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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is the nation’s leading association of social studies educators at all K-12 grade levels.

NCSS is strongly committed to excellent instruction in social studies in elementary schools. NCSS publications offer elementary teachers lesson plans and class activities in social studies, and focus regularly on children’s literature that is of special value for teaching social studies in the elementary grades. Every year, in cooperation with the Children’s Book Council, NCSS publishes an annual list of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, which identifies and annotates outstanding children’s books published the previous year. All NCSS individual and institutional members receive the issue of the NCSS journal, Social Education, in which this list is published.

The NCSS periodical, Social Studies and the Young Learner, is a benefit of NCSS membership for K-6 elementary educators. This colorful, peer-reviewed journal features teaching ideas, lesson plans, and handouts that enhance social studies teaching in K-6 classrooms.

Click on these links to read two sample articles from past issues of Social Studies and the Young Learner.

‘“Sometimes I Just Crave Information!’ Teaching and Learning with Informational Text,” by Linda B. Gambrell and Barbara A. Marinak.

“Designing Classroom Spaces to Maximize Social Studies Learning,” by Carolyn O’Mahony and Suzanne Siegel

A special category of NCSS membership is “comprehensive membership.” NCSS comprehensive members automatically receive books in the NCSS Bulletin series (free of charge.

Information about membership in NCSS is available at

In 2010, NCSS developed and published the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. These national standards establish learning expectations for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The standards place a special emphasis on the purposes of social studies, questions for exploration, expectations for the development of the knowledge and abilities of students, and products through which learners demonstrate understanding. Further information about the standards is available at


National Council for the Social Studies
8555 16th St., Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910