1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Teaching is a process of assisting a learner to acquire knowledge and skills or experiences that could foster effectiveness in the later age. Thus, once a child learns what he has been taught teaching is said to have taken place. During the teaching/learning process, the teacher has to adopt a particular method or methods to impact knowledge to the learners coupled with useful materials that could help a learner to learn. The careful selection and orderly arrangement of the various elements of the curriculum materials and the various ways or the general pattern of approach in which they are introduced to the learner constitutes the instructional process.
The idea of adopting and using materials and equipments to enhance effectiveness in the instructional process is as old as mankind. The wise teacher will always use equipments or aids in form of instructional materials to help the learners understand and learn better. This, he does alongside an appropriate method of instruction. Udeh (1994) as cited in Olumba (2007), emphasized that, the Greek mathematics had diagrams drawn on sand and Jesus Christ who was one of the greatest teacher made continued use of materials and illustrations during the course of his teachings. He added that, his special reference was to what they could see, touch, manipulated etc to drive home his message.
Ukwueze (2003) cited that, the use of instructional materials and methods is still being practical in our traditional society. This, he cited that traditional mothers not only teach their daughters the methods of cooking food but also the ingredients (materials to be used in cooking activity and teaching an enterprising venture, Awonji (1998) affirms that, the use of instructional materials and good strategies in teaching and learning environment is very important as they make lesson experiences more concrete and realistic in learners. He added that, if instructional materials and effective methods were used in our traditional society to aid teaching and learning especially social studies, then one can deduced that our present form and provisions of education which instructional materials are almost an abstract subject.
Most often teaching especially in social studies is done with inadequate instructional materials which will result in learners not understanding the lessons taught and if the lesson is not understood, it leads to a qualitative failure in examination. From the above, one can gather that, the use of instructional materials coupled with adequate and effective methods in the teaching of social studies in the learning situation is very crucial.
Ike (2002) referred that, instructional materials are device which present a complete body of information and are largely self supporting rather than supplementary in teaching or learning process. They are information carrying technologies that are used for instructional purpose with the hope of delivering educational information very quickly and very vividly too. These instructional materials / media. This implies that, makers of instructional materials should make sure. That they are prepared in a way that they will be real and meaningful to learners. It is also important to note that though instructional materials can be good and self supporting, it still requires skilled and knowledge teachers to use them to make teaching / learning more effective to the learners and creates clearer conditions for conceptual thinking among learners.
Ikwuzom (2001) opined that instructional materials and methods enables the teacher to widen the experiences of his students. This is done by exposing the students into a variety of experiences that would enable them see things that exist outside their immediate environment. With the use of films for instance, students see far communities and settlements and how people lie there. Thus, when students see things they could not have seen without instructional materials, their experiences will be broaden and depend.
Social studies on its own is very rich in instructional materials and methods for its effectiveness. This is true because the whole environment of man with all the things in it constitute the laboratory for social studies. The dynamic nature of social studies education makes it paramount for the teachers of social studies to use instructional materials to enable the students quickly relate their classroom to the environment they live in and interact.