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Social Studies and the Young Learner

A Pocketful of History

--Sherry L. Field and Linda D. Labbo
Read a biography. Then examine "pocket contents." In Lincoln's vest pocket? A draft for a speech, theater tickets, and a photograph of his family, among other items. "Artifacts" are suggested for the pockets of Benito Juarez (president of Mexico), Grandma Moses (artist), Mary McLeod Bethune (black educator), and others.

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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage (Equality): Welcoming Diverse Families in the Elementary Classroom

The use of trade books to foster discussion of historical events and major Supreme Court decisions in the elementary classroom can serve as a powerful method through which elementary students can begin to see themselves as active contributors to the communities and worlds in which they live. In this article and the accompanying lesson plan, the authors share ways to teach about Supreme Court decisions —specifically the decisions that have affected marriage equality—with the C3 Framework.

Social Studies and the Young Learner November/December 2018

Nov-Dec 2018 SSYL Cover showing student role playing as figure from history

This issue of Social Studies and the Young Learner challenges readers to consider examples of challenging and innovative lessons, adapt activities for their own student population, and try them out in the classroom.

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Pullout: An Inspiring Person in My Life Melinda Hammerschmidt, Dea Borneman, Steven S. Lapham

In the article “Inspiring Americans: Creating a Community of Engaged Citizens” (pp. 12–16), the authors suggest that children can study biographies of less-known citizens that are diverse in many ways. In this Pullout, we offer an extension activity that brings the topic close to home and school. PreK-Elementary     US History

 

Using Social Studies to Lead Project-Based Learning: An Innovative Teacher’s Story Patti Brooks, Tracy C. Rock

Teachers across the nation and world are experimenting with inquiry-driven pedagogy like Project Based Learning to improve student learning. Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and allows deeper content and skill development that is needed for success in college, career and civic life. PreK-Elementary     Pedagogy

 

Inspiring Americans: Creating a Community of Engaged Citizens in the First Grade Melinda Hammerschmidt, Dea Borneman

The study of famous Americans has been a long-accepted approach in teaching elementary students about the history of the United States. The first grade unit we describe here, Inspiring Americans, supports the four dimensions of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework, PreK-Elementary     US History

 

Justice Pedagogy: Grade 1–3 Students Challenge Racist Statues Meir Muller

Pre-service teachers in a social studies methods course designed to address issues of inequity and privilege, engaged elementary students in a ten-week inquiry project. Based on this project, this article shares insights about the processes involved in enacting justice-focused pedagogy. PreK-Elementary     US History, Civics/Government

 

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage (Equality): Welcoming Diverse Families in the Elementary Classroom Selena E. Van Horn, Andrea M. Hawkman

The use of trade books to foster discussion of historical events and major Supreme Court decisions in the elementary classroom can serve as a powerful method through which elementary students can begin to see themselves as active contributors to the communities and worlds in which they live. In this article and the accompanying lesson plan, the authors share ways to teach about Supreme Court decisions —specifically the decisions that have affected marriage equality—with the C3 Framework. PreK-Elementary     Civics/Government, US History

Affirming Indigenous Sovereignty: A Civics Inquiry

Indigenous sovereignty is an essential component of civics education. Historical and contemporary examples of infringements on the sovereign rights of Native nations exist, in part, due to the disregard of tribal sovereignty, nationhood, and citizenship. Given the aims of inquiry leading to informed action, we see a strong fit for using the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework as an entry to instructional planning about Indigenous sovereignty for upper elementary social studies.

Social Studies and the Young Learner September/October 2018

This fall issue of Social Studies and the Young Learner includes an amazing variety of high-quality articles for elementary educators.


 

Pullout: Indigenous Sovereignty in the News

Student Handouts for reasearching current issues dealing with indigenous sovereigenty. PreK-Elementary     World History

 

Editor's Notes Scott Waring

This fall issue of Social Studies and the Young Learner includes an amazing variety of high-quality articles for elementary educators. PreK-Elementary    

 

Teach like Socrates: Encouraging Critical Thinking in Elementary Social Studies Amy Allen

Who decides when children are ready to talk about hard issues? At what point are our students willing and able to become critical consumers of society? To develop as critical thinkers and instrumental players in the transformation of our future society, young citizens need to participate in authentic activities that will foster critical thinking skills early in their academic careers. In my combined second-and-third grade classroom, I have been systematically implementing various strategies to create what I call a Socratic classroom. PreK-Elementary    

 

Affirming Indigenous Sovereignty: A Civics Inquiry Sarah B. Shear, Leilani Sabzalian, Lisa Brown Buchanan

Indigenous sovereignty is an essential component of civics education. Historical and contemporary examples of infringements on the sovereign rights of Native nations exist, in part, due to the disregard of tribal sovereignty, nationhood, and citizenship. Given the aims of inquiry leading to informed action, we see a strong fit for using the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework as an entry to instructional planning about Indigenous sovereignty for upper elementary social studies. In this article, the authors outline a four-part unit that incorporates academic keywords, provides a foundation for understanding Indigenous sovereignty, and deliberates current events related to sovereignty. PreK-Elementary    

 

Pink Teas, Pickets, and President Wilson: Organizing for the Passage of the 19th Amendment Bárbara C. Cruz

At the turn of the 20th century, Pink Teas (alternately known as “suffrage teas”) were held by women who championed women’s right to vote. In this article, the author provides historical background on Pink Teas and ideas of how to teach about them in the elementary classroom. PreK-Elementary    

 

The Measurement and Meaning of Landmarks: Integrating Social Studies and Math in Fifth Grade Lessons Valerie Widdall, Muteb Alqahtani, Thomas Kraly

In many elementary classrooms nationwide, less and less time is spent on social studies. Lack of attention to social studies is evident in states like New York where teacher evaluations are contingent on students’ performance on two subjects: English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. In this article, the authors describe their experience integrating social studies and mathematics in a fifth grade classroom. The authors strove to provide elementary educators with a lesson integration model that uses historical investigation as a vehicle for learning other subjects such as mathematics. PreK-Elementary     Geography

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