Social Studies






Case Studies

Art & Music

Cultural Artifacts & Primary Sources

Field Trips

Student Research


The Task:

You have just learned that the high school students have had social studies added to their annual assessment this year. Social studies assessments are now being devised that will soon be expected to be applied at the elementary level.

During the last five years teachers have been asked to focus on bringing up reading and math scores. Thus social studies instruction has not received as much focus as reading and math. Teachers in the district are not very familiar with the social studies standards nor a variety of materials to fulfill those standards.

You have been asked to serve on a committee to locate and evaluate social studies materials. As you examined the state standards, you see that students will be expected to use simulations, case studies, art and music, cultural artifacts & primary sources, field trips, and student research.

Your committee generated these essential questions:

  • What should children know and be able to do at the end of sixth grade as a result of a high quality social studies program?
  • What would a program look like that "goes beyond the standards"?

The committee generated the following research questions:

  • How easily available are these activities and materials?
  • What are criteria for judging the quality of these strategies and materials?
  • What is available at various grade levels?
  • How might they be used at various grade levels in developmentally appropriate ways?
  • How might technology help accomplish the inclusion of these into the social studies curriculum?
  • How will second language learners benefit from these activities and materials?

Your committee decided to have different committee members focus on different topics, research them and then report back to the committee-as-a-whole with findings, evaluations and recommendations.


Each group will have at least three members. One member will represent grades K-2, another 3-4 and another 5-6. Each of these people will provide information about the actual curriculum at those grade levels as well as developmental expectations.






 EdTe 305

California State University, Sacramento
February, 2003