Five Strands of Social Studies

What is Social Studies?

• The study of how people over time have interacted with each other and their environment.

• In social studies, we have “five strands” of social studies. A strand is an area of study.

Five Strands (or pieces) to the

Social Studies Puzzle

• They are…

• Geography

• Culture

• History

• Economics

• Government

Physical features:

Continents, oceans, and landforms

Longitude &



Political features: countries & cities

Climate: weather over a period of time

• The study of people, places and the environment

Art &


Food, Dress, &



Religion &



• The beliefs, customs, laws, art, and ways of living of a group of people.

Events that changed the way people live today

People who changed society


We learn history from 2 sources:

• Primary source: document, person, or object from the actual time

• Secondary source: document, person, or object that interprets or analyzes primary sources

• A record of the past

Citizen participation

Personal freedom


Type of government

Structure of the government

• The people and groups within a society that have the authority to make laws, to make sure they carried out, and to settle disagreements about them.


Capital, and

Human resources

Trade barriers, money, exchange rates

Economic systems: traditional, market, command, and mixed



• The study of how people manage their scarce (limited) resources by producing, exchanging, and using goods and services.


• How does where you live affect how you live?

• How does the physical geography and climate affect how people live, work, and travel?

• What are the physical and political features of a region?

• How have humans changed the environment?


• How does cultural diffusion change the region in which you live?

• What is the belief system of the people and how does it affect the region?

• How does language affect the region?

• How does local culture affect the traditions of the region?


• How does the past shape the present?

• How have people and events changed society?

• How have influences of other, more powerful countries, affected countries today?

• What factors caused European countries to colonize the world?


• How does citizen satisfaction impact the government?

• How much can a citizen participate in their government?

• Who has the power to make laws and policies for a nation?

• How many levels does the government have? (national, regional, and local)


• What factors influence a country’s standard of living?

• Who decides what, how, and for whom things are made? (gov’t, people, traditions)

• What is the role of entrepreneurs in the economy?

• How does free and restricted trade affect countries?