Posted by: degarcia | March 24, 2009

Integration of Math and Social Studies

Character Trait & Social Integration


Mathematical knowledge is socially constructed


If you are going to use inquiry or student collaboration in teaching mathematics, it is important for students to develop character traits that promote good social skills.

Students do not learn the mathematical social interaction by themselves, you must teach it to them.

The social capabilities that students should work toward to facilitate their mathematical learning are developing social skills and ethical responsibilities and to demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.



1. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility:

            a. Respect similarities and differences in others.

            b. Treat others with kindness and fairness.

            c. Follow classroom and school rules.

            d. Include others in learning and play activities.

            e. Participate with others when making decisions and solving problems.

            f. Function positively as a member of a family, class, school, and community.

            g. Actively listen to others.


2. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.

            a. Recognize own values, talents, and skills.

            b. Express self in positive ways.

            c. Demonstrate aesthetic awareness.

            d. Demonstrate appropriate behavior.

            e. Express feelings appropriately.

            f. Meet and respect needs of self and others.


History Integration


It is important not to think of integration as using the particular subject to solve math problems, but as a way to use math to solve problems and answer questions about those topics.


The National Council for the Social Studies uses such words as compare, explain, articulate, analyze, predict, demonstrate and interpret. These are all words that must be used when dealing with mathematics as well.


Two types of tasks:


1) Math tasks are based on background provided by Social Studies:

            -Comparing resources, numbers, etc of events such as the Civil War.

            -Distances involved in exploration, war, and expansion.

2) Data is obtained through social science inquiry

            -students create charts, graphs and tables to represent numerical data.


Social Studies/Math Integration Ideas:


-Map skills (latitude and longitude)

-Shapes in your community

-Distances (Fractions)

-Number Sense (able to analyze numbers)

-Different Nationalities and their number systems, flags,


Visit this UEN website to find Social Studies interactives that integrate Mathematics: 


Scale Interactive: Students can use the scale to count the actual distance of the map.

Network Challenge Interactive: Students use strategies and math skills to find the best way to complete the task.


5th Grade Lesson Plans:


Tessellation Quilt Squares:

Describe relationships between two-and three-dimensional shapes and analyze attributes and properties of geometric shapes. Integrates quilts in American History and the underground railroad.



Match My Masterpiece:

Specify locations in coordinate plane. Integration of map skills.


The Amazing Inch and Measuring Up!

Students will determine area of polygons and surface area and volume of three-dimensional shapes. Students interview parents or other relative to discover how measurement is used in their jobs. Graph the class results.


6th Grade Lesson Plans:


Which Month First?

Design investigations to reach conclusions using statistical methods to make inferences based on data. Integrates population graphs.


Another Integration Website:

Math Goodies includes lesson plans for teachers to incorporate social studies into math. Some of them are free and others require the purchase of a CD.



Bahr, D, & de Garcia, L (2010). Elementary Mathematics Is Anything but Elementary.USA: Wadsworth.



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