The Social Studies Connection

A Newsletter for Secondary Social Studies Teachers in CCS

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

If you missed last month's edition of the Social Studies Connection, click here.

Matthew I. Doran

Secondary Social Studies Specialist

Office of Teaching & Learning

Curriculum Division

Southland Center

November 2020

In this edition:

  • Professional Development: Visible Learning for Social Studies PD Day Resources
  • Student Programs: Kids Voting Election
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Election 2020 Resources
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Veterans Day, November 11
  • Curriculum and Instruction: DBQ Online
  • Ohio's State Tests: Updated Resources for Ohio State's Tests
  • Virtual Learning Resources: Google Drawings Graphic Organizers
  • Virtual Learning Resources: Google Slides Choice Activity Templates
  • Virtual Learning Resources: Social Studies Virtual Learning Padlet of Padlets


October 16 PD Day Recordings and Resources

Student Programs

Kids Voting USA Presidential Election

Although Kids Voting Central Ohio is no longer operational, you can have students participate in the Kids Voting USA Double Click Democracy mock presidential election. The ballot will only include candidates for President/Vice-President. Coordinate with your school's Library Media Specialist if you would like to participate. Students can vote through November 3.

See the Election 2020 resources below.

Election 2020

With only a few days to go before election day, here are some resources for teaching about this year's Presidential election:

  • DocsTeach Elections and Voting - you will find resources for teaching about elections and voting – from the campaign trail, to the Electoral College, to the expansion of voting rights.

  • National Constitution Center: Live Scholar Exchanges - Scholar Exchanges give students the opportunity to learn about constitutional issues, while interacting with a constitutional expert, historian, or federal judge.

  • PBS Learning: Election Central - Keep up with with election news, study the history and process of presidential elections, explore voting rights, and engage in classroom debates with these videos, activities, and lesson plans.

  • New York Times: Teach and Learn with the 2020 Election - Writing Prompts, Challenges, Lesson Plans and Other Resources for Teachers and Students

  • Scholastic: Elections - Track local and national elections or host an election in your classroom with students, historical figures, or book characters as candidates! You can also encourage independent research with assorted articles from Scholastic GO! and an election book list.

  • iCivics Election Headquarters - Dive into the election curriculum with these print-and-go lesson plans that include simulations, vocabulary development, graphic organizers, and active participation opportunities.


Veterans Day Requirement

Ohio Revised Code 3313.602(D) requires that each school devote at least one hour or one standard class period on or around Veterans Day, November 11, to an observance that conveys the meaning and significance of the day.

Teaching resources include:


DBQ Online

As we continue with virtual learning in second quarter, we want to consider ways of continuing to increase rigor and engagement in the remote setting.

The DBQ Project's full library of DBQs are available for grades 6-12 this year. This includes the full version DBQs in American History and World History, as well as Mini-Qs in American History, World History, Geography, Economics, and Literature. Teachers have the ability to customize these assignments--anything from a single document to a full DBQ with essay task.

Teachers and students access DBQ Online through Clever:

See the updated CCS DBQ Online Home Base page for directions and tutorials.

If you would like to request a DBQ online Demo for your TBT, please email to schedule a time.


Updated Resources for Preparing for Ohio's State Tests in American History and American Government

Currently, students taking HS American History and American Government are slated to take Ohio's State Tests in the spring. This year's test will be the first to be aligned with the 2018 revision of Ohio's Learning Standards for Social Studies. The core curriculum documents reflect these changes in the standards. The updated review documents below provide additional support materials for the revised standards/tests.

American History

  • American History Test Specs - Test Blueprint, Description of Stimulus and Item Types, Item Format and Interaction Types, Depth of Knowledge, Specific Guidelines for Item Development, and Sample Items

  • American History Quick Review - 1-page (front/back) review guide with bullet points of key vocabulary and concepts to know

  • American History Student Review Guide (Google Docs) - Unit-by-unit summaries of learning targets with review questions and practice assessments can be completed online in Google Docs. Select "File">"Make a copy..." for each document; please do not request edit access to the original template.

American Government

  • American Government Test Specs - Test Blueprint, Description of Stimulus and Item Types, Item Format and Interaction Types, Depth of Knowledge, Specific Guidelines for Item Development, and Sample Items


Virtual Learning Resources

As virtual learning continues, the resources below can assist with teaching and learning.

Google Drawings Graphic Organizers

Google Drawings is great tool for having students complete online graphic organizers. From the links below, teachers can click on the "Use Template" button and make a copy of each organizer. In Google Classroom, teachers can link a drawing in an assignment as "Each student gets a copy." Students will then be able to double-click in each of the editable boxes and submit their work.

This collection of over 30 graphic organizers was created by CCS Social Studies to align with many of the suggested organizers in the curriculum. Click on the link below to access.

Google Slides Choice Activities Templates

The Google Slides templates below can be used to provide students with choice-based activities. Teachers can include directions in the templates, and students can complete or link their work directly in the slides.

Templates include:

  • Choice Board;
  • Menu of Options;
  • Layered Curriculum; and
  • Digital Interactive Student Notebook

In Google Classroom, teachers can link a slide deck in an assignment as "Each student gets a copy." From the links below, teachers can click on the "Use Template" button and make a copy of each slide deck.

Social Studies Virtual Learning Padlet of Padlets

Check on the master padlet below for links to additional social studies virtual learning resources. These include curated collections of reading and resources collections, video tutorials, and interactive social studies apps.