A Newsletter for the CCS K-12 Social Studies Community

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Fall 2016

Inside this edition:

  • Welcome Chris Weatherholtz to the K-5 Curriculum Team
  • Curriculum Update: Elementary Social Studies
  • Curriculum Update: High School Curriculum Resources
  • Curriculum Update: HS Social Studies Academic Electives
  • Curriculum Update: Middle School Grade 6 Revision
  • Student Programs: Constitution Day, September 17
  • Student Programs: Kids Voting
  • Digital Resources: Google Apps for Education
  • Digital Resources: INFOhio


Welcome Chris Weatherholtz to the K-5 Curriculum Team

Chris Weatherholtz has joined the K-5 Curriculum Team in the Office of Teaching and Learning. She is serving as a Science & Social Studies Coordinator, along with providing support for Division 2 schools. Chris will work with Lynda Ray, K-5 Social Studies Coordinator, to enhance elementary curriculum, professional development, and instructional support. Her office is located at Stewart Alternative Elementary. You can reach her by phone at 365-5556 or by email Welcome Chris!


Curriculum Update: Elementary Social Studies (K-5)

The CCS Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Resources on the Social Studies Department website are current for this new school year. Curriculum resources with a 2015-2016 date are the current resources.

Please visit the Social Studies Curriculum webpage and Social Studies Instructional Resource Portal to access the Clear Learning Targets, Curriculum Maps and Standards, and other instructional resources organized by grade level. The department will continue to foster teacher clarity by emphasizing the use of the Clear Learning Targets to guide Social Studies instruction and ELA integration.

Beyond our website, we want to help teachers make a difference with their students. Please email Lynda Ray ( or Chris Weatherholtz ( for any questions or suggestions. We are here for you!

Finally, if you would like to share any exciting events about social studies programming at your school, please contact us. We would love to share your news!


Curriculum Update: High School Curriculum Resources

The Social Studies Instructional Resource Portal has been expanded to include all HS courses. Each course now has its own separate webpage available from the main page on the SSIRP: Note that Academic Elective courses (African-American Studies, Global Issues, Law, Sociology/Psychology) are one page, emphasizing the common approach in the new curriculum for these courses.

The Clear Learning Targets have been expanded to include a second page for each target with the content elaborations, strategies, and sample question stems. These documents are on the course pages or the main page for Social Studies curriculum ( The Curriculum Map for American Government has been revised for 2016-2017. The Clear Learning Targets for Academic Electives are new, and the Curriculum Maps for those courses have been revised. All other resources with a 2015-2016 date are the most recent. To reduce redundancy, the unit plans have been eliminated, with content moved to the other the curriculum documents and external links posted directly to the website.

A few of the resources, such as the Model Lessons for World and American History, are linked to files in Google Drive. See directions below for accessing the CCS Google Drive. These files are still in the K-12 Social Studies Teachers Hub on Blackboard as well.


Curriculum Update: HS Social Studies Academic Electives

Beginning in 2016-2017, we have a new set of common skills and reasoning learning targets for Social Studies Academic Electives: African-American Studies, Global Issues, Law, Sociology/Psychology. These targets are adapted from the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework. They emphasize the critical thinking skills and disciplinary concepts and tools of social studies.

We have purposely avoided a detailed list of content objectives. We want these courses to focus on depth and a “less is more” approach to content. Teachers will have the flexibility to work with their students to shape the specific direction of course content that is most meaningful.

The Clear Learning Targets, Curriculum Maps, and instructional resources for these courses are located here:


Curriculum Update: Social Studies 6 Curriculum Map

The Social Studies 6 Curriculum Map for 2016-2017 has been revised in an effort to better align with state standards and prepare students for Social Studies 6 State Test. You can download this document from the Social Studies Instructional Resource Portal for Grade 6: In the past, this course has taken a region-by-region approach. In this approach, sometimes the skills and concepts students need to master are easily lost in the sea of information about each region.

Aside from the early civilizations content in Learning Target 2, there is very little factual information students need to know about each region. Instead they are asked to apply their understanding of key concepts and skills across the four strands - history, government, geography, and economics. Thus, Social Studies 6 is not a traditional geography course, or an ancient history course, but an integrated social studies course that uses the Eastern Hemisphere as its lens.

The new curriculum map uses a standards-based approach to the study of the Eastern Hemisphere. Units are built around learning targets, rather than specific regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. Within each unit, there is wide latitude for teachers and students to use maps, examples, case studies, etc. from various regions (past and present) to illustrate the key concepts and skills in the unit.

The learning targets in Unit 1 are foundational and skills targets that should reinforced throughout the study of the Eastern Hemisphere. There are also other natural connections between learning targets in different units (e.g. economics and trade in history) that should be made. See the Clear Learning Targets for unpacked targets, instructional strategies, and assessment tasks.

FAQ: What resources should we use to teach Social Studies 6?

The best approach is to use a variety of resources (printed and online) in a student-centered environment. The textbook, World Studies: Eastern Hemisphere is not aligned directly with the current standards. Therefore, it cannot be used as a curriculum map to drive instruction (i.e. moving through chapter-by-chapter). The textbook may, however, be one useful reference tool. A textbook correlation chart is available on the Social Studies Instructional Resource Portal for Grade 6. The textbook pages in the correlation chart contain information related to the Content Statement/Learning Targets. It is not, however, presumed that the textbook chapters, sections, or pages are fully aligned or address the standards completely.

Jarrett Publishing has produced a supplemental workbook, Mastering Ohio's Grade 6 Social Studies Test. Directly aligned with the state standards, this book provides content readings and practice assessment items. Contact Matt Doran ( if you need this book.


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Student Programs: Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day. The purpose of Constitution Day is to commemorate the signing of the supreme law of the land in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Federal law requires that all schools receiving federal funds hold an educational program for their students on September 17 of each year.

Constitution Day lessons and resources are available on the Social Studies website:


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Student Programs: Kids Voting Central Ohio

From simple lessons about democracy, to hands-on voting experiences, to working as election officials, Kids Voting is where civics starts. Teachers in participating school districts can find our K-12 curriculum activities and information about programs for their students.

All CCS students in grades K-12 will have the opportunity to participate in the Kids Voting DoubleClick Democracy election. The ballot for the November general election will be available beginning October 17 and running through Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. School Library Media Specialists will have the information on how to participate. Election 2016 resources are available on the Kids Voting website:

Kids Voting also coordinates the Youth at the Booth program in cooperation with the Franklin County Boards of Elections. High School Seniors in good standing who are 17 years-old or older are eligible to become election officials with approval from their school. Completed forms are due to the Franklin County Board of Elections by August 31, 2016. Information and forms are available on the Kids Voting website:


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CCS Google Apps for Education

Did you know that your CCS email address works as a Google sign-in? CCS is a Google Apps for Education site. Go to (not and sign-in with your CCS email address (including the and password. You have unlimited file storage in Google Drive. You also have access to a full suite of Google Apps including Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets, Sites, Google Classroom, YouTube, and more.


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INFOhio: Ohio's PreK-12 Digital Library

INFOhio transforms teaching and learning by connecting educational resources with the power of information technology.

INFOhio's extensive digital collections and databases are free for Ohio teachers and students. If you are working from a district computer or public library, you will automatically be logged-in. If you are working from home, you will need to use the district username and password.

Social Studies teachers may be especially interested in the following resources from INFOhio:

CCS Social Studies Coordinators Matt Doran and Lynda Ray are certified INFOhio I-Coaches and can provide on-site professional development and support for your school or classroom.


Columbus City Schools Social Studies

Mission: Support, build capacity, and empower all members of the teaching and learning community to increase student achievement

Matt Doran, 6-12 Social Studies Coordinator

Lynda Ray, K-5 Social Studies Coordinator

Chris Weatherholtz, K-5 Science/Social Studies Coordinator