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Tips for Social Studies Teachers!

Find the best tips on how to use Formative in your Social Studies classes

Rebecca Worden avatar
Written by Rebecca Worden
Updated over a week ago

Read on to find out more about how to use different question types for Social Studies, examples of educator-approved sites you can embed into your formatives, and inspiring examples of formatives you can clone!

Using different question types for Social Studies

Here are some of our favorite question types to use in Social Studies classes!


Students can draw, type, underline, and even upload images in a Drawing question. Teachers can likewise draw, type, and upload images to the background! Here are some of our favorite uses for Social Studies!

  1. Upload a diagram or flowchart for students to complete.

2. You can upload maps and ask your students to identify concepts of geographical features by circling, coloring, and labeling. 

3. Have your students explore their artistic skills as well as their knowledge of historical events by uploading blank comic strips/storyboards for them to work on. 

Tip: Drawing questions work best when the student is using a stylus/pen or their finger on a touch-screen device. If a student is having difficulties drawing with a mouse, they can always hand draw it and upload a picture. 

🌟Free Response

The Free Response question type allows students to type a response at greater length. They can also use formatting in their response: bold, italicize, underline, numbers, bullet points, and headings.

Tip: Use a feedback message to explain your grading!


Enhance your questions by uploading video as a content item. Silver/Gold users can embed a video within a specifc question!

 📌Useful Social Studies sites that you can embed into your Formatives

You can embed websites anywhere in a formative as a content item. Silver/Gold users can embed directly within a question. Check out our Embed article for instructions.

🌟Sutori- a collaborative presentation tool for the classroom for all age groups and content areas.

🌟iCivics- great site to find material on civic knowledge, civic attitudes, and literacy skills (simulations, WebQuests, infographics, presentations, and more).

🌟BrainPOP- Engaging learning games, animated movies and activities.

🌟CrashCourse YouTube Channel US History Playlist- Collection of videos on US Historical events.

Silver/Gold users get access to even more helpful tools


The Resequence question type is very helpful when you would like your students to arrange a sequence of events in chronological order.


Use the Categorize question type to have students match properties with figures or vocabulary terms with definitions!

🌟Audio Response

Audio Response is a great way to assess your students' grasp on learned concepts. You can ask your students to narrate a historical event in their own words to see how much they have retained. There is no pressure since students can re-record as many times as they want!

🌟Rubrics and feedback

Silver/Gold users can add a rubric to any free response question that clarifies how the prompt will be graded.

While giving feedback as a Silver/Gold user, you are able to save time by providing the same feedback to multiple students at once.

📌Great examples of Social Studies Formatives

🌟The Great Depression (10th Grade): Engaging lesson on Great Depression that teaches student about the Great Depression as they practice their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.

🌟5 Leaders of the Civil War (5th Grade): This lesson is to introduce students to the leaders of the Civil War.  This lesson complies with Virginia Standards of Learning, but it can be adapted to comply with other standards.

🌟The Holocaust (12th Grade, Adult Ed): A lesson on the Holocaust and Anne Frank. Incorporates reading and social studies.

🌟World War II (12th Grade)- Comprehensive assessment on WWII.

🌟Geography of SE Asia (7th Grade)- A Formative with great images to test your students' knowledge on South East Asia Geography.

🌟How a Bill Becomes a Law (10th, 11th, 12th Grades, Adult Ed)- Engaging Formative that requires students to use their research skills to complete it!  

Check out our Public Library for more Social Studies formatives!

Additional Resources

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