Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Social Studies In Action A Methodology Workshop, K-5.
  Site Map. Glossary.
Session 1.

Teaching Social Studies


The NCSS themes outline content and standards that encourage deep understanding. They give teachers a basis for deciding what to teach and the content students are expected to understand. The following video segments illustrate classroom examples of the themes as well as elements of powerful teaching and learning. Print the Viewing Chart (PDF) you will use to analyze the teachers' content goals.

Before you watch each classroom segment, review the 10 themes and recall from your reading what they are designed to teach. As you watch, check off the themes that are most relevant in each lesson. Then compare your answers to those of the workshop participants as they discuss their findings.

Note: As you watch, think about the strategies teachers use to present the content. This will help prepare you for an upcoming activity.

A workshop participant.


View Video Segment: Identifying Themes in Classroom Examples

Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your screen. You'll find this segment approximately 19 minutes into the video. Watch for about 30 minutes.

This segment provides a review of the NCSS themes and the elements of powerful teaching and learning, illustrated in two classroom lessons. In the first lesson, Darlene Jones-Inge's fourth-grade class explores how they can make a difference in their world and community. In the second lesson, Cynthia Vaughn's first-grade students study the relationship among citizens, community, and leaders.

Now that you've read about and identified applications of themes and powerful teaching and learning, answer the following questions.

  1. Select one of the two classroom segments you viewed. How do the themes and methodologies used in the lesson help students gain deep understanding?
  2. What content and methodologies are most relevant to your teaching? Why?

Save your written work to submit as an assignment.

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