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CASE Content Area Special Education Elementary Social Studies. Carol Curtiss ESC Region 13 Social Studies Specialist Schedule for Today. 9:00 – 11:45 Morning 11:45 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00 – 4:00. What kind of Special Education teacher are you?. Name

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CASE Content Area Special Education Elementary Social Studies

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case content area special education elementary social studies

CASEContent Area Special EducationElementary Social Studies

Carol Curtiss

ESC Region 13 Social Studies Specialist

schedule for today
Schedule for Today

9:00 – 11:45 Morning

11:45 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 4:00

what kind of special education teacher are you
What kind of Special Education teacher are you?
  • Name
  • Assignment/District
  • Years in Special Education
  • Expertise
  • What do you want to change about classroom instruction to make you a more effective special education teacher?
  • Email address
objectives the teacher will
Objectives: The teacher will…
  • Understand the framework of the social studies TEKS
  • Identify the most essential information their students need to know.
  • Understand the relationship of elementary social studies to the TAKS and the TAKS-I test.
  • Take home classroom strategies and activities to help students learn.
  • Locate websites and other resources to help them be more knowledgeable in the classroom.
social studies includes
Elementary social studies

Texas history (4, 7)

U.S. history (5, 8, 11)

World cultures

World geography

World history





Social Studies includes
texas social studies framework
Texas Social Studies Framework:
  • “The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an independent world.”
  • “…an understanding of the social studies disciplines … prepares students to assume productive, participatory lives as citizens.”
  • “…the overall goal: equipping students for a career as a citizen, the most important position they will ever hold.”
the big picture
The Big Picture

Enable the student to

  • Understand the importance of patriotism
  • Function in a free enterprise society
  • Appreciate basic democratic values
overview of the teks

Overview of the TEKS


Content changes course to course

Focus changes grade to grade

Strands stay the same

Skills build

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Government
  • Citizenship
  • Culture
  • Science, technology, and society
  • Social studies skills
primary grades social studies k 3
Primary Grades Social Studies, K-3
  • Self, home, family, classroom, school, community
  • Chronology
  • Location, characteristics of place
  • Basic human needs
  • Individuals make a difference
  • Citizenship
  • Skills
texas and american history
Texas and American history
  • Texas history (4): Early beginnings through the present
  • U.S. history (5): Colonization through the present
  • Texas history (7): Early beginnings through the present, more depth and breadth than grade 4
  • U.S. history (8): Colonial period through Reconstruction
  • U.S. history (11): 1877 through the present
  • Government (12)
the world
The World
  • Contemporary World Cultures (6)
  • World geography (9)
  • World history (10)
teks are vertically aligned
TEKS Are Vertically Aligned
  • The Social Studies Skills build through the curriculum
  • Concepts and knowledge taught at earlier grade levels is assumed to be taught and is built upon in higher grade levels.
  • Many high school TAKS objectives are introduced in elementary school—as early as Kindergarten.
the important stuff
The Important Stuff
  • Concepts
  • Verbs
  • Skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Time and Place
  • Cause-effect relationships
  • Significance and Impact
  • Primary Source Documents
  • The story of America
  • Progress
  • Adaptation
  • Colonization
  • Sovereignty
  • Goods and Services
  • Civilization
  • Citizenship
  • Region/Regional differences
  • Patriotism
  • Migration/Immigration
  • Identify
  • Locate
  • Describe
  • Explain
  • Compare
  • Analyze
  • Apply
  • Summarize
  • Predict
  • Create
  • Analyze information
    • Sequence
    • Categorize
    • Cause-Effect
    • Compare/Contrast
    • Find main idea
    • Summarize
    • Make generalizations
    • Predict
    • Draw inferences and conclusions
skills cont d
Skills (cont’d)
  • Think critically
  • Identify Point of View (POV)
  • Support Point of View
  • Identify bias
  • Evaluate sources
  • Organize and interpret information
    • Outlines
    • Reports
    • Charts, graphs, timelines, maps

Characteristics of the

TAKS and the TAKS-I test.

taks texas assessment of knowledge and skills
TAKS - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
  • Objective 1 - The student will demonstrate an understanding of issues and events in U.S. history.
  • Objective 2 - The student will demonstrate an understanding of geographic influences on historical issues and events.
  • Objective 3 - The student will demonstrate an understanding of economic and socialinfluences on historical issues and events.
taks texas assessment of knowledge and skills24
TAKS - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
  • Objective 4 – The student will demonstrate an understanding of political influences on historical issues and events.
  • Objective 5 – The student will use critical thinking skills to analyze social studies information.
  • Analyze information
    • Sequence
    • Categorize
    • Cause-Effect
    • Compare/Contrast
    • Find main idea
    • Summarize
    • Make generalizations
    • Predict
    • Draw inferences and conclusions


24/55 44%

25/55 45%

lowest scoring item 8 th grade
Lowest Scoring Item - 8th grade

24 Southern dependence on slavery and an agricultural economy resulted in —

F an excellent railroad system

G a lack of factories

H a dependence on government tax breaks

J several new political parties


lowest scoring item 10 th grade
Lowest Scoring Item - 10th Grade

Excerpt from the Emancipation Proclamation

I do order and declare all persons held as slaves within said designated states . . . are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

34 In which year was the statement above issued?

F 1787

G 1812

H 1863

J 1877 8.1C

lowest scoring item exit level
Lowest Scoring Item - Exit Level

26 The Battle of Midway was a crucial victory for the United States because it —

F dealt a severe blow to the Japanese navy

G was the last sea battle of the war with Japan

H was fought on Japanese territory

J destroyed Japan’s will to continue fighting

U.S. 6B

what do you notice about the following questions

Types of Questions on TAKS

What do you notice about the following questions?

cause effect relationship
Cause-Effect Relationship

21 Which of the following events prompted the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote?

F The Watergate scandal

G The election of Richard M. Nixon

H The energy crisis

J The Vietnam War

taks i

An assessment that will meet the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) for students that are not currently tested by the state (SDAA II)

  • Will measure academic progress of students receiving special education services at or near grade level
  • Will include all TAKS tested items except the field tested questions
taks i41
  • Will use larger font and fewer items per page
  • Accommodations will be permitted
  • Will be administered on the same dates as the TAKS test
  • LDAA is still an option for those students whose ARD committee has determined that both TAKS and TAKS-I are inappropriate.
at or near grade level

“At or Near Grade Level”

What does that mean for social studies?

Is the Special Ed student able to take the TAKS test with allowable accommodations?
  • Is the student’s IEP based on grade level TEKS?
  • Does the IEP significantly modify the TEKS in the student’s curriculum?
  • Can the student take the TAKS-I with allowable accommodations?
Instructional Considerations

The student:

  • understands the content, concepts and processes as shown on curriculum measures (actual non-adjusted performance)
  • shows that he/she understands the content
  • demonstrates skills to access short-term and long-term memory
  • shows evidence of critical thinking
  • has social studies skills commensurate with non-disabled peers
  • demonstrates ability to access expository test with or without accommodations
big 3 questions
“Big 3” Questions
  • What do I want students to know and be able to do?

2. How will I know they know it? How will I assess student knowledge? What evidence will I accept?

3. What activities will I use to engage students in learning what they need?

start with the teks
Start with the TEKS
  • Read Paragraph 1 of the Introduction
  • Discuss grade level differences
  • Notice the progression
teks the texas essential knowledge and skills
TEKS – The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
  • The Social Studies TEKS…
    • Are the essential knowledge that districts are required to provide instruction in according to Senate Bill 815.
    • Became effective on September 1, 1998.
    • Are organized into 8 strands – History; Geography; Economics; Government; Citizenships; Culture; Science, Technology, and Society; and Social Studies Skills.
    • Provide the framework for social studies instruction.
what is the most essential information in elementary social studies

Nice to Know



What Is the Most Essential Information in Elementary Social Studies?
  • TEKS

  • TAKS objectives
  • Your District’s Curriculum/Scope and Sequence


Tested TEKS

vocabulary vocabulary vocabulary



Popular Sovereignty

Spatial diffusion





Wants and needs


Natural resources

Primary and secondary source documents







Vocabulary, Vocabulary, Vocabulary
significance and impact
Significance and Impact
  •  identify and explain the significance of various community, state, and national landmarks such as the county courthouse and state and national capitol buildings.
define the impact of "boom and bust" and trace the boom-and-bust cycle of leading Texas industries throughout the 20th century, including farming, oil and gas, cotton, cattle ranching, real estate, and banking;
guess the grade level
Guess the Grade Level
  • compare various interpretations of the same time period using evidence such as photographs and interviews.
  • explain the concept of a free market.
  • analyze the effects of immigration, migration, and limited resources on economic development and growth
  • predict how future scientific discoveries and technological innovations could affect life in the United States
think pair share
  • Find a partner.
  • Decide who will be partner 1 and who will be partner 2.
Partner 1, talk for 45 seconds—without stopping—to your partner about something you have learned about social studies so far this morning.
Partner 2, talk to your partner for 30 seconds—without stopping—about something you have learned about social studies so far this morning.

Do not repeat anything your partner has said.

a common vocabulary

A Common Vocabulary


understanding the difference
Instructional Strategy


Link material to previous learning





Copy of notes

Recorded text

Highlighted text

Shortened assignment

Understanding the difference




  • Reduce the number of TEKS to be mastered
  • Off grade level instruction

Answers the question - What to teach?

Answers the question - How to teach?

Does NOT change the curriculum.

typical mod page
Typical Mod. Page



  • A scaffold is a temporary support used to assist a learner during initial learning.
  • Provided by the teacher to help students bridge the gap between current abilities and the goal.
hebrew proverb
Hebrew proverb

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time

Hebrew Proverb

how the brain learns
How The Brain Learns

The sensory preferences of the U.S. student population in grades 3-12 for the mid-1990s.

Sousa, pg 17


Cummins’ Four Quadrants

Cognitively Undemanding (BICS)







Cognitively Demanding (CALP)


Most Effective InstructionAn analysis of almost 30 years of research indicates that the following interventions are most effective with learning disabled students

  • The most effective form of teaching was one that combined direct instruction with teaching students strategies of learning.
  • The component that had the greatest effect on student achievement was control of task difficulty – teacher assistance, sequenced tasks, small groups, and structured questioning.
  • When groups of students with learning disabilities were exposed to strategy instruction, their achievement was greater than that of groups exposed SOLELY to direction instruction.

Sousa, pg 22

coping with difficulties
Coping With Difficulties

To become effective, lifelong learners, students with disabilities need to master strategies to assist in their learning and then be able to use them effectively.

Sousa, pg 25

the structure of knowledge
The Structure of Knowledge







Lynn Erickson: Structure of Knowledge




Topical Generalizations



Facts(raw data)

Standardization makes our lives easier by reducing complexity.

Airports everywhere are alike in many ways to make airline travel easier and more efficient.


  • I encountered…
  • Signs for Baggage Claim
  • Ticket counters
  • TV monitor with flights
  • Flight announcements
  • Security checkpoint
  • Parking garage and ticket
  • Airplanes
  • A newsstand
  • Rental car counter

DFW Airport

Organizing Our World: An Example

Greg Byers; Adapted from Lynn Erickson – Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction

picture books

Picture Books

qualities of good citizenship
Qualities of good citizenship

Belief in justice



Responsibility for the common good


paper plate timeline
Paper Plate Timeline

Using a cognitive manipulative to teach a sequence of events

Consider events in the sequence of events leading to the American Revolution. Prepare a representation of a medal or coin that includes:

  • The name of the event
  • A slogan for the event
  • A symbol for the event
paper plate time line
Paper Plate Time Line







before and after
Before and After

What was it like …

  • During this event?
  • Before this time event?
  • After this time event?
  • What changed?
  • Why?
analyze primary source documents
Analyze Primary Source Documents
  • Students practice the process of critical analysis (TAKS Objective 5)
  • Use primary source documents, maps, graphs, political cartoons, photographs
critical analysis organizer

Title of Subject

Critical Analysis Organizer

What do you infer from the details?

What prior knowledge do you bring?

What are the details?

What is your conclusion? Explain

Adapted from Texas Social Studies Center, 2001


Title of Subject

What do you infer from the details?

What prior knowledge do you bring?

What are the details?

What is your conclusion? Explain

Adapted from Texas Social Studies Center, 2001


Title of Subject

What do you infer from the details?

What prior knowledge do you bring?

What are the details?

What is your conclusion? Explain

Adapted from Texas Social Studies Center, 2001




Word Splash







VVWA - Verbal and Visual Word Association

  • Have students create a VVWA chart
vvwa verbal and visual word association

Vocabulary Word

Visual Representation


Describe a personal association, list an example or characteristic

Optional: An illustration to help define association

VVWA - Verbal and Visual Word Association

2. Assign a student a word and provide a definition

3. In each quadrant enter the required information

vvwa extension activities
VVWA Extension Activities
  • Have students create their VVWA on a PowerPoint slide and then merge slides together and run continuously
create your own vvwa
Create Your own VVWA
  • Federalism- distribution of power between a federal government and the states within a union
  • Mercantilism- an economic theory which states that a nation's wealth is based on the amount of gold and silver in its treasury
  • Demographics - the study of population
  • Bias- a point of view favoring one side over another based on their own interest
word splash
Word Splash
  • Develop a common TAKS or unit vocabulary-6-10 words
  • Give each student a little time to think or research about what the terms, people, or phrases have in common.
  • Form small groups of 2-3.
  • As a group, they can categorize and title the terms, people, or phrases given to them. Have them share what they have learned and then have them write a narrative or an explanation that will include all of the words or phrases.
word splash101
Word Splash

Other suggestions:

  • Have groups compete against each other by giving each other clues about the words.
  • Have students write/talk about the relationships among the terms and phrases and share with the class/group
  • Students could organize the terms into a graphic organizer showing the major relationships among the words including a visual for each word.


Graphic Organizers

Graphic Notes

Textbook Strategies


Graphic Organizers

1. Graphic Organizers utilize tools to help manage difficult text so that meaningful learning may occur

  • A visual
  • Arrows from the visual
  • Textboxes

2. Graphic Notes can help to engage struggling students

  • The format is visual
  • The text is shortened
  • Connections are made from visual to the text
  • Weaknesses in language development are minimized
  • Weaknesses in organization are minimized
circle frame
Circle Frame




f explain how industry and the mechanization of agriculture changed the american way of life
(F)  explain how industry and the mechanization of agriculture changed the American way of life;



Mechanization of Agriculture

ESC Region 13 Social Studies Website

Education Place – Houghton Mifflin: Graphic Organizers


Economics Causes

Political Causes

Social Causes


Angry, shouting crowds

  • Mobs of protesters carrying signs
  • People threw rocks rotten food, bricks, bottles full of gasoline
  • Yelled slurs and called names
  • Ruby Bridges, 6 years old
  • Starched white dress and new shoes
  • Wanted to go to school with her friends
  • For entire first grade year was alone with one teacher in the classroom
  • Escorted to school in New Orleans
  • Four federal marshals carrying guns
  • “Just walk straight and don’t look back.”
  • Ruby was afraid of the crowds and sad to be by herself
  • Ruby’s family was afraid for her but understood the importance of the event
  • The federal government was bound to enforce the decision and ensure Ruby’s safety
  • The crowds feared change and unknown
  • Ruby was a smart and sensitive person
  • Especially liked word puzzles and math
  • Went outside in the schoolyard only a couple of times, escorted by plain-clothed officers

Battle of the Headscarf:

  • Ataturk, ruler of Turkey in the 1920’s changed the way Turk’s dressed, eliminated the headscarf, gave women the vote, and pushed religion to the sidelines. He called the system of secular nationalism, Kemalism. The modern guardians of Kemalism in Turkey are the military generals.
  • Today in Turkey, the headscarf has become a highly charged symbol of the collision of a secular state (Kemalism) and Islamic law. Muslim girls demand the right to wear a headscarf when they go to school.
  • In 1996 an Islamist became Prime Minister of Turkey and proclaimed a new moderation of secular society.
  • What lies ahead for the women of Turkey who consider Islam to be a vital part of who they are?
  • Crisis of Identity:
  • Muslims have been wrestling with modernity for 200 years.
  • During the Golden Age of Islam, Muslims were on the cutting edge of science and progress.
  • Many Muslims believe that there is no contradiction between Islam and science. “Islam encourages us to learn more about ourselves.”
  • How does one reconcile Islamic tradition with today’s world?
  • Should a modern state adopt secular law or Islamic law known as the Sharia?
  • Islamists believe that modern Islamic states should replace their secular governments with Islamic law.
  • Legal issues with regard to marriage and women’s rights are at the heart of the identity crisis.
  • The Pressure for Change:
  • Women in Iran were active participants in the revolution.
  • Some women openly flout the Islamic dress code with make-up and jewelry, and colorful headscarves worn far back on the head.
  • Three-quarters of the people of Iran are under 30.
  • Iran had a series of autocratic rulers, including the Shah, before Islamism.
  • Islam and the West:
  • Many modern Muslims live and work in the West. Concepts such as rationalism, skepticism and individualism – essential characteristics of modernity; and the principles of democracy and republican government are at odds with Islamic law for many Muslims.
  • Conservatives insist on obedience to truth as revealed by the Prophet Muhammad. Modernists argue that reason enables human beings to interpret revealed truth in light of modern conditions.
  • Most Muslims do not embrace either Islamism or secularism whole-heartedly. Both are viewed with suspicion. Many believe that modernization equals Westernization.
  • The current crisis of understanding between Muslims and the West could lead to greater understanding or greater polarization.


Picture on tab

Notes inside

Summary on back

Interactive Notebook
  • Allows students to record information and process it to improve their level of understanding in Social Studies
  • Requires students to use critical thinking skills to organize and process information
textbook strategies
Textbook Strategies
  • Chapter Preview
  • Reading Pairs
  • Cued Retelling
  • Sticky Note Notes
  • In and Out Summary
  • Add-on Summary
test making
Test Making

Higher Level Question Stems

Which of the following was a result of…

How was __________affected by _____________?

Which statement best summarizes…

The effect of __________ was …

Which of the following was a major cause of…

Which of the following was the most significant result of…

Reminder: 40% of the TAKS questions includes a graphic organizer

encourage active learning
Encourage Active Learning

Have students…

  • Summarize by putting into their own words or writing what the teacher has said
  • Give examples to clarify or support what has been said
  • Restate or write instructions or assignments in their own words
  • Discuss information with a partner or discussion group (Think-Ink-Pair-Share)
  • ESC Region 13 Social Studies Website

  • Education Place – Houghton Mifflin: Graphic Organizers

  • Texas Law-Related Education

  • The Social Studies Center

region xiii social studies workshops
Region XIIISocial Studies workshops
  • June 5-9, 2006 - History Alive
  • June 5-6, 2006 – Social Studies Alive
  • July 11-13, 2006 – Texas History Comes Alive

Burchers, Sam, Max, and Bryan. Vocabulary Cartoons: Building an Educated Vocabulary with Visual Mnemonics. Florida: New Monic Books, 1998.

Marzano, Robert and Debra J. Pickering. Building Academic Vocabulary Teacher’s Manuel. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.

Sousa, David W. How the Special Needs Brain Learns. California: Corwin Press, 2001.


Contact Information

Tina Melcher



Carol Curtiss