Mister Harms has been teaching Social Studies since the turn of the century. All resources have been tried, tested, and proven to be successful by Mister Harms in his own classroom. If you’re looking for creative and engaging lessons for your classroom, you’ve come to the right place.

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Why Study history

This back to school activity is a must have for any history or social studies class! Start the first day of school, or the first lesson, with “WHY” because students always want to know why? Why am I learning about history? Why do we have to study this stuff anyway? When am I ever going to use this in life? Isn’t history about a bunch of old dead people and things that have already happened? You’ve heard these questions before. These are great questions that should not be dismissed but rather explored. I always begin my first day of any history class going through this resource. I have found that the “WHY” must be answered before the “WHAT.” When students know why, then learning can begin. Read more about this great resource on my blog!


Oregon Trail Simulation & JOurnaling activity

Oregon Trail here we come! This interactive activity about westward expansion gives students a glimpse of what life was like on the Oregon Trail! By rolling dice, keeping track of supplies, and following a map, students will get to learn about this historical event in an enjoyable way. Grouped into wagon trains, students must depend on teamwork to successfully finish the trail. This simulation is a nice complement to your existing Oregon Trail or Westward Expansion unit. It's a game, simulation, and an educational experience all in one. Come travel the Oregon Trail with this student centered lesson. It's the highlight of the year for my students as they talk about this simulation for years to come. Read more about this fun resource on my blog!


Legislative branch simulation (How a bill becomes a law)

This Legislative Branch Simulation has become one of the highlights in my government class. Students love the opportunity to write bills in hopes of influencing their school, community, or state. Once a bill has passed through the entire process, many of the students' bills can actually change school policy. Our school has had numerous changes due to my 8th grade bills that became law (water bottle fountains, locker room changes, school course offerings, etc.). Learning about the law-making process is good, but actively being engaged in the process is great! This resource has even been featured on the Teachers Pay Teachers Blog! You can also read more about this Legislative Simulation on my own blog!