In this part of the session, participants will examine curriculum and instructional tools that can assist social studies educators in planning curriculum support, individual classroom lessons and instructional delivery. This page contains helpful resources that have been developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's K-12 Social Studies section and classroom teachers.


Summer Institute learning objectives associated with this part of the session are:

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1. What resources are available to assist with the implementation of NCSCoS.
5. How to effectively embed technology into instructional planning.
7. How to apply the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards in the Social Studies classroom.

Aligned North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards

Standard II - Teachers demonstrate leadership.
Standard III - Teachers know the content they teach.
Standard IV - Teacher facilitate learning for their students.

Learning Targets

After this part of the session, participants will be able to do the following statements:
  • I can recognize instructional tools that have been developed for K-12 Social Studies.
  • I can compare how instructional tools developed using the essential standards are different from past instructional tools.
  • I can summarize the purpose for each instructional tool and ow each is meant to be used.

I. Instructional Tools
Definition: Instructional tool can be defined as any document, material and item that is designed to serve as a major tool for assisting in the instruction of a subject or course.

During the 2011-2012 school year, the two instructional tools imperative to the new K-12 Social Studies standards were the Crosswalks and the Unpacking documents. These documents were designed to help teachers pattern their instruction and classroom assessments to North Carolina's new curriculum standards. As we prepare for the 2012-2013 school year, the social studies team has developed additional instructional tools to help support the delivery of classroom lessons as well as classroom assessments. Use this page to become familiar with these resources and their purpose.
Phase One Instructional Tools
Phase Two Instructional Tools
Crosswalk Documents
Graphic Organizers
Unpacking Documents

Online Resources Exemplars

Assessment Samples (NOT Measures of Student Learning)

II. Investigation Timetag.jpg

As a group, let's explore the resources available for your teachers as they work towards developing conceptual units.

For the next 45 minutes, explore with your partners the five resources that have been shared on this page. Spend as much time as you like on each one. Be sure to study each resource. As you explore the resources, consider the following questions:
  1. What can you use from each resource that will help you in planning quality learning experiences and units?
  2. What do you see as strengths of each resource?
  3. What do you see as some possible challenges of each resource?

Chalk Talk Activity
There are three chalk talk trees posted around the room or in the hallway. Each tree represents one of the questions above. Each chalk talk tree will have branches labeled with one of the five resources shared on this page. Each group will examine the purpose and possible uses of each of these five resources then post comments on the appropriate branch that addresses the three questions above. Once your group has written its one or two post-it note comments for a particular chalk talk tree, have a member of the group post those comments on the appropriate branch. Watch the chalk talk trees bloom! Once the branches have bloomed, take some time (about 10 minutes) and walk around to each tree, plucking the branches as you examine the trees. In other words, comment on the post-it notes! Keep circling around to each chalk talk tree while remaining totally silent.

1. Terminology
What is the purpose of the new terminology provided for teachers?
The glossary of terminology essential to understanding the standards and clarifying objectives provides educators with terminologies that represent the big, powerful concepts and ideas teachers need to know and understand in order to effectively teach the new Common Core State and North Carolina Essential Standards and use supporting materials. The Glossary of Terms is not meant to be exhaustive, but seeks to address critical terms and definitions essential in building content knowledge and understanding, promote consistency across disciplines, increase student outcomes, and improve parent communication. This is a living document and will undergo term additions over time.

2. Graphic Organizers
What is the purpose of the graphic organizers?
These visual representations assist the student in organizing abstract “big picture” information that is new, overwhelming or misunderstood. Research supports the utilization of graphic organizers as a contributing factor in improving student performance. The examples are to model varied organizers and their use in provoking student engagement, organization, and understanding, thus equipping the teacher with the knowledge to develop and use such tools effectively with the new standards. By providing these examples, NCDPI is creating a foundation for teachers to shift the focus from merely classroom instruction, but also on student learning.

What is in the graphic organizers?
This instructional tool uses straightforward (clear) models/examples that can be used in the classroom in alignment with the new standards. The tool speaks directly to teachers and holds high expectations for teachers’ ability to understand the use of the tool as a mechanism for differentiating instruction.

3. Online Resource Exemplars
What is the purpose of the online resources?
According to a survey by education technology nonprofit NetDay, 75% of teachers believe the Internet is an important tool for finding new resources to meet the demands of new standards. 84% believe that access to the Internet improves the quality of education. Online resources complement teaching and enhance learning. The purpose of the online resources for K-12 Social Studies is to not only provide teachers with exemplar resources that can be found online but, also show how each resource could possibly be used to help address a clarifying objective. There is an example online resource for each clarifying objective in a course and each course, K-12, has online resources.

4. Assessment Samples
What is the purpose of the assessment samples?
Assessment is a vital component of the teaching and learning process. These assessment examples are aligned to new content standards and reinforce teaching the standards to their intended level of deep mastery. The purpose of providing examples is to illustrate ways in which the standards or part(s) of the standards might be assessed in the classroom.

5. Customized Google Search Engine
What is the purpose of the Customized Google Search Engine?
Google Custom Search Engine allows an individual to create a personalized, specific, customized search that seeks information only from sites that are specified and displays results that you know will be right for the audience you are targeting? For example, a teacher may want students to access only child-safe and student appropriate websites. Using a Google Custom Search Engine allows the teacher to pre-select the sites he/she wants to direct students to use, list them in the settings of the search engine, and then have students use it -- knowing that they're searching the web safely. And because the teacher has chosen the sites to search, students will get a limited number of highly relevant search results, making the time they spend online more efficient and rewarding.


III. Let's Reflect (5 minutes)
Log-in to your Penzu account to reflect on the following questions. (https://penzu.com/p)
  1. How might you use the template for online resources in your district social studies program or the social studies department at your school?
  2. How can using assessments be integrated into your instructional program and/or your broader professional development (i.e., Summer Institutes, District-based Trainings, School-based Trainings, etc.)?

Additional Resources

Barbieri, Kim E. "Hear My Voice! Teaching Difficult Subjects with Graphic Organizers." Social Education. (2011) National Council for the Social Studies.
Argues that graphic organizers are excellent tools when examining controversial topics in the Social Studies classrooms.

Stiggins, Rick J. and Jan Chappuis. Introduction to Student-Involved Assessment FOR Learning. (2011) Boston: Pearson.
Assists teachers in creating quality assessments structured to insure student learning that tightly aligns to instruction.

Thinking Maps. 2012. Thinking Maps, Inc. < http://thinkingmaps.com/>
Discusses the common visual language for learning across all disciplines and is an educational and consulting company that provides nationwide Professional staff development.

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.

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