Social Studies Scoop

A Monthly Bulletin for 6-12 Social Studies Teachers in CCS

Preparing students for success in college, career, and civic life

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December 2017

In this edition:

  • Ohio Test Prep Updates
  • New DocsTeach Historical Thinking Interactives
  • American History Performance-Based Assessments
  • Blended Learning through EVERFI Virtual Courses
  • CCS High School Debate Winter Tournament - December 8
  • ODE Call for Model Curriculum Revision Committees
  • National World War II Museum Summer Teacher Institute


Ohio Test Prep Updates: American History

As you are likely aware, last year we saw a decrease in performance on the American History state test. We have been taking a number of steps to address this issue. In addition to the curriculum revisions and new test analysis/strategies guide, the Ohio Test Prep website is undergoing a transformation, starting with the American History modules this year.

In the past, Ohio Test Prep was used primarily for review purposes. In the revamp, the goal is to use the modules as a blended learning solution to support front-line classroom instruction.

Each module now contains four components using the acronym BEST: BUILD Background Knowledge; EXPLORE Key Concepts and Ideas; SHARPEN Social Studies Skills; and TEST Your Understanding. The redesign also includes the integration of powerful learning tools such as Quizlet, Khan Academy, DocsTeach, and Edcite.

The American History modules are under continuing development this year, with units 1-3 available now and unit 4 scheduled to roll out next week.

The old modules for both American History and American Government remain active on the Ohio History Test Prep website during the transition.


New DocsTeach Historical Thinking Interactives

As part of the revamp of Ohio Test Prep and the CCS American History Course Site, ten new historical thinking exercises are now available on the DocsTeach tool from the National Archives (with additional activities under development). These exercises provide students with an opportunity to examine primary sources (documents, photographs, political cartoons) and construct an evidence-based arguments on compelling questions.

Quick Activities are best suited for class warm-ups, exit tickets, or station rotation. They can be completed in about 10-15 minutes. Extended Exercises are designed for a full class period with 1:1 chromebooks or in a computer lab, or as homework extensions.

Here are the new activities so far:

Quick Activities

Extended Exercises

DocsTeach also includes an extensive database of additional activities that may be useful in meeting Ohio's Learning Standards. And, if you are really ambitious, you can create your own activities and send us the link!


American History Performance-Based Assessments

As part of our revision of the American History model lessons this year, we are including Performance Tasks/Performance-Based Assessments with each lessons. Performance-Based Assessments (PBA) requires demonstration of knowledge and skills through a performance or product. An effective means of measuring higher-order thinking skills, PBA can assess content, process (skills), and reasoning learning targets.

In the CCS model lessons, the PBA can be located in the main lesson document (immediately following the lesson assessment) within each lesson folder. The lesson folders are located on the American History Course Site: (CCS Google sign-in required).

For the first semester PBA include:

  • 1.2 Historic Documents - Structured Academic Controversy (SAC): Does the Constitution support the Ideals of the Declaration of Independence?

  • 2.1 Industrialization, Immigration, and Urbanization - Letter to the Editor: Was the Rise of Industry Good for the United States?

  • 2.2 The Progressive Era - Muckraking Newspaper: How should government solve the problems of industrial capitalism?

  • 2.3 Jim Crow and the Great Migration - Great Migration Dramatization: Why did African Americans Move North?

  • 3.1 American Imperialism - RAFT Writing Activity: Was American Expansionism Justified?

  • 3.2 Post-World War I - Political Cartoon Gallery: Should the U.S. Ratify the Treaty of Versailles and Join the League of Nations?

  • 4.1 Social Change in the Roaring Twenties - Multimedia Museum: How Loudly Did the 1920s Roar?

  • 4.2 The Great Depression - A Great Depression and New Deal Timeline: What were Causes and Consequences of the Great DepressIon?

  • 5.1 The U.S. Enters World War II - Debate: Decision Point 1940 - Should the U.S. Enter World War II?


Blended Learning through EVERFI Virtual Courses

EVERFI's virtual courses in Financial Literacy, Civics, and African American History are available free to CCS teachers and students. These courses provide engaging video tutorials, animations, and activities. Student receive digital badges as they complete activities and a certificate for completing the courses.

Register for EVERFI courses at For questions or assistance in setting up EVERFI courses, contact Michelle Fugate at:


CCS High School Debate Winter Tournament, December 8, 2017

In conjunction with Capital University, CCS Secondary ELA and Social Studies Curriculum is sponsoring a winter debate tournament for Grades 9-12 on December 8, 2017.

Debate Resolution: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly increase the federal minimum wage.

Teams of students from Columbus Alternative, Columbus North International, Mifflin High School, and South High School will be participating in this year's debate tournament. Thank you to advisors and good luck to all teams!


Teacher Opportunities

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ODE Call for Model Curriculum Revision Committees

The Ohio Department of Education has opened the application process for educators interested in serving on the model curriculum committees for social studies, science and financial literacy. The Department is interested in content experts with experience ranging from kindergarten through higher education. The committees will make revisions based on updates to the standards with the work beginning late January and concluding in early summer. Click here to nominate yourself or a colleague. The application survey is open through Jan. 5.


National World War II Museum Summer Teacher Institute

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has opened up applications for its third annual Summer Teacher Institute. Participants spend a week here at the Museum learning from top WWII scholars, analyzing artifacts in our vault, and practicing strategies for making World War II more relatable and interesting for to day’s students.

Participants also earn six hours of graduate credit and have the opportunity to travel to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for an extended look at WWII sites on Oahu. Perhaps best of all, the program (including travel) is free for the thirty or so teachers we accept each year.

Full details and the application are located at: