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Social Sciences Online. Ministry of Education

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Ministry of Education learning units

These resource ideas from the Ministry of Education have a social studies focus, or a cross-curricular focus with social studies elements.

The resources are starting points for teachers in the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to save the unit files and adapt them to meet the needs of their students, school, and community.

These ideas link directly with the New Zealand Curriculum, and support development of the key competencies and values of the curriculum.

Looking for a unit of work from the old Social Studies Online site?

During the development phase for the new site, existing content was reviewed by a panel of social studies experts. Many of the units of work on the old site were found not to reflect current thinking about quality teaching and learning practices, and were not closely aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum. For this reason, it was decided that these units would not be available on the new SSOL site.

  • Tax Education and Citizenship resource.

    This resource focuses on young people's participation in, and contribution to society through the taxes they pay now and in the future. It supports students to understand what tax is, what it is used for, and how all citizens are involved. It focuses on key social studies objectives and also covers the key NZC value of 'community and participation', key competency 'managing self' and the future focus issue of 'citizenship'.

  • The popcorn shop, level 1

    In this cross-curricular unit, students investigate the properties of corn and corn products, and make popcorn for the marketplace using a range of flavours. Learning is focused on the social sciences, mathematics, and science learning areas.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 1–2

    This unit of work encourages students to explore how the Chinese lantern festival is celebrated and to discover why this festival is significant for people of Chinese descent. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

  • Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 1–2

    This unit of work encourages students to explore the Dunedin Chinese Garden and discover its significance for the people of Dunedin. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

  • Asia Celebrations, level 2

    This unit of learning explores the concepts of culture, identity, and diversity. These areas are explored using students' own experiences and their responses to narratives, images, and objects within an Asian context.

  • Local Heroes, level 2

    Use social inquiry to find out about people in the neighbourhood who make important contributions to the community.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • A Taste of Town Planning, level 3

    Students will use social inquiry to investigate the facilities that their community currently offers, and identify possible community developments for the future.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Going global, level 3

    In this cross-curricular unit, students will set up an Asian ‘holiday destination’ at school and invite others to visit. Learning is focussed on the English, languages and social sciences learning areas.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning

  • Market fair, level 3

    In this cross-curricular unit, students will set up and run their own market fair for caregivers and selected students in their school. Learning is focussed on the technology, English, and social sciences learning areas.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • We will rock you, level 3

    In this cross-curricular unit, students investigate natural disasters and explore how people can be better prepared to deal with them. Learning is focussed on the English, science and social sciences learning areas.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning

  • Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 3–4

    This unit of work encourages students to explore how the Chinese lantern festival is celebrated and to discover why this festival is significant for people of Chinese descent. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

  • Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 3-4

    This unit of work encourages students to explore the Dunedin Chinese Garden and discover its significance to the people of Dunedin. Students will use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

  • Marae caterers, levels 3-4

    Students will plan, prepare, and serve a two course lunch for a group of visitors to the marae. Students will be given a set budget for the lunch and determine an attendance price so funds are raised to cover/partially cover the costs of attending the Festival. Students will research aspects of Māori culture, for example, traditional foods and cooking methods, and the kawa (protocol) used for hakare at their marae, and the roles and responsibilities of ringawera.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Asia Celebrations, level 4

    This unit of learning examines the concepts of identity, organisation, and culture for Asian students in New Zealand schools. This unit will open new understanding of cultures throughout the Asian region, while also examining the ways migrant communities celebrate in New Zealand.

  • Fair Go, level 4

    Students use social inquiry to investigate the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses in New Zealand.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Safety Savvy!, level 4

    Students investigate social and economic risks experienced by young people and create a ‘Savvy Safety’ action plan. Learning is focussed on the health and PE and social sciences learning areas.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Tāngata rongonui - local celebrities, level 4

    Identify a tāngata rongonui and find out about the contributions this person has made to their iwi and community.

    This unit is from the Education for Enterprise website. An enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning.

  • Asia Celebrations, level 5

    In this unit, students are challenged to develop understandings of cultural interaction through exploring fresh contexts in Asia and New Zealand. The unit uses a social inquiry approach and enables teachers and students to think and work in contemporary ways.

  • Building Sustainable Communities, level 5

    This unit examines the idea of communities' environmental and social sustainability, and the possible role of central and local governments in promoting sustainability, as well as the impact of individuals.

  • Interact: Cultural Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, level 5

    This unit explores the nature of ‘cultural interaction’ in Aotearoa New Zealand today, by examining ways in which cultures interact and the implications this has for communities.

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