How to Revive Social Studies Instruction in Elementary Classrooms; A Simplified Approach to Rigorous Standards and New Frameworks For Teachers, Grades K – 6

Girl Reading in School

“Powerful Social Studies instruction not only readies students for college and careers in an increasingly competitive world but prepares our students to be active and engaged citizens in a local and global context.”

Relegated to a back burner, K – 6 instruction in the social studies is either absent altogether or interwoven into ELA instruction in a misguided manner that weakens its distinction. “Fitting it in” has become the norm in most classrooms. Why? Amidst an already packed day of rigorous ELA and math instruction, science instruction, larger class sizes, expanding methods of differentiation, non-academic instructional mandates, and more, the lack of social studies instruction is collateral damage. Quite by mistake, we elementary teachers have unknowingly jeopardized our ability to help nurture our students in this important area of instruction. The good news, however, is we can fix this. Better still, fixing it now, amidst new reforms in social studies instruction, makes for perfect timing!

This workshop seeks to reunite grade K – 6 teachers with their vital role in elementary-level social studies instruction — while emphasizing ways to do this which align with the new suggested frameworks and standards. Teachers will explore ways to maximize their English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies instruction in order to help students:

• build/strengthen conceptual understanding of the ideas presented in the social studies standards
• engage in inquiry, collaboration, and informed action
• develop disciplinary literacy skills and social science practices in tandem