As students leave grade school and transition to high school, the social studies curriculum begins to change, and by the high school years, focuses primarily on history. However, lesson plans in the middle school years still have a strong social studies core, and emphasize learning about the US governement, the diverse cultures of the world, and the world's geography. There is also a strong current events theme, designed to help student's think critically about how local situations can have global consequences. In addition, environmental themes may be taught in conjunction with the earth sciences.
Bright Hub Education offers a large repository of lesson plans and interactive teaching strategies, including Webquests and project ideas, written and vetted by experienced teachers and educators.