Smartpen Social Studies Activities

The smartpen social studies activities are guaranteed to make your social studies classroom more interactive and fun!

Browse the activities and ideas below for some great implementation ideas for your for your classroom and feel free to share your own ideas for smartpen social studies activities with us.



Interactive Maps

Static wall maps can become interactive learning resources by adding a Sound Sticker to the surface and recording information about the location, culture, history, economy, and other facts about the region.

You can even record oral presentations students make at the end of research projects about states or countries and place the Sound Sticker on a map.

Interactive maps also make a great bulletin board project when students come back from summer vacation. Encourage students to place a Sound Sticker on the map location where they traveled over the summer and record a description of the geography, culture, and/or their experience.

smartpen social studies ideas

Make History Come Alive

Create a living history wall to represent a specific culture, era, or different highlights of history. Involve art by having students create representations of people or scenes, and use a smartpen to add audio to each scene or person.

Turn the Tired Diorama on Its Head

Our own son came up with the idea to liven up the tired old social studies diorama and get creative. You can read all about how our project-hating sixth grader found a way to let his creativity flow it in our blog post, "A Livescribe Smartpen Diorama is Born."

Sound stickers really do let you make ANYTHING interactive, and the ideas for using these mighty stickers in the social studies classroom seem endless!

Use Pencasts to Provide 24/7 Access to Daily Teacher Instruction

Create pencasts of class notes taken during lessons and share using email, teacher websites, blogs, or Google Docs. This will enable all students and parents to access them anywhere at any time.

This gives parents the opportunity to become involved in the learning process. In addition, students can benefit from reviewing difficult concepts as many times as needed for understanding.

Note Taking

Have a different student (or students!) take notes each day during the lesson using the class smartpen. These can be posted to a teacher website or LMS.

Students who are absent or who may struggle with notetaking can then easily replay the audio at any point simply by tapping on the ink during the pencast as they review the notes. Shared notes can be replayed via a computer or the Livescribe + App.

Collaborative Oral Project

Encourage students to create individual or collaborative oral projects by adding their voice (or sounds, speeches, etc. from the Internet) to elements of their projects using Sound Stickers or audio dots. Make sure each student adds their own voice to one or more elements of the project. This allows parents and students to experience the project in an entirely new dimension by listening to each recording by tapping on the Sound Stickers with the smartpen used to record the audio.

The brochure below, created by a third grader, shows the benefit of adding audio to an otherwise two-dimensional project. A sound clip of a Japanese baseball game was added, as well as a sound clip explaining the history of Sumo wrestling. The back of the brochure is even more fun, with several Japanese phrases recorded from the Internet.

brochure middle
brochure back

Interactive Timeline

Use sound stickers to add audio descriptions to a full-size classroom timeline to document time periods that are studied. 

Talking Study Guide and/or Assessment

After printing an outline map of a continent or other visual on Livescribe dot paper, what we call the Print-on-Paper method, a student can link audio to a description of each country or element within the visual. Slip that into a plastic protector sheet or laminate the paper, and the student has an effective interactive talking study guide with which to review.

For an assessment that uses the student's voice for answers, print the same study guide on dot paper and give students a certain amount of time, and ask them to add ink with audio to each element. 

Tell us how you're using the Livescribe smartpen to teach social studies.

Share your idea and we'll pass it along for others to benefit from.