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July 30, 2020 to July 31, 2020

National Council for the Social Studies and inquirED are hosting the Elementary Inquiry Summer Institute (EISI) in Evanston, IL. Attendees should expect a dynamic, two-day exploration of the tools and strategies that educators need to bring inquiry to life in their classrooms and schools. Workshops and sessions will address key inquiry concepts such as generating questions and planning inquiries, facilitating student-led investigations, and designing and implementing informed action projects. 

Baker Demonstration School
201 Sheridan Rd
Wilmette, IL 60091

Social Studies and the Young Learner November/December 2019

SSYL November/December 2019 Cover


The Fifty States Project: Learning About America, One Care Package at a Time
Kelly McPherson

As a fifth grade teacher, I get to teach many subjects such as math, language arts, and science, but my true love is social studies. Because Virginia has not established social studies standards specifically for the fifth grade, my school division developed a local course called, My Place in Time and Space.1 One compelling (conceptual, divergent) question in the course is How am I connected to other spaces and places? Two supporting questions (answerable with facts or opinions) are Where have I been? and Where do I want to go in the world? To help my students engage with these inquiries, I include lessons about the geography, culture, and history of the United States over the course of the school year through our fifty states project. PreK-Elementary     Geography


Mrs. Mink Goes to Washington: The First Japanese American Member of Congress
Elyse Ledford, Ilene R. Berson, Michael J. Berson, Alexander Ledford

In this article, we offer resources and activities that highlight Patsy Mink's congressional achieve- ments and experiences, and push young students to think about the institution of Congress with a gendered lens. PreK-Elementary     Civics/Government, US History


Live It to Learn It: Making Elections Personally Meaningful
Margit E. McGuire, Karen Nicholson, Allan Rand

How do we preserve our civil society and dynamic political system and prepare students to be active citizens in a democratic society? The need for civic education is more essential now than ever before, and students deserve access to powerful civic lessons that actively engage them in learning about our democracy. The ultimate goal would be for students to be able to study and solve problems arising in everyday life just as adults in a democracy should do. For example, students could participate in the developing story of a presidential election, as this article will describe. PreK-Elementary     Civics/Government


Veterans Day Then and Now: First Graders Learn from Primary Sources and Take Action
Michelle Bauml, Lisa May

Introducing patriotic holidays such as Veterans Day with historical photographs and other primary sources in classrooms can not only spark children's interest, but also promote critical thinking and historical comprehension.1 Meaningful, hands-on historical lessons can also motivate children to take informed action about issues they care about.

We begin this article with a brief history of Veterans Day, followed by a description of two lessons in which first grade teacher and co-author Lisa May used historical photographs to introduce students to Veterans Day. Next, we describe a student-directed school-wide Veterans Day program that resulted from lessons that involved students in the analysis of primary sources. PreK-Elementary     Civics/Government, US History

TED Masterclass: Idea Accelerator for Educators

TED has developed a groundbreaking online professional development program called TED Masterclass, which guides educators (and students) through the process of identifying, developing and sharing their best ideas with each other and the world. Join members of the TED-Ed team for a hands-on, interactive look at the first three lessons of the course. All workshop participants will leave having developed an idea for their TED-style talk. In addition, NCSS, with the generous support of World History Project, will provide an exclusive opportunity for select workshop attendees to complete the entire course.

Deep Diving into Primary Sources

Receive practical strategies that students can apply to make content connections that allow them to dive deeper into historical content. When students are provided with the appropriate tools to break down primary sources, they can focus on historical meaning and impact.

Using Infographics as a Hook and an Anchor Point

Infographics can be a great starting point for any lesson. But, you can also use them as a deeper source to anchor your lessons. Join us for creative classroom ideas using fun infographics.


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