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Social Studies Skill Builders (Grades 4-5)

By Jeffrey Ives
Weekly Reader

3001 Cindel Drive
Delran, NJ 08075

Social Studies Skill Builders is a reproducible workbook that promotes critical thinking in the fourth to fifth grade student. It contains lessons in five different social studies areas (geography, community and culture, government, economics, and history). Each area has four different lessons for a total of 20 lessons. Within each lesson, there is an article with reading comprehension and vocabulary questions and a map or graph that relates to the article with questions. Many of the questions are multiple choice, but there are also some true/false questions as well as some that require the student to write a sentence or two explaining a concept or idea.

This workbook is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. By using this workbook, you are exposing your child to current social studies topics as well as preparing them to take any standardized test. Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and interpreting graphs, charts, timelines, and maps are skills that can be improved by using this workbook. I like it because it can be done independently by my older sons while they are waiting for me to give them a lesson in one of our core subjects. Instead of wandering off or daydreaming (or annoying one of their brothers), they are using their brains and staying focused. They enjoy the change of pace the workbook provides, and they've learned some interesting facts from reading the articles and answering the questions.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2009

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