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Social Studies and the Young Learner March/April 2020

SSYL March-April 2020 Cover- depicting toddlers in pre-k classroom

In an exchange of letters, Bonnie Meszaros discusses “Defining Economic Terms at the Elementary Level,” and in a response, Jennifer Gallagher proposes “Expanding the Economics Curriculum.” 

In the first article, “Teaching World Communities as Cultural Translation: A Third Grade Unit of Study,” Debbie Sonu and Hanadi Shatara bridge scholar- ship in global education with elementary classroom teaching. They present a series of three lessons that push against the treatment of national culture as fixed and stable. In these lessons, the authors focus on examining the convergences and dispersals of language around the world. 

In “Using Virtual Reality (VR) to Enhance C3Framework Inquiry,” Heather N. HaganAlex G. Fegely, and George H. Warriner, III present ideas about how virtual reality (VR) can be used to provide learning experiences across time and space. After introducing VR, they analyze how it can be used as a part of C3 Framework inquiry in various ways (e.g., materials, instructional considerations, and classroom management), and they suggest some lesson possibilities. 

In the article, “‘Women are as Important as Men’: Third Graders Investigate Diverse Women in U.S. History,” Janie HubbardMonisha F. Moore, and Lois McFadyen Christensen describe inquiry lessons in which a classroom teacher and two K-6 social studies methods instructors collaborate to introduce students to the contributions and achievements of diverse women. These biographies go beyond the people and histories typically taught during the delimited Women’s History Month. Student handouts to accompany the lesson appear in this issue’s Pullout. 

Elizabeth E. Saylor and Mardi Schmeichel invite students to consider who gets memorialized, and why, in their article, “Breaking the ‘Bronze Ceiling’: Investigating a Monumental Inequality.” The movement to overcome the barrier of representation in monuments, or the “bronze ceiling,” is an effort to draw attention to the creation of monuments, and to illuminate the dearth of specific individuals and groups in which they represent. 

Elizabeth Kenyon and Jennifer Lampe’s article, “Citizen Toddler: Spreading the Message about Caring for Our Planet,” highlights how a class of toddlers spread their message about composting and repacking food. This curriculum emerged out of the students’ interests, and it connected students’ classroom experiences to their homes and communities, fostering a sense of power and agency in some of our youngest neighbors. 

 


 

Editor's Notes
Scott Waring

PreK-Elementary    

 

Teaching World Communities as Cultural Translation: A Third Grade Unit of Study
Debbie Sonu, Hanadi Shatara

This article bridges scholarship in global education with ele- mentary classroom teaching by presenting a series of lessons that challenge the idea of national culture as fixed and stable. PreK-Elementary     Global Studies, General Social Studies

 

Using Virtual Reality (VR) to Enhance C3 Framework Inquiry
Heather N. Hagan:Alex G. Fegely, George H. Warriner, III

In this article, we discuss how virtual reality (VR) can be used to provide learning experiences across time and space. After a brief introduction to VR technology, we discuss how VR can be used as a part of College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) inquiry in your elementary classroom, including management, materials, instructional considerations, and lesson examples. PreK-Elementary    

 

Women are as Important as Men: Third Graders Investigate Diverse Women in U.S. History
anie Hubbard, Monisha F. Moore, Lois McFadyen Christensen

Young children’s self-identification and self-identity are essentially a set of conscious and unconscious beliefs built from experiences.2 Students’ self-image, and their understanding of society, can change when they research how women contributed to our nation and to our daily lives. Such lessons can render these historical figures accessible and relevant.

We created a lesson based on inquiry activities as described in the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, introducing students to a compelling question: “Why do we celebrate Women’s History Month?”

The lesson described featured women who are mostly unknown and understudied. We hope it is part of a trend to enrich K-6 social studies and to bring inquiry methods into our teaching.

PreK-Elementary     US History

 

Pullout: Phenomenal Women to Research and Discuss
anie Hubbard, Monisha F. Moore, Lois McFadyen Christensen

Pullout to Accompany PreK-Elementary     US History

 

Breaking the Bronze Ceiling: Investigating a Monumental Inequality
Elizabeth E. Saylor, Mardi Schmeichel

We live in a time when the question of who is (or is not) depicted in public monuments is a topic of heated discussions across the nation. For example, the removal of Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, resulted in a violent protest in 2017. Such debates concerning the display and preservation of Civil War monuments center around concerns that Confederate monuments romanticize the pro-slavery South and fail to acknowledge the racial oppression that fueled the Civil War. But issues about Civil War monuments are part of a larger discussion about the effect of monuments in public spaces. The presence of these monuments, and what they symbolize to different groups of people in the communities in which they are located, has highlighted the important role that public art can have in our culture.

In this article, the authors describe a lesson that engages students in considering the bronze ceiling in relation to the presence and absence of women from public art.

PreK-Elementary     US History, Civics/Government

 

Citizen Toddler: Spreading the Message about Caring for Our Planet
Elizabeth Kenyon, Jennifer Lampe

The article highlights how a class of toddlers spread their message about composting and repacking food. This curriculum emerged out of the students' interests, and it connected students' classroom experiences to their homes and communities, fostering a sense of power and agency in some of our youngest neighbors. PreK-Elementary     General Social Studies
Vol.: 
32
Number: 
4