Mapping Out A Social Studies Summer Plan

July 17, 2016
2014 SS Bowl
Our students participating in the annual Social Studies Bowl.

Our students at Mary Ford are attending CPN sponsored field trips every Friday this summer that immerse them in Charleston’s rich, historic culture. Social Studies often gets placed on the backburner during summer learning programs, but not at Mary Ford! By experiencing some of Charleston’s historic landmarks, such as the William Aiken House, our students are beating the summer slide and getting ready to leap into the new school year eager to learn more!


Charleston is no doubt rich in history, but many ways to learn about it are catered to tourists willing to pay top dollar. Charleston Promise Neighborhood is dedicated to helping move the summer learning slide to a more lateral level, and incorporating Social Studies Education opportunities is a large component of that. Here are three free ways to help ensure your child stays engaged with Social Studies this summer!

  1. Create a “Summer Passport”: Whether you are going on vacation or to the grocery store, helping your child learn about passports and travel can be fun and important. Creating this DIY passport will be a great educational tool, and at the end of summer, you and your child can look back and have a homemade memory book to reminisce on and keep! Here is a link to a free printable to complete your passport, or if you are feeling very creative, you can compile one organically from scratch!
  2. Map the House: GPS devices are certainly very helpful, but nothing will ever replace an actual map. Map reading skills are tested in South Carolina, and are also a vital part of the Social Studies learning experience. Have your child create a map of their room or the house. Simply drawing it is a great lesson, and to really kick it up a notch, they can draw a map of the house or yard leading to a special treasure they have hidden for you. Allowing them to think about the layouts geographically challenges their minds in a new way. All you need is some paper and markers! X marks the spot!
  3. Try New Foods: While you and your child are creating a grocery list for the week (click here to read about this math lesson), try incorporating a dish or meal from a new culture you all have never tried. Experiencing a new culture through taste-testing is a terrific way to facilitate a conversation in your family about the differences in cultures. You could even listen to music from the culture’s food you are trying. To add a local element to this lesson, try this amazing Gullah dish! The Gullah culture is a unique and rich portion of Charleston, and this dish will bring full bellies and happy smiles to your Social Studies incorporation!

You do not have to break the bank or even leave your home to give your child a cultural experience this summer. These ideas are only launching points from which to engage your entire family in Social Studies this summer. The investment now will reap a great payoff in the fall, when your child is ready to learn new material instead of relearning lessons you have already covered!

To learn more about how you can help send our Neighborhood students on culturally enriching field trips and experiences, join the Promise and click here.