This is a great way to introduce your students to the 7 major social sciences! It improves students' understanding of later course material, since so much of what is learned in History or Psych-Soc. classes is derived from the research of some other social science. And it helps to "round out" a students' Social Studies education by giving them a broader perspective on the various disciplines that contribute to our understanding of the social world.
I use it as an introductory activity for my Sociology course, but it can also be used for any Social Studies class. It's not too difficult, and in many cases it allows for a variety of correct answers, but it is very effective as a means of familiarizing students with the differences between the various social science disciplines and what they study.
I have found that many students do not even understand that Social Studies ARE the social sciences. It must be explained to them that "Social Studies" is just the high school name for them--in college, and everywhere else, they are referred to as "social sciences." (Perhaps this is just to avoid confusion with the physical "sciences" at school.) Once they understand this, the topic becomes much more accessible to them.
This package consists of a 4-part activity plus teacher's keys for all worksheet questions (except for open-ended items). Part 1 is a 2-page (or double-sided) worksheet that includes brief, easily understood definitions for each of the 7 major social sciences (which students should refer back to throughout all parts of the activity) and simple inferential questions that require students to identify the main uses of each social science and give support for their reasoning; Part 2 requires students to expand their understanding of the social sciences by considering how they overlap and depend upon one another, and to again give support for their reasoning; Part 3 requires students to apply their new understanding to examples of real-world research by identifying the social science that each example would most depend upon; and Part 4 is open-ended and student-centered, engaging students emotionally with the material by asking them to choose the social sciences they feel are most important for people to learn about in school and to explain their ideas in a short essay (minimum required length to be determined by the teacher).
For best results, allow students to work with a partner or in small groups for Parts 1, 2 & 3, so that they can discuss their ideas and rely on one another's prior knowledge. Allow at least 1 full class period, possibly 2, depending on how much time you wish to spend on closure, going over answers and discussing students' responses with the entire class.