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First Grade Back to School Social Studies

I am so excited to be sharing my favorite back to school social studies units to teach in First Grade with you: USA Pledge, Rules and Laws and Citizenship: How to Help in your Community.

You all know that time of year… you are worried about meet the teacher, establishing rules and procedures and so much more!

It's hard to stay organized, planned, prepped and on top of things. 

I'll let you in on my secret: 


I love these back to school Social Studies units because they provide a lot of great opportunities for:

  • cut and paste instruction (YES, we go cut by cut and glue by glue so students know what I expect from them)
  • guided writing opportunities where students can simply label or get more advanced with longer sentences
  • PLENTY of opportunities to align your daily read aloud with your social studies and writing block to create a great theme week

United States Pledge of Allegiance

Ok, learning the United States Pledge has always been and probably always will be one of the first social studies topics you teach as soon as you go back to school, well for first grade anyway.

The pledge of allegiance is something that students recite every day, but do not understand half of the words they are speaking.

This cut and paste activity allows us to talk about the different phrases of the Pledge and what they really mean.

It also gives us really good practice on how to correctly complete a cut and paste activity making this the perfect back to school Social Studies activity.

You can read about more United States Symbols activities here. 

Rules and Laws

Rules and laws are another favorites back to school Social Studies unit to teach in Elementary because it aligns so closely with teaching classroom or school rules and other typical back to school procedures. 

Also, rules are something that Elementary students are already pretty familiar with.

That means I can use this no prep unit to focus less on the social studies content and more on the procedures I want students to use when doing these no prep activities. 

All of my social studies units are very similar, so I always take a few weeks to really focus on HOW to complete this activities so that they can complete them independently throughout the rest of the school year. 

You can find more in depth information on how I use my Rules and Laws unit here. fav

Citizenship: How to Help in Your Community

Another great back to school social studies unit that is great for Elementary students is Citizenship: How to Help in Your Community. 

I love this unit at the beginning of the year because it flows so well with Rules and Laws because it shows students that being a good citizen involves not only following the rules, but going beyond them to help others. 

In this unit, we talk a lot about ways students can help in their community by recycling, picking up trash, giving to others and ways to volunteer in their community! 

This unit also includes two different versions of cut and paste activities. In the easier version, students simply trace key vocabulary. In the harder version, students must compose their own sentences. 

You can read more specific details about how I teach this Helping in Your Community unit HERE.

What I really love about this unit is that it is such a great opportunity to establish a classroom atmosphere of helping each other and giving which is so important when you go back to school. 

How cool is it that you can address something so essential with a back to school Social Studies unit??

It is a GREAT way to begin your year, or even revisit after Christmas break, etc. 

Looking for more? Check out my 10 FREE Social Studies Downloads!

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Kristen Sullins

Kristen Sullins

I am a current Elementary Librarian and
Enrichment Teacher, mother of two, follower of Christ and Texas native. In my own classroom, I love to save time by finding unique ways to integrate writing, social studies and science into all parts of my day. I also love all things organization!