The Social Studies Connection

More than a Newsletter for Secondary Social Studies Teachers


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Matthew I. Doran

Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator

Office of Teaching & Learning

Curriculum Division

Southland Center

In this edition:

  • Curriculum and Instruction: Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Curriculum and Instruction: TCI Tools for Reading Support
  • Curriculum and Instruction: The TCI Approach: Preview Activities
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Creating Assessments in Mastery Connect
  • Ohio's State Tests: Using TCI Lessons to Address American History Spring 2022 Item Analysis
  • Ohio's State Tests: How Modern World History 9 Prepares Students for Ohio's State Test in American History
  • Professional Development: October PD Day
  • Professional Development: TCI Ten, Tuesdays at Ten
  • Student Programs: Kids Voting Double Click Democracy Mock Election
  • Student Programs: Voter Registration


Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 to recognize and celebrate the contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latinx community.

The observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988. The theme for 2022 is "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation."

Teaching resources of Hispanic Heritage Month:


TCI Tools for Reading Support

The CCS approach to curriculum and instruction includes the adoption and use of a common Tier 1 instructional platform for all students, as part of a guaranteed and viable curriculum. TCI—publisher of Geography Alive!, Government Alive!, and History Alive!—is the adopted platform for social studies 6-12.

The TCI approach is much more than a textbook. TCI's core strategies are designed to provide multiple means of engagement. However, the TCI platform includes a textbook to support the lessons. Textbooks are available in print and digital format.

It is not assumed that all students will be able to read the textbook independently without support. All students will benefit from guided practice and modeling, as teachers work through the text and notebook with them.

One advantage of using the digital text is that reading support tools are built into the platform. The graphic below highlights the reading support tools.

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TCI Tools for Reading Support


The TCI Approach: Preview Activities

TCI lessons follow an inquiry model of learning centered on essential questions followed by four steps: Preview Activities, Engagement Strategies, Processing Assignments, and Timeline/Inquires.

Preview Activities are the first learning activity in each TCI lesson. These are short, engaging tasks that foreshadow upcoming content. Some Preview Activities challenge students to predict what a lesson will be about; others draw a parallel between key social studies concepts and students’ lives. The goal is to spark interest, activate prior knowledge, tap a wide range of intelligences, and prepare students to tackle new concepts.

Preview Activities include:

  • Analogies;
  • Reviewing for Previewing;
  • Comparing Personal Experience with Key Concepts;
  • Creating Simple Prototypes;
  • Predicting;
  • Provocative Propositions;
  • Responding to Visual Images;
  • Responding to Music;
  • “What If” Sketch; and
  • “You Are There” Scenarios

Although Preview Activities are included with each TCI lesson, it is helpful for teachers to understand the underlying principles and have the tools to adapt, customize and develop new Preview Activities.

Click on the interactive guidebook menu below to learn more about Preview Activities.


Creating Assessments in MasteryConnect

MasteryConnect is the District's Assessment Management System (AMS) and is tied to Canvas, the District's Learning Management System (LMS).

Teachers can create formative and summative assessments in MasteryConnect. These assessments can be distributed to students directly throughout MasteryConnect or via Canvas, as an external tool assignment.

Assessment items are available for all core social studies classes, grades 6-11. There are multiple item banks, and individual assessments can draw simultaneously from multiple banks.

  • The Mastery Item Bank (formerly Certica Navigate) - items for all courses.
  • COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (All Caps) bank - only items authored by district-level staff from CCS Curriculum. This bank will evolve, but currently includes items from the Modern World History 9 model lessons and previous exams. Released OST items for American History and American Government from 2021 and 2022 are also loaded in this bank.
  • OH AIR Item Bank - Released OST items for American History and American Government prior to 2020.

Note that all test items in the banks are listed as being aligned with state standards. However, teachers should still vet and evaluate each individual question to ensure alignment and relevance. An aligned question will measure students' understanding of the learning targets.



Using TCI Lessons to Address American History Spring 2022 Item Analysis

Item analysis reports from the Spring 2022 OST show challenges in several standards in American History.

TCI lessons in the adopted History Alive! Pursuing American Ideals program can help address some of these challenges through active learning engagement strategies.

Below is a summary of the OST challenges revealed in the Spring 2022 item analysis and the corresponding TCI lessons.


How Modern World History 9 Prepares Students for Ohio's State Test in American History

Although there is no state test in World History, there is strong alignment between Modern World History 9 and American History 10. Knowledge of key concepts from Modern World History will help students master learning targets in American History and prepare for the OST.

See the correlations document below.


October PD Day

During the September 6 Board Meeting, the district provided notice of a proposed change to the previously adopted Traditional Academic Calendar. The revision moves the current Friday, October 14 Professional Development Day (Non-Attendance Day for Students) to Friday, October 21.

The October PD Day will mostly building-led. However, the Secondary Curriculum Division will provide content-specific presentations to be utilized during one hour of the day.

The Social Studies presentation links will be distributed prior to the PD Day. The presentation is titled: TIE It All Together: CCS Secondary Social Studies Points of Emphasis.This session explores three Points of Emphasis for Secondary Social Studies: Transfer, Inquiry, and Engagement. Participants will learn how District resources can be used to help students: 1) Apply previously acquired knowledge and skills in new learning; 2) Exhibit curiosity, interest, motivation, and critical thinking; and 3) Solve open-ended questions and problems through high-level questions, research, and investigation. This session will explore the Tier 1 Social Studies adopted program (TCI) and the Tier 2/3 social studies literacy intervention and support program (Achieve3000).


TCI Ten, Tuesdays at Ten

TCI Tuesdays are back! Last year we held a series of brief live webinars on Tuesday immediately following the school day. Recordings are available on the CCS Social Studies YouTube channel.

This year we will develop and release a new set of videos for asynchronous viewing. On Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m., teachers will receive an email with a 10 minute video tutorial on using the TCI approach and digital platform. Video tutorials will align with one of three themes:

  • Hidden Gems in TCI Digital;
  • TCI Learning Strategies; and
  • Nuts and Bolts of TCI.

Learn TCI at Your Own Pace



Kids Voting Double Click Democracy Mock Election

Kids Voting Ohio will sponsor the 2022 Double Click Democracy mock election. Library Media Specialists will receive access codes and log-in directions for the election later this month.

Ballot access will be provided through a custom link and also available via Clever.

The November 2022 election consists of elections for:

  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House of Representatives (District 3 and District 15)
  • Governor
  • Ohio Senate
  • Ohio House
  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • Franklin County Auditor
  • Franklin County Commissioner
  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judges
  • Issue 1 Law enforcement and civil and criminal trials
  • Issue 2 Voting policy measures

Mock election ballots will be customized by grade band; not all races will appear for each grade band.


Voter Registration

The General Election will be November 8, 2022.

Here is the timeline of important dates from Ohio Secretary of State.

  • Deadline to Register to Vote: October 11

  • Early In-Person Voting: Begins October 12 and includes the two Saturdays, the Sunday and the Monday before Election Day

  • Absentee Voting By Mail: Begins October 12

  • Election Day: November 8 (Polls Open 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.)

Students who are U.S. citizens and will be 18 years old on or before November 8 are eligible to vote in the General Election. Online registration and downloadable registration forms are available on the Franklin County Board of Elections website.

Kids Voting Ohio is available to support a voter registration drive at your school.