2. Social studies topics are often at the core of interdisciplinary projects, case studies, and learning expeditions.
3. In addition to deep study of particular topics, teachers include broad overview sessions (i.e., surveys of time periods) in order to put particular events in a broader historical context and address the breadth of required standards. Timelines and graphic representations help students comprehend the big picture of historical relationships.
4. Social studies topics often focus on engaging current issues, cultural diversity, and social justice. Teachers invite students to consider the topic from multiple perspectives.
5. Carefully selected case studies act as narrow lenses through which students develop understanding of important content and enduring themes. For example, a case study of Shays’ Rebellion allows students to develop an understanding of the founding of the United States, as well as the enduring themes of power, authority, and governance.
6. A social studies case study focuses on a unique person, place, or event (e.g., a local house that was part of the Underground Railroad) or narrows a broad topic by focusing deeply on a particular subtopic or perspective (e.g., the life of children during colonial America).
7. Teachers identify local case studies and connections to make the topic come alive and provide opportunities for students to engage actively with their community.
8. Students acquire social studies skills and understanding through an inquiry-based approach to teaching.