Category Archives: Social Studies Enrichment

Social Studies Enrichment #15: The First Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is celebrated in America every November.  The English colonists we call Pilgrims celebrated days of thanksgiving as a part of their religion.  But these were days of prayer, not days of feasting. Our national holiday really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.

Go to the following link to view the slideshow to see what this first “Turkey Day” might have looked like!

Social Studies Enrichment #13: Geography Lesson 1



The Geography Bee is coming up in late November/early December!  It’s time to start studying, and we’re starting with US State Capitals!

Step One:  Watch the following videos:

State Capitals Part 1

State Capitals Part 2

Now, please download and print a blank map of the United States, using the following link:

Use your own resources to label each state and fill in the state capitals.  Make sure your map is geographically correct (capitals are in the right spot), and make your map colorful and attractive!

Snap a picture of your completed map and send it to your EY coordinator.

Social Studies Enrichment #11: The Ancient Origins of the Olympics


Thousands of years in the making, the Olympics began as part of a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus in the rural Greek town of Olympia. But how did it become the greatest show of sporting excellence on earth? Armand D’Angour explains the evolution of the Olympics.

Below, please view the video about the origins of the Olympics:

More resources for you to explore:

Interested in the Ancient Olympic Games and the mythology behind them? Click here to find out more! Do chariot racing, the pankration, and twenty competitors on one running track at once sound challenging? Visit this site to find out more about the competitions, spirit of the ancient Olympics, and stories of the competitors.

For all things Olympic go to, and take a look at the featured athletes, youth development and future Olympic cities. Which city will host the next Olympic games in 2016? Read about how the next Olympic city will be chosen and the process that goes along with ithere. After all the festivities and competitions are done, see “What Becomes of Olympic Stadiums.” Interested in following Olympic news on social media? Visit Twitter!

Ever wonder about the meaning behind the Olympic Symbols? What is the meaning of the five rings, the flame, and the motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” Read this and find out their meanings. Interested in Olympic Medals? Are they really made of Gold, Silver and Bronze? Learn the truth here!

Finally, think about the following question and respond in the comments section below with your thoughts:

Do the Olympics encourage sporting activity at all levels or just for elite sportspeople?

Social Studies Enrichment #10: Explore!!

An unmanned European-Russian mission to Mars blasted off successfully from Kazakhstan in March 2016.
Learn more about this trip and Mars by completing this mini mars research project.
1. Watch a Mars video (free at Brainpop)
Take a quiz after the video and record your score.

3. Watch this BBC video about the Rover, Bruno

Respond in the comments section below with your score from the Brainpop video. Also include 5 sentences about what you learned from this research.
**Remember to only use your first name, your grade, and your school when responding in the comments section below!

Social Studies Enrichment #9: The First Filming of an Inauguration


Ever wondered when the media first became involved in the Presidential Election process?

Well, one could say it began right about this time of the year, 83 years ago! That’s right! The first Presidential Inauguration ever filmed was filmed on March 5th, 1933!

It was the Inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Click on the link below to watch this first inauguration ever on film:

Then, respond in the comments section below with your thoughtful reaction!

Social Studies Enrichment #8: This Day in History!

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Ever wondered what happened on this day in history?  Now you can find out by going to this link:

For example, today I learned that United States General Zachary Taylor was victorious over Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. Named for a nearby hacienda, the Battle of Buena Vista was fought near Monterrey, in northern Mexico. On the evening of February 21, General Taylor received a message from General Santa Anna offering to accept an American surrender and be spared the battle. Taylor reportedly replied: “I decline accepting your request.” For the next two days, the Mexican army of over 15,000 troops assaulted the smaller U.S. force of only 5,000 men. The agile field artillery and advantageous battle position, however, favored General Taylor against overwhelming odds. By nightfall of February 23, the exhausted and dispirited Mexican army retreated; Taylor elected not to pursue the troops and remained to secure the region.  This event helped to secure our victory in the Mexican-American war.

Go to the above link and respond below with what you learned about the day you chose to research!

Social Studies Enrichment #7: Learn about Elections!


Image courtesy of

Today, February 1st, our nation takes the first step toward electing the next President of the United States of America!  Voters in Iowa caucus today to cast their vote for who will run for the highest office in our country.  This begins the primary election season.

To learn more about the election process, go to the website below and explore! Read about our nation’s election process and quiz yourself as you go!  Also, check out the right-hand side of the page, where you can “Surf with Uncle Sam”, play “Word Spy”, and even do an independent project!  Respond below in the comment section with something important you learned from this website.  Or, if you completed one of the projects, take a picture and send it to your EY coordinator!

Social Studies Enrichment #6: Test Your Geography Knowledge!


How well do you know the United States of America?

This website tests your knowledge of the geography of the USA!  Go here to take the test:

Then, once you’ve mastered US Geography, broaden your horizons!

Test your knowledge of World Geography, Africa, The Americas, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe and more by clicking the links!

In the comment section below, respond with your score!