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

January 2020

In this edition:

  • Curriculum and Instruction: Big Ideas and Overarching Essential Questions
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Transition to Revised Standards in American History and American Government
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Online Resources for World History, American History, and American Government
  • Ohio's State Tests: Quick Review Guides
  • Professional Development: Joint Department Chair and MS Content Experts PD
  • External PD: Friends of the National World War II Memorial Summer Conference
  • External PD: NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes


Big Ideas and Overarching Essential Questions in Social Studies

This year's Department Chair professional development sessions are focused on establishing a vision for social studies and connecting classroom practices with our vision. The first three meetings have focused on Big Ideas and Overarching Essential Questions.

Big Ideas and Overarching Essential Questions serve three fundamental purposes:
  1. Establishing a clear vision, purpose, and focus for social studies instruction across all courses;
  2. Linking big picture concepts (macro-curriculum) with daily instructional practices (micro-curriculum); and
  3. Making social studies relevant to student success in college, career, and civic life.

The Big Ideas collectively identified for all CCS social studies courses are:

  • Change;
  • Democracy;
  • Diversity;
  • Evidence;
  • Justice; and
  • Power.

View and download the document below to see the Big Ideas and Overarching Essential Questions. This document will guide the development of social studies curriculum moving forward.

Click on the image to download a PDF


Transition to Revised Standards in American History and American Government for 2020-2021

As you may know, the transition to Ohio's Learning Standards (2018) began this year for Social Studies 6-8 and Modern World History 9. This transition will be complete in 2020-2021 as high school American History and American Government curriculum and state tests are aligned with 2018 standards.

This spring and summer we will make the necessary changes in Curriculum Maps, Clear Learning Targets, and Model Lessons for American History and American Government.

Some of the changes involve only minor wording revisions. In American History, there are more substantial changes in the language of the founding documents standards to emphasize the impact instead of the origins of the founding documents. In American Government, standards related to the amendments have been consolidated and focus on the collective impact of groups of amendments rather than memorizing individual amendment numbers.

A complete crosswalk of the old and new standards will be posted this spring. Again, these changes do not take effect until next school-year, 2020-2021.


Featured Online Resources for World History, American History, and American Government

The free resource portals below provide high-quality instructional materials for social studies classrooms.

The website provides a robust collection of thousands of primary source documents, organized thematically and chronologically. Teachers can create a free account and build custom collections of primary sources.

The World History OER Project is a new and evolving open-source curriculum. This curriculum includes videos, readings, vocabulary activities, and additional instructional resources. It includes the best resources from the Big History Project, but also provides a 1750-present scope for Modern World History classes.

iCivics provides a wealth of resources for American Government teachers. Teachers can download full curriculum units with turnkey lessons and student handouts. Students can also play online video games that teach key concepts in American Government.

The Stanford History Education Group has released its new Civic Online Reasoning (COR) curriculum resource portal. The COR curriculum provides free lessons and assessments that help you teach students to evaluate online information that affects them, their communities, and the world.


Big picture

Quick Review Guides

The Quick Review Guides are one-page front/back documents with bullet points of key vocabulary and concepts to know for Ohio's State Tests. The Quick Reviews can be downloaded here for American History and here for American Government.

Hard copies of the Quick Review Guides are also available in card stock. To order card stock copies, complete the form here. Keep in mind that new guides will be developed for the 2020-2021 school-year to align with the 2018 standards revision. You will only need to order enough for this year's students and discard them at the end of the year.


Joint Department Chair and MS Content Experts January PD

This month the Department Chairs and Middle School Content Experts will take a break from regularly scheduled programming for a joint meeting on January 14, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Southland Center, 3700 S. High Street.

The focus of this meeting will be raising awareness about the 2020 Census. A Census in Schools campaign representative will discuss the importance of the census to ensuring proper representation and funding allocation. We will also have the opportunity to explore the excellent lessons from the Statistics in Schools website.


External Professional Development

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.