Read each of the articles listed below to learn how themes and disciplines provide building blocks for social studies teaching.
After you read the articles, write answers to the following questions. You can use the Reading Questions form (PDF).
- What is the relationship between themes and disciplines?
- How can themes and disciplines be used to develop units?
- What are the criteria for authentic intellectual work in social studies?
- Explain how integrated lessons maximize students' skills and understanding.
Save your written work to submit as an assignment.
NCSS Themes (PDF)
Defines the 10 thematic strands that make up the social studies standards.
National Council for the Social Studies. "Executive Summary." Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.
Operationalizing the Thematic Strands of Social Studies (PDF)
Provides an example of how to develop a unit based on NCSS themes.
Krey, DeAn. "Operationalizing the Thematic Strands of Social Studies for Young Learners." National Council for the Social Studies.
Authentic Intellectual Work in Social Studies (PDF)
Describes criteria for authentic intellectual work in social studies.
Scheurman, Geoffrey, and Fred M. Newmann. "Authentic Intellectual Work in Social Studies: Putting Performance Before Pedagogy." Social Education, 1998.