Social Studies Scoop

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

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

Matthew I. Doran

Secondary Social Studies Specialist

Office of Teaching & Learning

Curriculum Division

Southland Center

February 2020

In this edition:

  • Curriculum and Instruction: Census Statistics in Schools
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Black History Month
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Transition to Semester Credits
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Design Thinking Enrichment Experience MS Summer Program
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Blended Learning HS Modern World History Summer Course
  • Ohio's State Tests: Performance-Level Descriptors and Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
  • Student Programs: Voter Registration
  • Professional Development: Summer Travel PD Opportunities


Census Statistics in Schools

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau takes an official count of the American population. Having an accurate population count is important for our state and community. The Census decides how many seats Ohio will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, the Census influences how over $21 billion of federal funding is distributed in Ohio. This includes Medicaid, Medicare, Section 8, SNAP, IDEA, National School Lunch Program, Head Start, WIC, and Foster Care.

Historically, the Census has undercounted children. The 2010 Census missed an estimated 2.2 million young children. Children who live in high-poverty neighborhoods, large complex households, and nontraditional family structures are often uncounted. (See additional handouts below.)

As part of CCS Census awareness initiatives, teachers can use the Census Statistics in Schools lesson plans in classroom instruction. The following lessons align well with state standards and district curriculum.

Social Studies 6

Social Studies 8

American History 10

American Government

African-American Studies


Global Issues


Black History Month

February is Black History Month. The Black History Month 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” recognizes the 150th anniversary the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) which granted suffrage rights to African-American men.

Here is a collection of helpful resources and tools for teaching African-American history this month:

  • Teaching Hard History

    The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance Initiative has recently released a report and curriculum materials on teaching the central role that slavery played in the development of the United States. You can read more about the report here and access the curriculum materials (aligned with the C3 Framework) here.

  • Local African-American History

    To incorporate local African-American history, check out the Teaching Columbus Blog: The African-American Experience in Columbus. Topics address include the Underground Railroad in Columbus, King-Lincoln and the Harlem Renaissance, and the desegregation of Columbus Schools.

  • Do's and Don'ts of Black History Month
    Suggestions to ensure students get the most out of black history and Black History Month.

  • Black History Month: Teaching Beyond Slavery
    Avoid minimizing black history; include the full human experience beyond enslavement.

  • Common Lit Text Sets
    Black Authors - Explore some of the key voices from black writers and poets in this literary text.
    Black Heritage - Explore key figures from Black history, from major Civil Rights leaders to motivating modern-day artists, thinkers, and athletes.
    Reconstruction to Jim Crow - Learn about the lives of African Americans from Reconstruction to the end of the prejudiced Jim Crow era.
    The Harlem Renaissance - Harlem, New York in the 1920s witnessed an explosion of African American creativity in the arts, particularly in poetry.
    The Civil Rights Movement - Explore the movement's champions and controversies from the 1950s to today.


Transition to Semester Credits

In 2020-2021, CCS will transition to awarding credits by semesters. Students will earn .5 credit for each semester. Core academic classes (including American History, American Government, and World History) remain full-year, but are divided into semester 1 (.5) and semester 2 (.5). This does not change any graduation requirements.

We are currently in discussions regarding the Social Studies Academic Elective course offerings. Some courses could be offered as .5 credit only to allow students to take a greater variety. Students will still need to complete 1 full Academic Elective credit to meet graduation requirements. Sociology and Psychology are already available in this .5 format. We are also considering the addition of an Economics and Financial Literacy course at the request of several schools. If you have not already completed the survey regarding course offerings, please do so here.

More information will be forthcoming as Board policies are finalized.


Design Thinking Enrichment Experience for Middle School, Summer 2020

Applications will soon be available for teachers interested in developing and teaching in the CCS middle school summer enrichment program. The Design Thinking Enrichment Experience (DTE²) will immerse middle school students in a 6-week, collaborative experience focused on interdisciplinary, problem-based learning opportunities. Building skills for college and career success, students will learn to think like researchers, designers, entrepreneurs, and communicators. Topics will include robotics, aviation, drones, 3D model, food science, eSports, and medicine.

Teachers will be notified by email as soon as applications are available.


Blended Learning High School Modern World History 9 Summer Course

In summer 2020, students in the Class of 2023 will have the opportunity to retake coursework through Blended Learning courses. For social studies, this means we will offer a Blended Learning version of Modern World History 9. This course will include both face-to-face and online activities facilitated by a social studies teacher. The course curriculum is under development.

Look for an email soon for directions on applying to teach this course.


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Performance-Level Descriptors and Depth of Knowledge

To prepare students for Ohio's State Tests, learning activities should be designed to go beyond the cognitive rigor required for proficiency, aiming for the highest levels of mastery. Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) summarize learning expectations from Ohio's Learning Standards and reflect an increased level of thinking required for each category from Limited to Advanced. (See the PLDs linked below).

Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) defines how deeply students must know and understand what they are learning in order explain answers and solutions. DOK also describes how extensively students are expected to transfer and use what they have learned in different academic and real world contexts.

DOK levels are defined as:

  • DOK 1: Recall and reproduce data, definitions, details, facts, information, and procedures.
  • DOK 2: Use academic concepts and cognitive skills to answer questions, address problems, accomplish tasks, and analyze texts and topics.
  • DOK 3: Think strategically and reasonably about how and why concepts, ideas, operations, and procedures can be used to attain and explain answers, conclusions, decisions, outcomes, reasons, and results.
  • DOK 4: Think extensively about what else can be done, how else can learning be used, and how could the student personally use what they have learned in different academic and real world contexts.
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Student Programs

Voter Registration Deadline for Ohio Primary Election

Ohio's primary election will be March 17, 2020. The deadline for voter registration in the primary is February 18, 2020.

Online voter registration is available through the Ohio Secretary of State's website. You must provide your name, date of birth, address, driver’s license or Ohio ID card number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Alternatively, you can print out this paper form, fill it out and deliver it to the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Citizens who will be 18 years old on or before November 2, 2020 may vote in the primary election for candidates, but cannot vote on issues until they are 18.


Summer Travel PD Opportunities

Deadlines are quickly approaching for summer travel PD opportunities. See the information and links below.

American Bar Association Summer Institute

The ABA/FJC Summer Institute for Teachers is currently accepting applications for our 2020 Institute in Washington, DC (June 21-26). The Summer Institute deepens participants’ knowledge of the federal judiciary and of the role the federal courts have played in key public controversies that have defined our constitutional and other legal rights.

Participation is limited to 20 teachers. Travel, lodging, and meal expenses will be provided. Applications are due March 2, 2020. Applications can be found at


Friends of the National World War II Memorial Summer Conference

World War II 75th Anniversary: The Lasting Significance and Impact of World War II on America and the World

Monday, July 20, 2020 – Saturday, July 25, 2020
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Road, Washington, DC

Click here for more information and application.


NEH Summer Institutes and Seminars

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers tuition-free summer opportunities for K-12 educators and higher education faculty to study a variety of humanities topics.

Click here to view the full list of opportunities for K-12 teachers.


C-Span Summer Teacher Fellowship

C-SPAN is pleased to announce that the application process for our Summer Teacher Fellowship is now open.

For four weeks in July 2020, Fellowship recipients will collaborate with C-SPAN's education team at our offices in Washington, DC to develop new teaching materials using C-SPAN resources. Each Fellow receives a stipend of $7,000 to cover housing, travel and living expenses. Fellows also participate in C-SPAN's Summer Educators' Conferences where they share their ideas and experiences using C-SPAN's programs with conference attendees.

Application Requirements

    All candidates must be:

  • A member of C-SPAN Classroom
  • A state certified middle or high school teacher of U.S. History, Civics, Government or related curriculum
  • Experienced with integrating C-SPAN's programming and resources into educational curriculum
  • Available for four consecutive weeks from July 6 through July 31, 2020

The application for the Summer Educators' Conference will be available in January 2020. For additional information about the Fellowship, please visit the Teacher Opportunities page on the C-SPAN Classroom website.