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Social Studies and the Young Learner March/April 2019

March-April 2019 SSYL Cover

In the first article in this spring issue, “Reflective Discussion Circles: A Method for Promoting Civic Engagement,” Mary McGriff and Shalise Clemons describe an activity that “brings together best-practice research related to oral discourse in reading, assessment, and civic engagement to provide a process for analytic, self- reflective student dialogue.”

Jesse A. Haight and Vanessa C. Boryenace met with preK and K girls to read and discuss books about woman who worked to improve society. In their article, “Inspriring Young Girls’ Civic Engagement with Biographies of Women,” they describe how young learners began thinking about what it means, even at their age, to act as agents of social change.

The third article, “Reading and Analyzing, and Creating Informational Graphics in the Elementary Classroom,” provides an overview of some commonly used graphic forms, and then suggests a way to approach an upper elementary les- son that incorporates the use of a graphical analysis strategy aligned with the C3 Framework. The authors—Emma S. Thacker, Jeremy D. Stoddard, and Stephanie van Hover—also provide the Pullout for this issue, handouts that includes a set of sample graphics with explanatory captions for students to consider.

Donald R. McClure and Kecia I. Robinson’s article, “’Even If She Fell Down, She Kept Getting Up!’ Teaching Women’s History through the Olympics,” introduces students to athletic pioneers and innovators, from one of the first woman Olympians in modern times (golfer Margaret Abbott), to today’s multi-medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles.

Continuing the athletic theme, Alyssa J. Whitford offers “Sports Reporter Mary Garber: Expanding the Trailblazer Approach to Women’s History.” Garber overcame professional barriers and biases against women reporters to win an enthusiastic national readership.

In “Behind the Lens: Sourcing Historical Photos with KidCitizen,” Bretton A. Varga, Ilene R. Berson, Michael J. Berson, and Bert Snow describe “sourcing” as “exploring who produced a document to better understand that person’s motivations for choosing an even to focus on and how to represent it,” and they suggest resources and related activities for the classroom.


 

Reflective Discussion Circles: A Method for Promoting Civic Engagement Mary McGriff, Shalise Clemons

The abilities to listen reflectively and speak respectfully con- cerning another person’s opinion, as well as to think critically about that opinion and one’s own, are essential to a functioning democracy. The teaching and learning of these abilities is well incorporated into the social studies and English language arts standards that are used to inform state and local curricular guidelines throughout most of the United States. This article describes a method of teaching civic discussion and offers a step-by-step guide for classroom implementation. It then provides an illustration of how this method is used in a 5th grade classroom. PreK-Elementary     Civics/Government

 

Inspiring Young Girls' Civic Engagement with Biographies of Women Jesse A. Haight, Vanessa C. Boryenace

A troubling observation is that—outside of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, during which students are acquiring some knowledge about noteworthy women and minorities—teachers in every grade level often teach about the same figures rather than expanding their lessons to include less-conventional or less-well-known individuals. To address these gender equity gaps related to social studies instruction, the authors established “Little Leaders,” a group consisting of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten girls. PreK-Elementary     US History, Civics/Government

 

Reading, Analyzing, and Creating Informational Graphics in the Elementary Classroom Emma S. Thacker, Jeremy D. Stoddard, Stephanie van Hover

From maps, graphs, and tables to photographs and political cartoons, social studies is replete with potentially rich visual images for students to analyze. Yet, elementary students often struggle to understand the information within such graphics. In this article, we first provide an overview of some commonly used graphics, and then suggest a way to approach an upper elementary lesson that incorporates the use of a graphical analysis strategy aligned with the C3 Framework to help prepare students to be effective, critical consumers and producers of such visuals. PreK-Elementary     Pedagogy

 

“Even If She Fell Down, She Kept Getting Up!”: Teaching Women’s History through the Olympics Donald R. McClure, Kecia I. Robinson

Sports can be a unique platform to teach third-grade students about women’s history and civic values. This lesson addresses two social studies practices for the third grade in the New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework (Gathering, Interpreting, and Using Evidence; and Chronological Reasoning and Causation) and three themes from the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (TIME, CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE; PEOPLE, PLACES, AND ENVIRONMENTS; and INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY). PreK-Elementary     US History, Civics/Government

 

Sports Reporter Mary Garber: Expanding the Trailblazer Approach to Women’s History Alyssa J. Whitford

While guest teaching in a third-grade classroom as part of her doctoral studies, the author became interested in how students think about female pioneers and what it means to be first in a historical sense. This article explores the potential of interactive read-aloud books to teach women’s history with young students. PreK-Elementary     US History, Pedagogy

 

Behind the Lens: Sourcing Historical Photos with KidCitizen Bretton A. Varga, Ilene R. Berson, Michael J. Berson, Bert Snow

Discerning the intent of the author of a historical document is critical as we seek to interpret it. Disciplinary literacy uses specialized skills that seek to maximize student engagement and achievement within specified subject areas.1 In social stud- ies, one of these critical skills is “sourcing.” Sourcing involves exploring who produced a document to better understand that person’s motivations for choosing an event to focus on and how to represent it. This article explores a free set of digital inter-actives that introduces a unique and exciting way for elementary age students to engage with history through primary source inquiry PreK-Elementary     US History
Vol.: 
31
Number: 
4