Social studies and reading in the common core
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Social Studies and Reading in the Common Core. Presenters: Beth Roberts, Jen Minnis, Jennifer Reeder, and Stephanie Ladd. Agenda. Overview of the Common Core Triangle Factory Fire “history lab” Decades project-Culminating assessment Q&A Resources. Goals.

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Social Studies and Reading in the Common Core

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Social Studies and Reading in the Common Core


Beth Roberts, Jen Minnis,

Jennifer Reeder, and Stephanie Ladd


  • Overview of the Common Core

  • Triangle Factory Fire “history lab”

  • Decades project-Culminating assessment

  • Q&A

  • Resources


  • Gain an understanding of the Common Core and how it will impact social studies learning and teaching

  • Take away a practical lesson example to use in implementing Common Core practices in your classroom

  • Begin developing a list of resources to utilize in your own classroom

Common Core State Standards

  • Define the knowledge and skills students need for college and career

  • Developed voluntarily and cooperatively by states; more than 40 states have adopted

  • Provide clear, consistent standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics


The Common Core will…

  • replace the Show-Me Standards

  • eventually transition to from the EOC testing model to Next Generation Assessments

  • initially assess students English/Language Arts and Mathematics

4 pillars of the Common Core

  • Reading: Text complexity and the growth of comprehension

  • Writing: Text types, responding to reading, and research

  • Speaking and Listening: Flexible communication and collaboration

  • Language: Conventions, effective use, and vocabulary

Next Generation Assessments

  • More rigorous tests measuring student progress toward “college and career readiness”

  • Have common, comparable scores across member states, and across consortia

  • Provide achievement and growth information to help make better educational decisions and professional development opportunities

  • Assess all students, except those with “significant cognitive disabilities”

  • Administer online,with timely results

  • Use multiple measures

Source: Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 68 / Friday, April 9, 2010 pp. 18171-85

Myth v. Fact

  • Myth: Adopting common standards will bring all states’ standards down to the lowest common denominator

  • Fact: The Standards are designed upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for college and careers. This will result in even the best state standards moving to the next level.

Myth v. Fact

  • Myth: The Standards only include skills and do not address importance of content knowledge.

  • Fact: The Standards recognize that both content and skills are important

  • Examples: classic myths and stories, America’s Founding Documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare

Myth v. Fact

  • The Standards are just vague descriptions of skills; they don’t include a reading list or any other similar reference to content

  • The Standards do include sample texts that demonstrate the level of text complexity appropriate for the grade level. The examples are high quality texts at each grade level.

Myth v. Fact

  • Myth: English teachers will be asked to teach science and social studies reading material.

  • Fact: Teachers in science and social studies will focus on reading and writing to build knowledge within their subjects.

How can Social Studies teachers support the Common Core?

  • become knowledgeable about the college and career readiness standards and expectations in the Common Core

  • implement learning and teaching strategies to support the Common Core goals

  • design lessons centered around the 10 ELA Standards which relate specifically to History/Social Studies.

Reading Standards Handout

Reading Standards Handout (con’t)

U.S. Entry into WWI

Essential question:

Why did the United States enter World War I after it had previously proclaimed neutrality?

Causes of WWI

  • Militarism

  • Alliance system

  • Imperialism

  • Nationalism

  • Causes video segment (8:45)


Allied Powers (Triple Entente)

Central Powers



Ottoman Empire


  • France

  • Russia

  • Great Britain

  • Italy (1915)

Early years of the war

  • Trench warfare

  • Stalemate

  • Mass death

  • Destruction

  • New weapons/technology

  • Historic ties to British and French

  • U.S. neutrality

Essential Question

  • Why did the United States enter World War I after it had previously proclaimed neutrality?

Woodrow Wilson

  • Election of 1912-won less than 50% of the popular vote because of Republican split

  • Wilson, a Democrat from NJ won traditional southern Democratic votes as well as Progressives for opposition to political machines

  • Progressive reforms as President: Child Labor Act, Clayton Antitrust Act, Federal Trade Commission

  • Supported segregation, screening of “Birth of a Nation at the White House”

Sources to consider

  • Secondary source-Your textbook pages 377-380. For homework, you finished the graphic organizer filling in details about the events leading to WWI.

  • Primary sources-With a partner, you will read excerpts from two speeches from President Wilson. One delivered to Congress August 19, 1914 and the other Wilson’s war address from April 2, 1917.

  • Secondary source-An excerpted article from Howard Zinn a social historian.

Work to do

  • With your partner, decide who will read each of the two speeches.

  • Answer question #1 or #2 based on the speech you read.

  • Share your opinion/summary of your speech with your partner.

  • Together, answer #3 and #4 on Wilson’s speeches.


  • With your partner, using the graphic organizer filled in using your textbook, answer guiding question #1 and #2.

  • On your own, read the Howard Zinn article. Be sure to read and consider question #1 prior to reading the article. Answer the remaining questions when you finish the article.

  • Discuss your reading with your group of four.

Essential Question

Why did the United States enter WWI?

With your group of four, formulate a position statement with 3-5 pieces of evidence.

Consider the following evidence:

  • Your textbook

  • Howard Zinn’s article

  • Wilson’s speeches

  • Prior knowledge you may have of WWI


Write an op-ed piece for the Kansas City Star to run on April 6th, 2017, the 100th anniversary of US entry into WWI. You should answer the essential question of “Why did the United States enter World War I after it had previously proclaimed neutrality?”in your editorial. Be sure to include specific evidence you can cite from the sources you read during this investigation.

Culminating Project -- Decades

For the culminating project in US History, students will look at the decades of the 20th Century. Working in teams or as an individual, students will research information on one decade of the 20th Century. From their research, the teams will create a web site or PowerPoint about that decade. Your project must satisfy the criteria listed below. Teams/Individuals must also create a Bibliography page citing the resources (both printed and digital) that are used to create your finished project. Students will have the opportunity to present to community members and/or a Middle School History Club.


Helpful resources



  • Reading like an Historian, Historical Thinking Matters




  • "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?": Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12

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