Skip to main content

Fourth Grade Social Studies Resources

 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Collection: videos, images, documents, interactive resources
This collection is intended for 6-12 but has many useful components: videos, documents, interactive resources, documents, and images that could easily be adapted for 4th graders from George Washington’s Mount Vernon highlighting his role as a leader during the American Revolution. See the progress of the war through the actions and decisions of General George Washington, such as direct confrontation, military strategy, disease prevention, and spy techniques.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution. 
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video Series
Patrick Henry's impassioned plea at the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, "Give me liberty or give me death," defined the American Revolution. This one-hour documentary-drama captures this seminal moment in American history by balancing experts' commentary on the events preceding the Second Virginia Convention with dramatic re-enactments of the historic moments that followed.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video with support materials
At the height of the Age of Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin accomplished great works in countless fields, including science, politics, and media, becoming one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers. Through two primary source activities and a short video, understand how Franklin embodied Enlightenment values, and used his talent in writing and printing to have his opinions heard and help shape the world.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Primary source images
This media gallery contains resources on Benjamin Franklin when he served as Ambassador to France from 1776-1785.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
Thomas Jefferson influenced the landscape of America, both politically and geographically. Discover more about the third president of the U.S. and why he's such a big deal.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
As far as Presidents go, none set more precedents than George Washington. From his leadership of the Continental Army, to his bold commitment to founding a strong nation, take a quick look back at the legacy of our very first leader
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Timeline
"The War that Made America" brings to life a vastly important time in American history, when events set forces in motion that would culminate in the American Revolution.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Inquiry Kit with questions
This inquiry kit features Library of Congress sources focused on the protests that led to the American Revolution.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
John Adams had his hands full when he took over the presidency from George Washington. Find out how he dealt with the feuding political parties and attacks on U.S. merchants from France and Britain. Being the leader of a young nation isn?t as easy as you might think.
Skill: Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H1
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
James Madison's legacy includes political triumphs such as introducing the Bill of Rights. It also includes failures such as the War of 1812 and Washington D.C. getting burned to the ground. Find out more about the roller coaster ride that was Madison's presidency.
Skill: Analyze the challenges faced by the framers of the Constitution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H2
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
This video segment adapted from Africans in America explores the division among the state delegates to the Constitutional Convention about the issue of slavery. Although some states had already begun to abolish slavery, other states held that the right to own slaves should remain protected by the federal government. What resulted was a debate about the right to personal liberty and the right to own property, which for many included slaves.
Skill: Analyze the challenges faced by the framers of the Constitution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H2
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson with supporting documents and video
In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the debate over slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the changing perception of slavery in the new United States and the ways in which the debate over slavery affected the content of the Constitution. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.
Skill: Analyze the challenges faced by the framers of the Constitution.
Georgia Standard: SS4H2
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video with support materials
This lesson plan, to be used with the program The War of 1812, has students explore what Nationalism means as well as the symbolic features of a nation such as a national anthem and a flag. Students will learn the story of Francis Scott Key and create their own anthems.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson with supporting documents
In this interactive lesson supporting literacy skills, students are introduced to the Cherokees' struggle to remain on their land in the early 1800s. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the assimilation strategy of the Cherokee Nation and its eventual impact on their fate. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video and support materials
Although Native tribes had occupied the Great Plains for centuries, in 1803, President Jefferson doubled the size of the U.S. by purchasing 828,000 acres claimed by France west of the Mississippi. Jefferson sent explorers Lewis and Clark on a "voyage of discovery" to map routes through the territory and see what it had to offer. Reports from the Lewis and Clark expedition inspired many to venture there, including explorers Pike, Long, and Fremont, and created routes followed for centuries after.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Primary source image
After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, settlers looking for land in the eastern US began moving westward into the prairies and beyond. The flat plains in the center of the continent proved excellent land for grazing and farming. Over time, the image of mid-western topography became associated with pioneering spirit and the American desire for expansion. Even now, when Americans think of westward expansion, they picture the great plains.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Collection
Focusing on state curricula for elementary school students, this collection of educational materials features video segments from Idaho Public Television’s Lewis and Clark: Moments in Time series, which is based on excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video with support materials
This lesson plan, to be used with the program The War of 1812, will share with students the story of First Lady Dolley Madison and the burning of the White House during the war. Notions of duty, symbolism, and nationalism will be discussed and related to the students' lives.
Skill: Explain westward expansion in America.
Georgia Standard: SS4H3
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson plan with supporting video and documents
After escaping from slavery in 1838, Frederick Douglass went on to become a prominent writer, orator, and abolitionist in the years leading up to the Civil War. Through two primary source activities and a short video, understand how Douglass stood firm in his beliefs and rose to prominence, and explore the importance of literacy in his life.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson plan with supporting video and documents
Students will learn about women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton by focusing on her strengths and challenges as an activist and founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association. After watching a short video, examining a photo of Stanton with Susan B. Anthony, and reading excerpts of the Declaration of Sentiments, students will assess the lessons they have learned about organizing people to make change.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Collection
The first wave of the women's feminist movement started in the 19th and early 20th century with leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fighting for legal rights for women such as the ability to vote and own property. The second wave of the women's movement, led by women such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, occurred in the 1960s and 70s and attempted to combat further social and political inequalities. This collection includes resources to support teaching both waves of the women's movement.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Images
This collections is intended to be used 6-12 but could easily be used with fourth graders. View images featuring Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other suffragists. These early feminists and fast friends dedicated to advancing the rights of all women in the 19th century. Through their efforts in New York State, the Married Women’s Property Law was amended in 1860 to allow women the right to own property, a business, and to manage their own income. Anthony and Stanton also fought for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which in 1865 abolished slavery in the United States. They worked to advance marriage and divorce reform, and to expand educational opportunities for women.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson plan with supporting video and documents
In this lesson, students will learn about Harriet Tubman’s extraordinary courage in the face of enormous risks. After watching a biographical video, they will examine a photograph of Tubman and read a letter.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson plan with supporting video and documents
An abolitionist and feminist during the nineteenth century, Sojourner Truth demanded not less discrimination, but no discrimination. Truth escaped enslavement and, despite being unable to read or write, rose to be a leader in the fight for equality and fair treatment for both women and African Americans. Through two primary source activities and a short biographical video, students will understand the remarkable career of this persevering woman who lived up to her self-chosen name.
Skill: Examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.
Georgia Standard: SS4H4
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video and link to an additional collection 
The Emancipation Proclamation is issued. It doesn’t solve the problem of slavery, only freeing slaves in the states that seceded.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
In this video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists,” featuring historical reenactments, learn about the impact of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe on the abolitionist movement. Stowe was an author whose commitment to the abolitionist cause was strengthened after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. She responded with the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an immediate best seller that was credited with “putting a human face on slavery” and ultimately helping launch the Civil War.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video with support materials
Harriet Beecher Stowe used the emotional power of words to express her conscious belief in racial equality. She wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin to point out the atrocities of slavery, an issue that divided the nation and eventually led to the start of the Civil War. Throughout her life, she continued writing against injustice wherever she saw it. Through two primary source activities and a short biographical video, students will examine the content and impact of Stowe’s Uncle Tom's Cabin, one of the most influential books in American history.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Collection of video excerpts
In 1859 John Brown seized a federal armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, but failed to incite a revolution. Authorities found a link between Brown and Frederick Douglass. Learn more with this excerpt from American Experience: "The Abolitionists."
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
In October 1859, John Brown and a band of 21 men tried to raid the armory at Harpers Ferry. They thought their bold act would inspire slaves to rise up against their masters. Brown's raid failed, but his trial succeeded in bringing attention to the abolitionist cause. Video from, American Experience: "Abolitionists."
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video with support materials
By the time Lincoln arrives in Washington, most of the southern states have left the union, forming the Confederate States of America with another Kentucky native, Jefferson Davis, as president. Six weeks into Lincoln’s term, the Civil War begins at Fort Sumter, SC.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Collection with short videos and thinking questions
April 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of General William T. Sherman’s first foray into Georgia. He and his army stayed for 37 weeks. Georgia Public Broadcasting, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, observed that significant date by premiering the first of a 37 part series that brought to life Sherman’s devastating journey through Georgia. Each of the 90 second segments brought to life what has happening that same week 150 years earlier.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
In this short history of the Civil War, we're exposed to the months leading up to November 1863, when Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. This synopsis paints a gritty picture of the war, and of Lincoln's inspiring words that redefined the Union's fight as a battle for human equality. Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
Watch Ken Burns recite the Gettysburg Address as part of his challenge to all Americans to Learn the Address.
Skill: Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.
Georgia Standard: SS4H5
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Activity
Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.
Skill: Analyze the effects of Reconstruction on American life.
Georgia Standard: SS4H6
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Activity
Explore why the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution and its enduring impact on defining our rights. In this interactive lesson from WGBH, students develop a written argument in response to the question “How does the Bill of Rights establish and continue to define the rights we have as Americans?” They gather evidence from videos featuring historian Ben Weber and from primary source documents. This resource is part of the Writing in U.S. History collection, the Calderwood Writing Course: U.S. History.
Skill: Describe the structure of government and the Bill of Rights.
Georgia Standard: SS4CG3