You only have to glance at the daily news to know how important the understanding of civics, economics, geography, and history is for students today. And yet social studies can get lost in an education environment steeped in the science, technology, engineering, and math of STEM—and in the time-honored pillars of reading, writing, and arithmetic that frame the English and math Common Core.
Question: Where does social studies fit in?
The social studies curriculum emphasizes critical thinking through primary-source analysis and literacy skills through the reading of texts, charts, graphs, and maps. And let’s not forget the responsibility to teach the foundations of democracy and global citizenship.
To better define the discipline’s important place in the curriculum, the National Council for the Social Studies recently announced the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. The framework underscores three goals:
- Enhance the rigor of social studies courses
- Build the strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for active citizenship
- Align the social studies curriculum with Common Core Standards for Literacy
Goal 1 - Enhance the rigor of social studies courses
Our social studies resources include an interactive atlas, case studies featuring an online document-analysis tool, tutorials on topics like OPEC's oil embargo, and interactive narratives exploring pivotal issues like voting rights for women or the legacy of Alexander the Great. Many lessons incorporate several rigorous resources into one dynamic learning experience.
Goal 2 - Build strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
Our Document Analyzers explore challenging case-study questions. Students use an online notebook to gather important information from background movies to frame their understanding of the issue. They engage in further critical thinking using the online document-analysis tool to identify and analyze key passages from primary-source documents related to a focus question.
Our Interactive Narratives also focus on critical-thinking skills. Assessment activities embedded throughout, along with culminating application activities, challenge students to practice problem solving within the context of history.
Goal 3 - Align social studies curriculum with Common Core Standards for Literacy
Curriculum Pathways resources enable students to practice Common Core strategies for reading complex nonfiction texts about history, government, or economics. Our nonfiction reading tool guides their approach to complex texts with pre-reading strategies before they begin and comprehension strategies during and after the reading.
We have over 42 resources in the Document Analyzer series.
- The Trial of Anne Hutchinson
- The Stamp Act
- Indian Removal Act of 1830
- The Mexican American War
- The Civil War: John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
- Booker T. Washington and Equality
- The Progressive Era: The Standard Oil Monopoly
- African Americans and the New Deal
- World War II: Japanese Internment
- Johnson and the Vietnam War
- Reformation: Luther's Challenge to the Church
- Age of Exploration: Spain in the New World
- Absolute Monarchs: The Trial of Charles I
- Enlightenment Philosophers
- Civil Constitution of the Clergy
- Industrial Revolution: The Peterloo Massacre
- Militarism: Origins of the Franco-Prussian War
- Imperialism: Scramble for Africa
- World War I: Failure of European Diplomacy
- Trotsky and Stalin: Communism in the Soviet Union
- The Munich Crisis
- The Cuban Missile Crisis
- Gandhi and the Partition of India
- The Middle East: Suez Crisis
- Perónism in Argentina, 1946-55
- The Constitutional Convention
- The War Powers Act
- Referendum, Recall, and Initiative
- The Electoral College
- The Minimum Wage
- Income Taxes and Fairness
- Freedom of Speech in School
- NAFTA: Free Trade and the American Economy
- Aztec and Inca Civilizations
- African Kingdoms: Kingdom of Mali
- Genghis Khan and the Mongols
- Comparing Powerful Medieval Women: Byzantine Empire
- Early Islamic Civilizations
- Medieval Europe
- Ancient Egypt: The Social Pyramid
- Ancient Greece: The Melian Debate
- Imperial Roman Emperors
But wait, there's more! We have 16 resources showing various narratives throughout history!
- FDR and the New Deal
- Early Foreign Policy
- Voting Rights for Women
- World War II: The Homefront
- Lincoln and the Civil War
- Jackson and the Nullification Crisis
- Nixon and the Watergate Scandal
- America: World Power
- William Penn and the Middle Colonies
- Causes of the Civil War
- Ancient China: Great Wall
- Renaissance Man: Leonardo
- Nile Kingdoms
- Alexander the Great
- Roman Inventions
- Columbus and the New World