Social Studies Projects for the End of the Year

Fun and engaging social studies projects to use throughout the school year. Perfect for upper grade students in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade!!

I love spending the final weeks of school working on projects with my students! While we complete a variety of projects throughout the year, my students become project-making machines after testing!! And we love every minute of it!! At this point in the year, the stress of fitting in curriculum has vanished, students have become project-completing experts, and frankly I just need some great content to fill our final days!!

Social Studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach. But sadly, my kiddos go to another classroom for this subject. Luckily, once testing is over, I get to steal them back!! By this time in the year my students are experts on California History!! Their S.S. teacher has done well, but I finally get the pleasure of working with them on fun projects!!

The Great Seal of Your School

This year I wanted to try something new, and was inspired by a fellow 4th grade teacher from Tried and True Teaching Tools.

{Side Note: If you have never visited Tried and True Teaching Tools, then you must head over there ASAP!! She has so many fabulous ideas for fun, hands-on activities to help students learn!!}

One resource she shares in her TpT Shop, is her Great Seal of Your School activity!!
This is a great end-of-the-year project, because my students have already learned all about their state's history!! Our state seal incorporates so many symbols that relate to what they have already learned.

I had to modify this project just a bit, since I am currently between projectors. Instead of projecting our state seal, I had my students use their iPads to do an image search. Then they worked in pairs to discuss the different symbols that they noticed on the seal. Next, we came back together as a whole group and continued the discussion!

I asked my students what they would include in a seal for our own school. Students spent time discussing important things that represent our school and what our school means to each of them. Students used their ideas to create rough drafts of their "School Seals".

After sharing with their table mates and with me, students worked on completing final drafts, complete with detail, and tons of color!! I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!!

Overall, this was such a fun and engaging project for my 4th graders this year. The wonderful thing about this project is that it can be used in any state, and with any school!! Our plan is to transfer our school seals to t-shirts before the end of the year. Click HERE to learn more about this fabulous project from Tried and True Teaching Tools!!!

In previous years, I have used the following project as a culminating social studies project!! For this project, students research different state symbols and create an iPad!! They draw the symbols on the outside of each app, and then write a brief summary about the symbols on the inside.

Last year I taught a 4/5 split class, so my 5th graders completed an iPad with American symbols!!

Below are the templates that I used, along with links to download each:

iPad Template:  POWERPOINT    PDF     PNG     App Template:  POWERPOINT     PDF

Last year I wrote a more detailed blog post over at Upper Elementary Snapshots. Click HERE to learn more about how we put these projects together!!

Both of these projects were a ton of fun, and my students learned so much from both. I am so glad that I stumbled upon the School Seal project. It's definitely going to become a permanent fixture for my end of the year project collection!!!