How Can I Teach Social Studies with Choice Boards?

Teaching Social Studies with Choice Boards for Enrichment and Early Finishers

Helpful Tips and Resources for Differentiated Social Studies Activities 

Do you want to add more engaging and differentiated activities to your classroom, but you don't know how? Using social studies choice boards is my favorite way to do this! 
Today, let's talk about three tips for using choice boards to teach social studies, one of the most overlooked subjects in elementary schools. 

Unfortunately, elementary teachers don't have much instructional time dedicated to social studies, so it's helpful to teach social studies standards during reading and writing instructional time. Although this can be daunting, the good news is that it can be done more easily with choice boards! 

What are Choice Boards? 

  • Choice boards are graphic organizers that are provided to students. They include a variety of activities, and students choose which activities they'd like to complete.
  • I recommend having students choose one activity from the first row, one from the second row, and one from the third row to be sure all topics are covered.
  • My choice boards include activities for a variety of learning styles
  • Typically, the first column is for auditory learners, the second column is for visual learners, and the third column is for kinesthetic learners.
  • It’s fun to see what types of activities your students choose because it will help you understand what their preferred learning styles are! 
  • Here is an example of a choice board (Click the image if you'd like to access the free download):
Do you want to add more engaging and differentiated activities to your classroom, but you don't know how? Using social studies choice boards is my favorite way to do this! Choice boards are graphic organizers that are provided to students. They include a variety of activities, and students choose which activities they'd like to complete. On my choice boards, the first column is for auditory learners, the second column is for visual learners, and the third column is for kinesthetic learners.

Tip #1: Use Social Studies Choice Boards to Support the Standards You're Teaching

Choose choice boards that are aligned to your current social studies standards

For example, if your students are learning about maps, choose a choice board with activities about maps. 

You may be interested in these social studies choice boards. 

Tip #2: Have Your Students Work on Their Choice Boards During ELA Rotations

If you have limited instructional time to teach social studies, integrate those standards into your ELA time. You can have one of your ELA rotations be "Work on Choice Boards," during which students work independently or collaboratively on their choice boards.

If you do this, I recommend having one area in your classroom labeled with choice board supplies, such as markers, glue, paper, colored pencils, etc. If you’d prefer, you can also have students bring their own supplies.

Tip #3: Use a Portion of Your ELA Time to Work on Choice Boards

You could also have a portion of your ELA instructional time be dedicated to your whole class working on their choice boards at the same time, while you help them as needed.

Social studies choice boards are cross-curricular, so they can involve reading, writing, geography, civics and government, economics, and history. This makes them very appropriate to use during ELA or social studies instructional time.

Where Can You Find Choice Boards?

Check out my TPT store for a variety of choice boards, including many for social studies, math, and science!

Interested in Learning More about Choice Boards?

Click here to read about how you can use choice boards to enhance your science instruction!


How to Teach Social Studies in Elementary Classrooms Using Choice Boards for Enrichment and Early Finishers