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.
Teach like Socrates: Encouraging Critical Thinking in Elementary Social Studies
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.
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.
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.