In this part of the session, you will review three phases for the implementation of North Carolina Essential Standards for Social Studies, observe a classroom exemplar, and examine the key component of quality Social Studies instruction. Lastly, you will identify strategies and components to be included in your action plan.

The learning objectives associated with this part of the session are:
2. What it means to be literate in Social Studies.
3. How to help my students become more competent in disciplinary literacy skills.
5. How to effectively embed technology into instructional planning.
6. How to develop an implementation plan utilizing the strategies learned to facilitate local curriculum.
7. How to apply the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards in the Social Studies classroom.

Aligned North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards
Standard I - Teachers demonstrate leadership.
Standard II - Teachers establish a respectful learning environment for diverse population of students.
Standard III - Teachers know the content they teach.

Learning Targets
After this part of the session, participants will be able to do the following statements:
  • I can identify my district's level of readiness to implement the standards.
  • I can describe how Social Studies literacy will look in a classroom setting.
  • I can provide suggestions or strategies for my district or school to implement the standards.
  • I can describe the definition of Social Studies and identify the components of Social Studies literacy.

Three Phases of Implementation
K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards

bus -wiki.png
bus -wiki.png

Which phase best reflects where you or your districts stand in relation to the implementation of the new Essential Standards?

Phase I: The first phase entails understanding the intent of the new standards. NCDPI created supporting documents that can assist you with this process. If you have not already done so, please access these documents on the NCDPI ACRE site (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/new-standards/ ) and the NCDPI Social Studies Wiki site (http://ssnces.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/home).

Phase II: Once you understand the intent of the standards, then you should begin organizing these standards into some type of curriculum document(s). This is phase two, which focuses on curriculum design and development. One way to develop a coherent and aligned curriculum is to develop units of instruction. Whether you organize your curriculum around units of instruction or use some other framework, you must have some type of coherent, sequenced plan in order to start the third phase.

Phase III: The third phase is focused on instructional design and implementation that will produce students who are Social Studies literate.

I. Reflecting on Social Studies

  • Take a few moments to reflect on this question: What does it mean to be literate in the Social Studies? Discuss your thoughts with your group, and share your response on the chart paper.
  • Following the small group consensus, share out your thoughts and written responses as part of a whole class discussion.

In this next portion of today’s explorations, we will consider what a highly literate Social Studies classroom looks like as we watch that classroom in action. How does this classroom reflect your consensual description?

When you are ready to begin, click the link below that is associated with your grade level. Please keep in mind that you are encouraged to explore both pages to consider methods of vertical integration and collaboration. When your experience with a highly literate Social Studies classroom is complete, you will return to this page.

The Literate Social Studies Classroom: K-5

The Literate Social Studies Classroom: 6-12

II. Social Studies Curriculum and Instructional Design

After watching the video and sharing your thoughts with your peers, take a few moments to return to and reflect on this question: What does it mean to be literate in the Social Studies?

Ultimately, the aim of Social Studies is the promotion of civic competence—the knowledge, intellectual processes, and democratic dispositions required of students to be active and engaged participants in public life. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) defines Social Studies as:

  • …the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. National Council of Social Studies

Effective Social Studies curriculum & instructional design should include these four key components: Integrated Thinking, Conceptual Focus, Inquiry, and Active Engagement.

Integrated Thinking

Conceptual Focus
concept house.jpg


Active EngagementStudents become active participants in the learning process by engaging in authentic experiences that allow for students to gain a deeper understanding of content and to demonstrate that understanding. Some strategies include:
  • Cooperative learning

  • Experiential learning experiences

  • Research

  • Role-play

  • Simulations

III. Self-Assessment

Please take a few minutes to complete the self-assessment. We also encourage you to discuss this topic further with colleagues or within a PLC when you return to your schools.
  • Rate yourself on each of the areas of effective social studies design, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Additional Resources

Education for Citizenship:

Five strands handouts:


Digital tools used during the course of this presentation have been helpful to some educators across the state. However, due to the rapidly changing digital environment, NCDPI does not represent nor endorse that these tools are the exclusive digital tools for the purposes outlined during the presentation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Return to Day One Agenda