do with their families. This will help build excitement for the actual school year and it may ease some of their nerves. 
  • Have volunteer sign-up sheets set out for parents. Trust me, this list will come in handy later when you need help with classroom parties or activities. You’ll have a list of parents ready to go! 

 

Don’t get too overwhelmed. I created some fun Open House activities to help make the whole night easier for you!

All About Me Mini Me People Activity

These printables will help personalize a little mini me for your students to make during Open House. You can also use them for measurement or All About Me Projects. Students can design their own shirt, use their own colors, cut, paste together, and add yarn or doll hair to help make their Mini Me special. Open House

Open House Scavenger Hunt

This is an easy way to help your students show their families the important locations in the classroom! Use these print and go templates or personalize it with the editable PowerPoint!

Open House

All About Me Printables Back-To-School Quilt Squares

Quilt Squares are a great way to get to know your students! After children fill out the squares, you can hang them up to make a cute quilt type display in your room. Put a border around and some ribbon on all four corners to make it extra cute for Open House. There is a suggested plan and a blank one you can use for any topic.

Open House

Back To School Toolkit

This back to school toolkit has everything you could need for your open house and the rest of the school year! It has student information sheets, open house sign in sheets, student passes, parent sign up forms, class rules posters, name tags and so much more. 

Open House

 

Do you have any tips for your back to school open house? Let me know in the comments! 

For some first day of school activities, check out my post here!

Open House

 

 

 

 

Social Studies Activities for Kindergarten or First Grade

Planning a fun and engaging social studies lesson for kindergarten or first grade doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. Finding the right resources that are fun for your students, low prep, and easy for teachers can be a game changer. 

That is why I created this year long social studies curriculum bundle to help make your life a little easier. It can be used in school or at home for distance learning. It is made up of four nine week long units to engage and excite your students to learn more about social studies. 

Here are the subjects included in the social studies curriculum bundle

American History: In this unit, you can set up the lesson plan activities as an American History Journal or hand them out individually. This unit covers past, present, holidays, presidents, American symbols, and more. 

Geography: This unit includes a fun Geography Journal. Some of the lessons included cover positional words, personal information, landforms, bodies of water, and cardinal directions. An interactive notebook is included along with a write the room activity where students can label the classroom using cardinal directions. 

Civics and Government: This 9 week lesson plan includes a Civics and Government Journal and interactive notebook pages for each day of the week. Topics cover primary source, chronology, citizenship, rules, laws, conflict, and fair decisions. 

Community Helpers: This unit includes detailed plans for nine weeks. You’ll get a Community Helpers Journal, interactive notebook pages, 12 posters, songs, crafts, and more. Activities to keep your students interested include cut and label poems, hat or headband crafts, and handprint gifts. It even includes an invitation for parents to be guest speakers in class!

Bonus Content

Along with a full year of social studies curriculum for kindergarten and first grade, you also get some bonus content too. These bonuses are designed to supplement your lessons and increase student success.

Money: One week plan for teaching students all about money. Includes a Money Journal, lesson plans, posters, and a rubric. 

Needs & Wants: A one week plan to teach your students about the difference between needs and wants. Included are posters, interactive notebook pages, and a Needs and Wants Journal. 

This year’s long social studies bundle was designed to take the stress out of lesson planning for you. Check it out here! 

What are your favorite ways for engaging students during their social studies lessons? Let me know in the comments below!

social studies activities

 

Check out some first day of school icebreaker ideas here!