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Social Studies Lesson Note for JSS1 (First Term) 2024

Social Studies lesson note for JSS1 First Term is now available for free. The State and Federal Ministry of Education has recommended unified lesson notes for all secondary schools in Nigeria, in other words, all private secondary schools in Nigeria must operate with the same lesson notes based on the scheme of work for Social Studies.

Social Studies lesson note for JSS1  First Term has been provided in detail here on

Social Studies Lesson Note for JSS1 (First Term) [year] 1

For prospective school owners, teachers, and assistant teachers, Social Studies lesson note is defined as a guideline that defines the contents and structure of Social Studies as a subject offered at SS level. The lesson note for Social Studies for SS stage maps out in clear terms, how the topics and subtopics for a particular subject, group works and practical, discussions and assessment strategies, tests, and homework ought to be structured in order to fit in perfectly, the approved academic activities for the session.

To further emphasize the importance of this document, the curriculum for Social Studies spells out the complete guide on all academic subjects in theory and practical. It is used to ensure that the learning purposes, aims, and objectives of the subject meant for that class are successfully achieved.

Social Studies Lesson note for JSS1 carries the same aims and objectives but might be portrayed differently based on how it is written or based on how you structure your lesson note. Check how to write lesson notes as this would help make yours unique.

The JSS1 Social Studies lesson note provided here is in line with the current scheme of work hence, would go a long way in not just helping the teachers in carefully breaking down the subject, topics, and subtopics but also, devising more practical ways of achieving the aim and objective of the subject.

The sudden increase in the search for JSS1 Social Studies lesson note for First Term is expected because every term, tutors are in need of a robust lesson note that carries all topics in the curriculum as this would go a long way in preparing students for the West African Secondary Examination.

This post is quite a lengthy one as it provides in full detail, the Social Studies approved lesson note for all topics and sub-topics in Social Studies as a subject offered in JSS1.

Please note that Social Studies lesson note for JSS1 provided here for First Term is approved by the Ministry of Education based on the scheme of work.

I made it free for tutors, parents, guardians, and students who want to read ahead of what is being taught in class.

JSS1 Social Studies Lesson Note (First Term) 2024














Week 1

Topic: Introduction to Social Studies


  1.                 Meaning
  2.                 Objectives and Scope
  3.                 Nature of Social Studies
  4.                 Importance of Social Studies


Social studies can be defined as the study of man in his environment. It is the study of man and his relationships with other people around him, including all the natural resources in his environment.

Social studies assess man in his physical and social environment as well as the effects of science, technology and religion on him. Man in social studies refers to human beings.



Scope of Social Studies

Social studies have related subjects like economics, geography, political science, anthropology and psychology. Social studies, therefore, an integrated subject because of its many interwoven parts which give insight into what man is and everything connected to Man in his physical and social environments.

Social study is therefore defined as the study of man’s life, his interactions with his social and physical environments, and his knowledge of science and technology to solve this problem in his environment.

Objectives of social studies

The following are the aim and objectives of social studies

1.It makes us responsible citizens

2.It helps us to understand the importance of hard work

3.It makes us good leaders and followers

4.It helps us to understand the need for honesty, hard work, transparency and cooperation with others in the society.

5.It teaches us to understand to understand our culture and other people’s culture.

6.It is aimed at teaching people how to identify the resources in their physical environment and how to use them well.

7.The knowledge of social studies helps Nigerian national objectives in education can be achieved.

The Importance of Social Studies

The importance of social studies cannot be overemphasized. Some of the points below are the importance of social studies.

1.Social studies help people to understand their culture and other people’s culture.

2.Social studies help us to be good citizens by educating us on the right type of behaviours, attitudes and values.

3.Social studies train us to be good and effective leaders and followers because it encourages us to obey the laws that govern our society and have respect for constituted authority.

4.It helps us to develop a good sense of judgment and a sense of moral and social responsibility.

5.It helps man to understand his environment, identify the problems and provide a solution to the problems in his environment.

6.It helps an individual to develop the ability to relate well with people in his environment.

7.It helps man to be aware of what is happening around him as well as other parts of the world.

8.The major and overall importance of social studies is to produce good citizens for the society.


1.The study of man in his environment called———? (a) Civic studies (b) English studies (c) social studies (d) elementary studies.

2.Man in social studies refers to——? (a) animal (b) science and technology (c) behaviours (d) human beings.

3.All of these are related subject in social studies except——-? (a) English language (b) economics (c) geography (d) psychology.

4.The importance of social studies is excerpt —–? (a) To be good leaders and followers (b) To produce good citizens for the society (c) To understand our culture (d) To make us law defaulters.

5.All of these are objectives of social studies except——–? (a) It makes us responsible citizens (b) It makes us to understand the importance of hard work (c) To achieve the national objectives of education (d) to teach us how to steal the public funds.

Week 2

Topic: Social Environment


  1.              Types of Social  Environment
  2. The Primary  Environment
  3. Characteristics of the Primary  Environment
  4. The Family as a Primary  Environment

Types of the major social Environment are:

1.The Primary  Environment

2.The Secondary Environment

THE PRIMARY Environment

The members of a primary group are people who are very close, people who are closely related. Such members often remain close for a very long time, usually for life.

Members of this group usually have a strong feeling of belonging together. They share common emotional experiences and aspirations. Examples of primary groups are families, peer groups, age grades and kinship groups.

Characteristics of Primary Environment

1.Primary group is usually small in size

2.Members enjoy a permanent relationship

3.Members are loyal to one another

4.They enjoy intimacy and cooperation

5.There is usually face to face interaction

The Family as a Primary Environment

The family is the group of people related by blood, birth or marriage. It is the basic unit of the social group. It is the primary group with great importance to the individual and society.

Kinds of Families are:

The nuclear family and the extended family

The nuclear family: This is the family made up of the father, mother and their children. A nuclear family can be monogamy if the father married just one wife and can be polygamous if the father marries more than one wife.

The extended family: The extended family consists of the father, mother and children as well as some other relations such as uncles, cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc. living together in one house or compound; it is referred to as communal living.

The Kinship as a Primary Environment

Kinship group indicates family ties or relationship which can be in form of blood ties or marriage ties. A person’s kinsman is his or her relative. The basis of kinsmen rests on three things which are: common ancestors, marriage ties and adoption.

The Age Group as Primary Environment

An age group is a group that consists of people of the same age or age bracket coming together to achieve a common goal.

Functions of Age Group in the Society are:

1.They ensure the security of the community.

2.They are sometimes responsible for keeping the town clean

3.It unites the whole town or village through its activities

4.Sometimes they make laws that govern the society.


1.List the two types of social environment.

2.What are the characteristics of the primary environment?

3.Explain the family as a primary environment.

4.What are the two types of family

Week 3

Topic: Family as the basic unit of society


  • Characteristics of large and small family size
  • Benefits of large family size


Family size is a significant factor in child development, but must be considered as only one part of a larger picture, however. Other factors, such as the parents’ personality traits, and the gender and spacing of the children, contribute significantly to the formation of a child’s personality.

Large Family

Children of large families have a greater opportunity to learn cooperation at an early age than children of smaller families as they must learn to get along with siblings. They also take on more responsibility, both for themselves and often for younger brothers and sisters. In addition, children in large families must cope with the emotional crises of sibling rivalry, from which they may learn important lessons that will aid them later in life. This factor, however, may also be a disadvantage; either the older child who was “dethroned” from a privileged position or the younger child who is in the eldest child’s shadow may suffer feelings of inferiority. Children in large families tend to adopt specific roles in order to attain a measure of uniqueness and thus gain parental attention.

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Small Family

Children in small families receive a greater amount of individual attention and tend to be comfortable around adults at an early age. They may also be overprotected, however, which can result in dependence, lack of initiative, and fear of risk, and the increased parental attention may also take the form of excessive scrutiny and pressure to live up to other people’s expectations. Researchers have found that only children are often loners and have the lowest need for affiliation. They tend to have high IQs and are successful academically. However, only children have also been found to have more psychological problems than children from larger families.

The size of a family has a significant effect on the interrelationships among its members and can play a major role in the formation of a child’s personality.

Benefits of Large family

Large families bring benefits for the kids as well as the parents. The art of compromise, the ability to share with one another and self-reliance are among a few of the traits that children from large families possess. Large families are only as loving and cohesive as the parents make them, according to Vivian Diller, Ph.D., a New York City-based psychologist in the “Psychology Today” article, “The Benefits and Disadvantages of Large Versus Small Families.”

  1. Side Effects Include

There is generally more competition in bigger families as the siblings want their own share of their parents’ attention. The ability to get along and love one another at an early age is thought by many moms of multiple children to be a positive side effect of larger families, according to the article, “Family Size in America: Are Large Families Back?” published on the Baby Center website. Since there is always someone to play with, having siblings increases the ability to make friends, show empathy and accept responsibility, says Baby Center.

  1. Take One for the Team

Children from large families often recognize the special place they have within their families. As they learn to work together as a team, the ability to do their share is strengthened, according to the article, “Bigger and Better,” by Katherine Schlaerth, an associate professor emeritus at the USC School of Medicine and a practising physician, published on the Los Angeles Times website. These children realize that being part of a larger family requires everyone to do their share; skipping out on their chores or responsibilities may have a ripple effect and disturb the brood.


  1. Hand-Me-Downs

Generally, people think that they should have smaller families to keep the costs down. Larger families tend to use less, according to Schlaerth. Utilities such as electricity and heat will not increase in the same manner as your grocery bill. Clothing can be handed down from child to child until it wears out. Larger families may spend less on activities and entertainment by creating their own fun. For example, the game night can be divided into teams or a day in the park can consist of sack races or kite-flying contests.

  1. Siblings for Life

Not every child from a large family is going to have a positive experience or feel that her needs were met. In large families with healthy connections, siblings bond and can become lifelong friends. As adults, they are there to support one another; there is generally a loyalty and trust that remains strong through the ups and downs of life, according to Schlaerth. Siblings will assist each other with everything from caring for their parents in old age to helping each other out with childcare. Extended family events carry the potential to increase those bonds further.


1.What are the benefits of a large family

2.What are the side effects of a large family

Week 4

Topic: Culture and social values (1)


  1. Meaning of culture
  2. Importance of culture
  3. Features of culture
  4. Characteristics of culture

Meaning of Culture

This is the totality of the way of life of the people. It includes people’s beliefs, their way of worship, their arts and crafts, language, religion, dressing, the way of thinking, dancing, greeting and eating habits.

The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria’s multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of them are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The six largest ethnic groups are the Hausa and Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the southeast, and the Yoruba predominate in the southwest, Efik – Ibibio, and Ijaw of the south-south.

The Edo people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland. Many of the Edo tend to be Christian. This group is followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik people of the coastal south southern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Niger Delta.

Nigeria’s other ethnic group, sometimes called ‘minorities’, are found throughout the country but especially in the north and the middle belt. The traditionally nomadic Fulani can be found all over West and Central Africa. The Fulani and the Hausa are predominantly Muslim while the Igbo are predominantly Christian and so are the Efik, Ibibio, and Annang people. The Yoruba are equally likely to be either Christian or Muslim. Indigenous religious practices remain important to all of Nigeria’s ethnic groups, and frequently these beliefs are blended with Christian beliefs, a practice known as syncretism

Importance of culture

The way of life of any society involves a number of areas (labour, politics, economics, ethics, aesthetics, law, family, religion, etc). The importance of culture in Nigeria cannot be overestimated.

Nigeria culture plays an important role in the lives of separate individuals and the society as the whole. Culture helps to accumulate, control and organise the human experience. It is basically what makes a person human. When a person becomes a member of the society, he accumulates knowledge about language, symbols, values, norms, customs and traditions of that environment. In this country, individuals usually become a part of one or more ethnic groups in Nigeria. A person’s immersion in culture is determined by his/her socialization, familiarity with cultural heritage, as well as the development of his individual abilities. All these are usually achieved in the process of upbringing and education. Culture unites people, integrates them, and ensures their strength as a community. Unfortunately, in our country, some subcultures oppose each other which lead to the spread of cultural differences in Nigeria. Cultural conflicts can arise within large communities as a result. To prevent this, it is important to control the formation of cultural values in a society. This is one of the tools used by the government to create a more conducive and secure environment.

Features/characteristics of culture

1.Culture is dynamic and flexible

  1. Culture is learnt over a period of time

3.Culture is continuous and does not die with people

4.Culture differs from place to place

5.Culture is universal to mankind and not particular to a peculiar group of people.


1.Define culture

2.What is the major importance of culture

3.State 3 characteristics of culture

Week 5

Topic: Culture and Social Values II


  1. Historical origin of major ethnic groups
  2. Culture similarities in Nigeria
  3. Cultural differences in Nigeria

Historical origin of major ethnic groups


The Hausas

Hausa is the biggest tribe in Nigeria they are the major inhabitants of about 10 state in Nigeria which includes; Bauchi, Borno, Niger, Taraba, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Sokoto with traces in several other parts of the country.

The myth of the origin of the Hausas began with the story of a man (Bayajidda) who ran away from the east to escape his father’s fury and stumbled on some people that happened to be the today Hausa.

The Yorubas are the second amongst other Nigeria tribes, The Yoruba spiritual heritage signifies that the Yoruba tribe are a unique people who were probably created at Ile-Ife. Legend holds that the creation was delegated by the sovereignty, Olodumare.

The name “Yoruba” is most likely an adaptation of ‘Yo ru ebo’, meaning “will venerate (make offerings to the) Orisha” Yoruba people remains one of the most travelled and advanced people from Western part of Africa.

The Igbos are the third largest tribe in Nigeria, they are the Nigeria industrialists. The Igbo myth of Origin traces their origin from Nri, the myth narrates how Eri, the hero of the Igbos descended from above with his wife Namaku, he sat on an ant-hill as the land was waterlogged.

Later Chukwu Okike (The gods) sent a blacksmith who dried up the land with fire, charcoal and bellows. The couple subsequently begot four children, namely, Nri, Aguleri, Igbariam, and Amanuke in that other. And it is believed that the Igbo race sprang up from this people and then the world.

Apart from the above mentioned three major tribes in Nigeria, there are about four hundred-plus other tribes like the Amo, Anaguta, Andoni, Angas, Fulani, dupe, Ibibio, Idoma, Ikwerre, Kalabari, Abou, Ijaw and several others.

Culture similarities in Nigeria

cultural similarity are what we do in our cultural groups that are the same eg agriculture, marriage practices, chieftaincy title, religion, animism etc.

  1. Respect for elders and rulers
  2. Selection of the elderly as leaders on the basis of their wisdom, not their money.
  3. The existence of the grading system for decision making, community building and defence in each of our communities
  4. Marital ceremonies in our various cultures, the groom pays the bride price.


1.Briefly explain the historical origins of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.

2.What are some of the cultural similarities in Nigeria?

3.Vividly describe the marital ceremony peculiar to your tribe.



Week 6

Topic: Socialization


1.Meaning of Socialization

2.Stages of Socialization

3.Significance of Socialization


4.Agents of Socialization

Meaning of Socialization

Socialization can be defined as the process of acquiring new behaviour through interactions with other members of the society and also by direct learning from others.

Socialization is a long life process because it goes on throughout one’s lifetime. It is a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

Stages of Socialization

There are two stages of socialization; they are:

1.Childhood or primary socialization: This is the stage of socialization that takes place in the family. This is the stage of socialization is very important because the success of the second stage of socialization depends on the primary socialization. Childhood socialization starts from when a child is born until the child grows to join the wider society.

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2.Adulthood or secondary socialization: This is the stage that sets in later in one’s life. It is the continuation of the primary stage of socialization. It sets in the church, mosque, or school. Those who do not have good childhood socialization have problems of socializing in the secondary stage

Significance of Socialization

Socialization is significance for the following reasons:

  • Socialization helps people to be responsible in any society where they find themselves
  • It helps to promote the spirit of hard work in people
  • It helps to keep and protect the culture of the society
  • It helps an individual in the society learn how to play their roles effectively and meaningfully
  • It helps the new members of the society to acquire acceptable values, norms and behaviour
  • It helps to build and form the young ones to be acceptable and functional in their society

Agents of Socialization

This refers to various means or places where socialization can manifest. Agents of socialization are:

1.The family: This is the first agent of socialization. The child relates to his mother, father and siblings before relating with any other member of the society. The child learns  the following from the family:

  • Good morals and the acceptable norms expected by the society
  • The food, language and culture of his/her family
  • Learn to interact with other members of the society
  • Learn to perform house duties
  1. The School: the child after some time go to school to learn. The child learns the following in school:
  • The school help to instil discipline in the child
  • The school act as models to the individual
  • The school help the child to learn how to read and write
  • Helps the child to relate and make friends outside the family
  1. The Mass Media: The mass media like the television, radio, internet etc influence the individual in the following ways:
  • People learn the culture of other countries via the mass media
  • The mass media serves as a means of entertaining individuals
  • People learn how to sing, dance fashion etc through the mass media
  • They learn and get information about what is happening in their country and other countries via the mass media
  1. The church/ mosque: The church/ mosque also helps in the following ways:
  • They reform people through their sermons or preaching
  • They help to promote peace and love
  • They help to teach people about the supremacy of God
  • They help to promote justice and fair play
  1. The peer/age group: An individual’s age mate or peer groups include a person’s classmate, friends, colleagues,. A person who chose good peers will learn positive things from his/her peers and vice versa.


1.What do you understand by socialisation?

2.List the different stages of socialisation

3.What are the agents of socialisation?

4.Give four importance of socialisation



Week 7

Topic: Friendship


1.Meaning of friendship

2.Factors that determine the choice of friends

3.Qualities and behaviors that enhance friendship

4.Factors that could destroy Friendship

Meaning of Friendship

Friendship is a state of being emotionally attached to another person, resulting from feelings of affection. It is also a warm and intimate relationship with someone you like and trust. Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship. Friendship is a state of being emotionally attached to another person, resulting from feelings of affection. It is also a warm and intimate relationship with someone you like and trust. Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship.

Friendship is a state of mutual trust and support between two or more people or between nations.

A friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Factors that determine the choice of friends

1.Common interests: These ties friends closer to themselves. When our interests are different there will be nothing to enjoy jointly, time spent together tends to rapidly diminish. Not that we can’t still care deeply about friends with whom we no longer share common interests, but it’s probably uncommon for such friends to interact on a regular basis.

2.History:  Nothing ties people together, even people with little in common than having gone through the same difficult experience. As the sole glue to keep friendships whole in the long run, however, it often dries, cracks, and ultimately fails.

3.Common values: Though not necessarily enough to create a friendship, if values are too divergent, it’s difficult for a friendship to thrive.

4.Equality: If one friend needs the support of the other on a consistent basis such that the person depended upon receives no benefit other than the opportunity to support and encourage, while the relationship may be significant and valuable, it can’t be said to define true friendship.

5.Environment: the environment or surroundings where a person is will determine the kind of people you mix up with and thereby determine your friends

6.Upbringing: A child who is well brought up will tend to have friends who are also well brought up, those who have the same or likely characters

Qualities and behaviours that enhance friendship

The qualities listed below will enhance and improve friendship

  • Truthfulness: friends who are truthful to each other can rely on one another, it is a good quality that enhances friendship
  • Availability: For Friendship to be enhanced, both party must make themselves available for each other, it might not be all the time but yet need to create time for one another, this enhance friendship.
  • Be proud of your friend: When you are proud of your friend, it means you can show are to people without being ashamed, this also enhance friendship
  • Forgiveness: Ability and willingness to forgive one another
  • Loyalty: For Friendship to be enhanced, you must be able to show a strong feeling of support or allegiance to one another
  • Cooperation: there must be cooperation, having the same goals and objective and working towards achieving that goal
  • Support during good and bad times: To enhance friendship, you must stand by your friend in the good and bad times
  • Respect and Understanding: Respect your friend because respect is reciprocal and ensure you understand yourself, in this way your Friendship can be enhanced.

Factors that can destroy Friendship

The following can bring friendship to an end

  • Lies
  • Lack of trust
  • Intolerance
  • Impatience
  • Disrespect
  • Misunderstanding
  • Betrayal of trust
  • Selfishness
  • Bullying


1.The state of being emotionally attached to another person resulting from feelings of affection is called——–? (a) friendship (b) love (c) hatred (d) discord

2.All of these are factors that determine the choice of friends except———?(a) common values (b) common interest (c) different ideas (d) environment

3.For a friendship to be destroyed, ——– happens? (a) understanding (b) misunderstanding (c) love (d) Patience

4.The following are qualities that enhance friendship except———-? (a) honesty (b) lies (c) truthfulness (d) loyalty

5.Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship; true/false?






Week 8

Topic: Behaviour that enhances Friendship


  • Positive and Negative peer pressure
  • Friendship development skills
  • Ways of enhancing friendship

Friendship is a state of being emotionally attached to another person, resulting from feelings of affection. It is also a warm and intimate relationship with someone you like and trust. Friends provide a basic source of happiness, pleasure and companionship.

Positive and Negative peer pressure

Almost everyone has experienced peer pressure before, either positive or negative. Peer pressure is when your classmates, or other people your age, try to get you to do something. It is so easy to give in to peer pressure because everyone wants to fit in and be liked. Especially when it seems like “everyone is doing it”. Sometimes people give in to peer pressure because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or they do not know how to get out of the situation so they just say “yes”.

How do I resist peer pressure?

  • Understanding your own values and beliefs
  • Have Self-confidence
  • Choose your friends wisely
  • Talk to a trusted adult
  • Don’t make excuses – say exactly how you feel

How do peers pressure?

  • Insults: making a person feel bad for not doing something so that they eventually will
  • Reasoning: pressure by giving a person reasons why they should do something
  • Rejection: pressure by threatening to end a relationship or a friendship
  • Unspoken pressure: simply seeing all your peers doing something or wearing something can be s form of pressure

But… there is also positive peer pressure!

  • Pressure to not drink/smoke/do drugs
  • Pressure to be nice and help others
  • Pressure to exercise

The importance of friendship cannot be over-emphasized. Friendship is important because:

  • Young people learn social skills through friendship
  • It provides opportunities for young people to share experiences and insights
  • Skills gained in articulating feelings and thoughts will be helpful throughout life
  • It promotes self-esteem
  • It helps in building self-confidence
  • It provides companionship
  • It involves fun, sharing and caring
  • It promotes mutual respect
  • Appropriate interpersonal communication skills are developed

Friendship skills development

There are ways to develop friendship skills. These include:

  • Keep secrets and build trust
  • Develop understanding and empathy
  • Practice active listening skills by

(i)Establish eye contact with the other person

(ii) Listen to the person without interruption

(iii) Listen to the person without thinking of what you will say next

(iv) Empathize with the person as he or she is speaking

(v) Use “I” statements

Enhancing Friendship

There are however behaviours and qualities that enhances friendship, these include:

  • Forgiveness
  • Trust
  • Loyalty
  • Ability to keep confidences
  • Cooperation
  • Honesty
  • Shared interests
  • Support during good and bad times
  • Reliability
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Understanding
  • Affection
  • Sympathy

Friendship need to be improved and the way by which it can be improved are:

  • Having group activities
  • Sharing information
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Sharing goals and aspirations
  • Visiting each other’s family and other friends
  • Dating, with no expectation for shared sexual activity
  • Solving assignments together
  • Giving support in times of trouble
  • Making positive comments about each other
  • Having fun together

Due to the importance of friendship, it is of utmost importance that friends must make all efforts to keep their friends and make new ones. Behaviours that could destroy friendship include:

  • Gossiping
  • Disclosing confidential information
  • Bullying
  • Peer pressure
  • Dishonesty
  • Selfishness
  • Suspicious
  • Disrespect
  • Misunderstanding
  • Betrayal of trust


1.List five ways of improving friendship

2.List two ways of developing friendship skill

3.Define peer pressure

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4.Name three ways to resist peer pressure

5.What behaviours can destroy Friendship


Week 9

Topic: Common Crimes


  • Meaning
  • Causes
  • Effect


Crimes can be committed against persons or property, but all crimes carry a punishment for those who break the law. Federal, state and local governments pass laws to establish what is acceptable behaviour and what is not acceptable behaviour within society.

The following is a list of some common crimes, felonies, and misdemeanors, with the most general explanations of the crimes. Click on the links below to read detailed descriptions of each of these crimes:


A person is an accessory when they solicit, requests, commands, pursues or intentionally aids another person to engage in conduct that constitutes an offence.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is causing or attempting to cause serious bodily harm to another or using a deadly weapon during a crime.

Aiding and Abetting

The crime of aiding and abetting is when a person willfully “aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures” the commission of a crime.


Arson is when a person intentionally burns a structure, building, land or property.


Criminal assault is defined as an intentional act that results in a person becoming fearful of imminent bodily harm.


The crime of battery is any unlawful physical contact with another person, including offensive touching.


Bribery is the act of offering or receiving compensation for the purpose of influencing any person who is responsible for performing a public or legal duty.


A burglary occurs when someone illegally enters almost any kind of structure for the purpose of committing an illegal action.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is any act or failure to act that results in the harm, potential for harm or the threat of harm to a child.

Child Pornography

The crime of child pornography includes the possession, production, distribution or sale of sexual images or videos that exploit or portray children.

Computer Crime

The Department of Justice defines computer crime as,”Any illegal act for which knowledge of computer technology is essential for successful prosecution.”


The crime of conspiracy is when two or more people get together to plan to commit a crime with the intent of committing that crime.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is committed when a person uses a credit or debit card illegally to obtain funds from an account or to get merchandise or services without paying.

Disorderly Conduct

A broad term used to charge anyone whose behaviour is a public nuisance.

Disturbing the Peace

Disturbing the peace involves particular behaviour that disturbs the overall order of a public place or gathering.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is when one member of a household inflicts bodily harm upon another member of the same household.

Drug Cultivation or Manufacturing

Illegally cultivating, producing or possessing plants, chemicals or equipment used for the purpose of producing drugs.

Drug Possession

The crime of drug possession occurs when someone willfully possesses any illegal controlled substance.

Drug Trafficking or Distribution

Both a federal and state crime, drug distribution includes the selling, transportation or importing of illegal controlled substances.

Drunk Driving

A person is charged with drunk driving when they operate a motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Embezzlement is when a responsible party misappropriates the money or property that is entrusted to them.


Extortion is a crime that occurs when someone obtains money, property or services through an act of coercion.


Forgery includes falsifying documents, signatures, or faking an object of value with the purpose of committing fraud.


Fraud is committed when a person uses deception or misrepresentation for financial or personal gain.


Unwanted behaviour that is intended to annoy, disturb, alarm, torment, upset or terrorize an individual or group.

Hate Crime

The police define a hate crime as a “criminal offence against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

Identity Theft

The Justice Department defines identity theft as, “all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.”

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is when a person attempts to obtain payment from an insurance company under false premises.


The crime of kidnapping is committed when a person is illegally confined or moved from one place to another against their will

Money Laundering

According to the federal law, money laundering occurs when someone attempts to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or the control of the proceeds of unlawful activity.


Usually classified as first-degree or second-degree, the crime of murder is the willful taking of another person’s life.


Perjury occurs when a person gives false information when under oath.


A person can be charged with prostitution when they are compensated in exchange for a sexual act.

Public Intoxication

Someone drunk or under the influence of drugs in a public place can be charged with public intoxication.


Rape occurs when someone forces sexual contact with another person without their consent.


Robbery involves the act of stealing from another person by the use of physical force or by putting the victim in fear of death or injury.

Sexual Assault

Although definition varies by state, generally it occurs when a person or persons commit a sexual act without the consent of the victim.


Stealing merchandise from a retail store or business.


Solicitation is the offering of compensation for goods or services that are prohibited by law.


The crime of stalking occurs when a person, over time, follows, harasses or watches another person.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape occurs when an adult has sex with a minor who is under the age of consent. The age of consent varies by state.

Tax Evasion

Tax evasion involves taking deliberate actions to conceal or misrepresent a person’s or business’ income, profits or financial gains or to inflate or falsify tax deductions.


Theft is a general term that can describe various forms of larceny, including burglary, looting, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud and criminal conversion.


The crime of vandalism occurs when a person intentionally damages property that does not belong to them.

Wire Fraud

Almost always a federal crime, wire fraud is the illegal activity that takes place over any interstate wires for the purpose of committing fraud.

Causes of Crime

What exactly is a crime and why do people commit crimes?

The Oxford Dictionary defines a crime as ‘an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law’.

So we may do something ‘wrong’ that is not a crime. Lying to a friend may be wrong but it may not be a crime. On the other hand, we may do something ‘right’ which is a crime.

So, a crime is a fact, a matter of law. It is not an opinion. As society changes, some actions which used to be criminal, for example, are no longer criminal. Likewise, some actions, such as smoking in covered public places are. Laws are made by the Government, a government we elect democratically, for the good of us all. We may not agree with the law but there are democratic opportunities to change it.

In a democratic society, someone charged with a crime has the opportunity to defend him/herself. He or she will be deemed to be innocent until proven guilty by a criminal court. Punishments traditionally reflect the seriousness of the crime; the most serious crimes to be those which involve violence and/or loss of life.

The causes of crime are complex. Most people today accept that poverty, parental neglect, low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse are all connected in explaining why people commit crimes. Some people are simply at greater risk of becoming offenders because of the circumstances into which they are born.

Individualists tend to focus on individual weakness or lack of ‘values’ as the reason why people commit crimes. Ultimately if someone chooses to commit a crime, that is their responsibility. If caught, the individual should pay the consequences. Individualists feel that society needs clearer rules and strong punishments to minimise criminal behaviour. If punishments were stronger and the police and the courts had more powers, there would be less crime.

Collectivists feel that in order to tackle crime, the social conditions which create the conditions for crime need to be addressed. So, better housing, better employment opportunities and a more equal society will make crime less of an attraction. If people are in work and are content with life, they will be less motivated to break the law.

Effect of Crime:

The physical and emotional impact of crime can be devastating both for those who are harmed and for their families and friends.  No matter what the crime or circumstances in which it was committed, it may diminish the victims’ sense of control and self-worth. Crime, however, affects different people in different ways. The way you feel will also vary over time and may even differ from day to day.

A common initial reaction is feeling numb, and not believing what has happened to you.  You may feel helpless and that no-one understands what you are going through. You may feel shocked, fearful or angry. It may help you to know that what you are feeling and experiencing are normal reactions to an abnormal and distressing event.

Depending on your situation, you may experience a combination of reactions, feelings and symptoms.

Cognitive difficulties:



odifficulty problem solving

omemory problems

opoor attention spans

odisturbed thinking

oblaming someone

oreliving the event

odistressing dreams

Emotional responses:






6.feeling helpless

7.feeling isolated

8.the desire to withdraw/hide


1.Define crime?

2.What are the causes of crime?

3.List five common crimes you know

4.Name some effects of crime


Hope you got what you visited this page for? The above is the lesson note for Social Studies for JSS1 class. However, you can download the free PDF file for record purposes.

If you have any questions as regards Social Studies lesson note For JSS1 class, kindly send them to us via the comment section below and we shall respond accordingly as usual.