Complementing Curricula: A Fourth-Grade Ecology Lesson Connects Science and Social Studies

Document Type


Publication Title

Science and Children

Publication Date



Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education


Department of Education


A curriculum that integrates science and social studies provides a rich context for learning, especially in environmental science. Teaching about socio-scientific issues, science-related issues that require social considerations, has often focused on ecological concerns due to the effect scientific understanding has on the development of society. The integration of content areas provided by socio-scientific instruction enables teachers to address the well-documented lack of instructional time devoted to science and social studies in elementary school. Here, Cook and Block present a lesson that demonstrates a way in which science and social studies can be meaningfully and authentically integrated through a focus on the environment and taught within the same allotted time.