Category Archives: Social Studies Enrichment

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!

Social Studies Enrichment #5: Want To Take a Trip?

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A Virtual Trip, of course!

Go to this website:

Type Omaha, NE in the “Departing From” box.

Choose your dates and the country you’d like to virtually travel to.

Visit the links for background information, take some guided tours, and meet some people!

In the comment section below, respond with the most interesting thing you learned from your travels!

Social Studies Enrichment #3: “The First Thanksgiving”


Artist Jean Louis Gerome Ferris, who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s, painted idealistic versions of scenes from American history.  Ferris’s paintings, however, were full of  inaccuracies.  For example, Ferris painted “The First Thanksgiving” (pictured above) in 1915 with a number of historical problems.

Study the painting above, then use the websites below to research the actual First Thanksgiving.  Can you find some inaccuracies with this painting?  Respond in the comments section below.


Social Studies Enrichment #2: The Oregon Trail


Want to learn all about the Oregon Trail?

Go to this website:

Read all about the trail, the historic sites, and learn some fantastic and fun facts (one fact is about games using buffalo dung)!

Next, click on this link to see a map of the Oregon Trail.

Now, find the east and west end of the Oregon Trail on a modern-day map (You can use this link, if you’d like, or find another map you like better). First find Independence, Missouri (It’s near Kansas City), then Oregon City, Oregon (it’s near Portland). What roads would you take today to get from Independence to Oregon City? Are those roads close to the old Oregon Trail?

Post a comment below, sharing your modern-day Oregon Trail route!



Social Studies Enrichment #1: The First Trick-or-Treaters

Trick-or-treating has been around for quite awhile in America. By now, however, it’s mostly about the treats.

Like other Halloween customs, trick-or-treating comes from Ireland and Great Britain and has to do with the souls of the dead coming back to earth.

People would go from house to house, asking for “soul cakes,” little baked items that people inside the houses would give in exchange for having a prayer said for their soul.

Also, people would leave food and drink outside their houses, in hopes that the spirits roaming the earth would take the offering and leave the house alone.

It was said that both the people asking for the “soul cakes” and the spirits who didn’t find any food or drink outside a house would play a trick, or practical joke, on the people who lived in that house.

Some people still play practical jokes today. Most people, however, prefer to give treats to the kids who say, “Trick or Treat!”

Article Source:, Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

  • Go to this website to find the recipe for soul cakes. Bake your own soul cake, take a picture of it, and e-mail it to the EY coordinator at your school.
  • We’ve all heard the rhyme, “Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good to Eat”.  Write your own “Trick or Treat” rhyme, incorporating the facts from the above article.
  • Or, respond to this article with something new you learned in the comment section below.