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

September 2019

In this edition:

  • CCS Social Studies Points of Emphasis: College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework
  • Professional Development: CCS Social Studies Professional Learning On-Demand
  • Professional Development: Middle School Content Experts PD
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Constitution Day, September 17, 2019
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Refreshed Middle School Course Sites
  • State Testing: Using Edulastic to Prepare for State Tests
  • Student Programs: National Geographic Geochallenge
  • Student Programs: High School Mock Trial


CCS Social Studies Points of Emphasis

This year our Points of Emphasis are aligned directly with the four dimensions of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework: 1) Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries; 2) Applying Disciplinary Concepts & Tools; 3) Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence; and 4) Communicating Conclusions and Take Informed Action.

Developed by the National Council for the Social Studies, the C3 Framework helps guide the development of inquiry-based units.For sample inquiry units aligned with C3, check out the collection from

HS Department Chair and MS Content Expert sessions will focus on the C3 Framework. The C3 Framework works well as an overarching framework for all 6-12 social studies courses.


CCS Social Studies Professional Learning On-Demand (POD)

The Social Studies Professional learning On-Demand (POD) webpage ( has been revamped to include resources from workshops and webinars from the past several years. The new POD page includes embedded folders of slide decks, handouts, and links to promote your professional growth and team planning.

Topics currently include:

  • C3 Framework
  • Differentiation
  • Literacy/Close Reading
  • MS Content Experts
  • Ohio's State Tests
  • Social Studies Skills
  • Teacher Clarity & Unpacking Standards
  • Technology & Blending Learning

Additional resources will be added to the folders throughout the year.


Middle School Content Experts PD

The Middle School Content Experts professional development program provides an opportunity for teachers to strengthen their Pedagogical Content Knowledge. This year's program will begin in September, with sessions taking place every other month. Meetings will be held on Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Southland Center, 3700 S. High Street.

  • September 17, 2019
  • November 19, 2019
  • January 14, 2020 (combined with HS Department Chairs)
  • March 17, 2020
  • May 19, 2020

All teachers of social studies in grades 6-8 are invited to apply. To apply for the MS Content Experts program, please complete the form here:


Constitution Day, September 17, 2019

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.

Teacher Resources:

Interactive Student Resources:


Refreshed Middle School Social Studies Course Sites

Many years ago, CCS Social Studies invested heavily in internal curriculum writing. As funding dried up, we moved to a new model of development: content curation. Content curation involves the selective identification, organization, and annotation of open-source resources. While curated content often requires some extra steps to access and utilize, it also provides high-quality resources more effectively and efficiently than in-house development.

The Social Studies Course Sites serve as the portals for grade-level and unit-specific curated resources. Over the summer, many new resources were added to the middle school course sites from nationally-recognized social studies content, skills, and literacy providers. These include:

  • Achieve3000 - district-adopted literacy intervention platform; log-in through Clever
  • Achieve the Core - literacy based lessons driven by social studies content
  • American Social History Project - primary and secondary source lessons
  • C3 Teachers - inquiry-based units aligned with the C3 Framework
  • Common Lit - social studies content articles with text-dependent questions
  • Core Knowledge - foundational topics curriculum
  • iCivics - interactive games and lessons
  • Literacy Collaborative - teacher generator content focused on use of argumentation
  • Read.Inquire.Write - inquiry-based investigations emphasizing evidence-based writing
  • Reading Like a Historian - skilled based lessons focused on source analysis and evidence

Note: Due to Newsela's decision to require a paid subscription to access most content, links to Newsela lessons have been removed from the Course Sites.

Unlike the static PDF files of old curriculum guides, the Course Sites are dynamic. If you don't find something you are looking for, keep checking the site throughout the year. New resources are added throughout the year as they become available from various content providers.

Course sites are linked from the Social Studies Instruction page here: To access Course Sites, you will first need to log in to Google with your CCS email address and password. If you get a "404" message, you are not logged in to CCS G Suite (you may be logged in with a personal account).


State Testing

Geo Challenge

National Geographic has launched a new real world problem/project based STEM team learning opportunity called GeoChallenge. There are two divisions (Grades 4-5) and (Grades 6-8). This differentiated learning opportunity is a great way to increase engagement and challenge. GeoChallenge is free to schools/classrooms with no obligation even after a school registers.

This year's theme, Tackling Plastic, is the same as last year. Students research the impact of single use plastic on the environment, particularly in our waterways, as well as find a solution to minimize the plastic pollution problem. The impact and outcome of the solution should be multifaceted including research, technology and innovation, critical and creative thinking, designing models/prototypes, and creating maps to name several.

Teams with the best projects can advance to the regional and national levels of the competition. Learn more about GeoChallenge here:


High School Mock Trial 2019-2020

Ohio Mock Trial offers an innovative approach to learning about law and how our legal system functions. Guided by teachers and volunteer legal advisors, students participate in an original, unscripted, simulated trial written by attorneys. High school students argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms. For more information about Mock Trial, see the following webpage:

To compete in the Ohio Mock Trial program, each school needs a team advisor. The advisor position is a supplemental contract granted by the building principal. The pay for the position is established by Article 905.01 (Group B) of the Master Agreement. If you are interested in advising a Mock Trial team at your school, please speak with your building principal regarding this position. Principals should complete the supplemental contract appointment form and submit it to Human Resources. Also, please contact Matt Doran as soon as possible so we can order case materials for your team. The cost of case materials and team competition are covered by the Social Studies Office. Substitute requests should be submitted by the building administration as a "Student Activity Sub" request.