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TEACHING & LEARNING SOCIAL STUDIES MORE EFFECTIVELY

This is a distance learning course, concentrating on uses of the Internet for teaching, learning and professional development. It also is intended to give you enough web sites and leads-in to more web sites to be a continuously useful resource for your learning and doing.

Assessment is based on work you produce in series of essays/listings for each Essential Question or topic you "connect with," and with an annotated lists of sites supporting your views and reflecting your web work. Note the Rubric for Course Portfolio Assessment.

For instance, you might write “The site XXXX [http://www.xxx.com] gave me a different perspective on how to help students learn _____. It also cleared up for me something I was confused about, and that is what educators mean by __________.” Certainly you would want to elaborate more.

This work may be emailed to me at ozpk100@aol.com, or snail-mailed to me at Chad C. Osborne 923 W. Mission St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you email the work, you may wish to put it in a Zip file, which compresses text and makes it easier to send over the 'Net.

Because of the extensive number of links, the most important are signified with a *1* sign. These also cover the widest array of Certification Standards. Be sure your course work reflects your having learned from these sites.

Advanced Level Challenge:

Based on links from any single or combination of sections of course work, develop a WEB QUEST you can use with your classes. My web page, *1* QUESTING the WEB: Web Quests as Essential Questions, gives further examples of this format.

Since a Web Quest is a series of linked web pages, you may want to begin with HOW TO CREATE WEB PAGES. Also take note of the *1* Examples of Student-Produced Web Quests, and especially, *1* Think Quest projects for your subject area!


Essential Question 1: Based on links in the sites listed below, develop a position paper on how teaching in an era of reform will influence your teaching. Write this as if it is part of your application for a teaching job. In what ways might you make the most out of reform?

Teachers in this decade must keep an eye toward standards and discuss with each other how best to prepare students to take standardized tests, particularly the high stakes tests being required for high school graduation in many states. You need to have your own copy of standards for the state where you teach, available from the Department of Education in your state. Five sources of current standards and frameworks are

  1. *1* Massachusetts Frameworks,
  2. The Core Concept of the History and Social Science Framework -- An excerpt from the Frameworks that provides a conceptual core to organize the overload of information.
  3. California History/Social Studies Standards & Resources {most textbooks are based on these}, and
  4. The National Council for the Social Studies Standards.
  5. National and State by State Standards are also on the Web.
  6. *1*Is Your School Ready for Standards-Based Reform? -- Anne Wheelock's "rubric" to help balance "outcomes" based reform with meaningful contexts from "best practices"
  7. Preparing Your High School Students to Take Standardized Tests
  8. *1*Test Content and Tips for Preparing Your Students for Standardized Social Studies Tests

Essential Question 2: Based on links in the sites listed below, develop a position paper on how you might organize the tremendous amount of information in history and social studies. How can you assure depth of understanding along with coverage of content?

  1. *1*Ten Themes -- Key resource from the national association. Teaching thematically is part of the depth/coverage dilemma solution
  2. *1*The Fourth Turning -- "...a provocative theory of American history as a series of recurring 80- to 100-year cycles. Each cycle has four "turnings"-a High, an Awakening, an Unraveling, and a Crisis. The authors locate today's America as midway through an Unraveling, roughly a decade away from the next Crisis (or Fourth Turning). And they recommend ways Americans can prepare for what's ahead, as a nation and as individuals. As Future Shock did in the 1970s and Megatrends did in the 1980s, this groundbreaking book (explained on this site) will have a profound effect on every reader's perception of America's past, present, and future."
  3. *1*Depth vs. Coverage in Teaching and Standardized Test Preparation -- Does our need to prepare students to take high stakes standardized tests mean that we need to address the standards and frameworks thoroughly? Must we sacrifice favorite units--favorites with students and with us--in order to cover topics likely to be on the test? It may take courage to do what is right; at least in dealing with this issue the evidence is surprisingly counterintuitive, and in favor of what most teachers would prefer to do.

Essential Question 3: Based on links in the five sites below, what teaching strategies might you use to balance depth and coverage? Go into depth and give thought to the influence strategies of teaching may have on depth vs. content, and also how web quest inquiries may be used.

  1. Strategies to Teach Social Studies -- Give thoughtful consideration to each of these strategies
  2. Think Quest Library
  3. Exploring History -- An award-winning simulations curriculum for teachers of Social Studies and the Humanities in grades 5-12
  4. Debate Central -- Learn how, how to coach, and lots more. Consider issues in history and social studies that can be debated.
  5. Famous Trials -- Another interesting "method" that could be adapted, as well as a content resource.

Essential Question 4: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following "multiple social studies topics sites" do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach?

  1. The National Council for History Education Virtual Library History Central -- An awesome one-stop site for regional as well as chronological resources!
  2. History/Social Studies Web Sites for K-12 Teachers -- Numerous and well chosen sites in a wide variety of areas
  3. Kathy Schrock's Guide for General History and Social Studies
  4. Arts Edge Social Studies Resources -- Numerous sites with recommended grade levels
  5. ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education -- Click on Internet Resources!
  6. Other Social Studies, Art, & Music Internet Resources
  7. History -- Links by period of history
  8. Regents Prep: Global History & Geography -- Great source
  9. Social Sudies Links from TechTrekers -- An amazing range and depth of resouces
  10. Social Studies Sources
  11. Social Studies -- Wide coverage
  12. Social Studies Resources for Educators -- Including general links, reference materials, literature and lesson plans
  13. The National Council for History Education Virtual Library History Central -- An awesome one-stop site for regional as well as chronological resources!
  14. History is Elementary -- Sites particularly for K-6
  15. Teaching Social Studies with the Internet, Grades K-6 -- Great sites!
  16. Teaching Social Studies with the Internet, Grades 7-12 -- A must see!
  17. History Social Science Resources -- Some terrific resources from the Los Angeles system
  18. History Virtual Library -- Some interesting links
  19. Social Studies School Service--Links -- Anther must see and surf!
  20. Prentice-Hall School Social Studies -- A wealth of online curriculum support for teachers and students using any of a number of P-H texts


The next several questions each deal with a specific area within the social studies. Most of these are content sites, and illustrate how many resources there are that can be used to create on-line courses, web quests, and home school curricula. Taking this course can give you resources to do any of these 21st century teaching jobs.

Essential Question 5: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following U.S. History sites do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach?

  1. America Dreams Through the Decades -- An award-winning web quest that follows the American dream through epochs of immigration and U.S. History
  2. Three Days At Gettysburg -- The sheer number and quality of links reflect historians' fascination with this "turning pont of the Civil War."
  3. Lycos Directory of Civil War Sites -- A well-organized collection of over 1000 Civil War web sites!
  4. American Studies -- Links from Colonial to Present Day periods
  5. California Mission History -- Links, music, a comprensive site covering 21 missions!!
  6. Annotated Links to California Missions, History and Peoples -- You'll find an amazing menu of sites!
  7. The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the Civil War
  8. History Net: American History -- Interesting links from About.com
  9. History Buff -- Shows how History was covered in the Press from 1600 to present
  10. Words of Humankind--Words of Power -- Remarkable site of influential documents
  11. North America/Canada -- Links upon links
  12. Teaching American History With the Internet -- You'll find some fabulous sites here, from all periods of U.S. History.
  13. Regents Prep: U.S. History & Government

Essential Question 5: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following World and Global Studies sites do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach?

  1. Teaching World History: The Global Human Experience through Time. ERIC Digest -- Rationale for World History
  2. Why Do Civilizations Collapse? -- "...we explore the collapse of four ancient civilizations. You'll learn what happens when a society collapses and how archaeologists find and interpret evidence." An interactive exhibit that also teaches how archeologists work
  3. Non-Western History
  4. Regents Prep: Global History & Geography
  5. Global Studies
  6. Guidelines for Global and International Studies Education
  7. World History/Hyper History -- HyperHistory is an expanding scientific project presenting 3,000 years of world history with an interactive combination of synchronoptic lifelines, timelines, and maps.
  8. Maya Civilization--Past and Present
  9. The Ancient World Web
  10. Ancient Civilizations
  11. Classics and Ancient World -- An advanced way to look at world history
  12. Egypt Page
  13. The Middle Ages
  14. Renaissance
  15. World History
  16. World Religions -- Great introductory site with curriculum/lesson suggestions and activities.
  17. A Cybrary of the Holocaust -- Remarkable site with many powerful links

Essential Question 6: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following Government and Civics sites do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach?

  1. Civic Education, Law-Related Education, and Government Links
  2. Curricular Materials of the Center for Civic Education "...selected curricular materials available from the Center for Civic Education. All may be printed or downloaded."
  3. Civic Literacy Resources -- "Civic Literacy embodies the knowledge and skills that we need for effective participation in the community, government, and politics."
  4. How a Bill Becomes a Law-Creative Dramatics -- Great lesson idea
  5. Teaching the Federalist Papers. ERIC Digest -- "The ideas of THE FEDERALIST, which are at the core of civic culture in the United States, are essential elements of education for citizenship in the American constitutional democracy. This digest discusses (1) main ideas of THE FEDERALIST, (2) reasons for teaching THE FEDERALIST in secondary schools, and (3) how to teach THE FEDERALIST PAPERS."
  6. Civics & Citizenship Center -- Extremely useful site
  7. U.S. Constitutional Government
  8. Civics -- About 50 sites!

Essential Question 7: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following Geography sites do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach?

  1. The CIA World Fact Book
  2. National Geographic.com
  3. Lycos Directory of Geography Sites -- Over 150!
  4. Virtual Geography Department
  5. Geography World -- Teacher Brad Bowman's awesome site!
  6. Teaching Geography through the Internet -- Great links


Essential Question 8: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following Economics sites do you find most valuable for both yourself and the students and courses you teach? Realize that Economics has been the neglected area of the social studies, yet perhaps the most important along with civics in terms of the practical impact on students' lives.

  1. In-Sites for Teaching Economics, K-12
  2. Resources for Teaching K-12 Economics
  3. Invest Smart -- "Invest Smart reveals the secrets of smart stock investing. FREE stock market game and mutual funds trading for Educators, Investment Clubs, and individuals. Investment lessons and real-life examples." An award-winning ThinkQuest project.
  4. Hot Links for Economics--quite a collection!
  5. Lycos Directory of Economics Sites -- 28 well chosen sites, many from the U.K.
  6. Teachers' Guide - Using the Virtual Economy for Teaching Economics
  7. Using the Internet to Teach Economics: An Idea Page
  8. Resources for Teaching K-12 Economics -- Standards, Projects, Resources for all levels
  9. Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature -- From the National Council for Economic Education

Essential Question 9: Based on links in the sites below, which of the following sites do you find most valuable for developing your ideas for assessingyour students in ways that contribute to their learning?

  1. *1*Rubrics! Great site to help you evaluate students most fairly and to help them learn to self-evaluate in all areas of the Social Studies!
  2. *1*Social Studies Rubrics
  3. *1*Assessment Resources
  4. *1*Types of Assessment
  5. *1*Assessment Issues In Special Education/Inclusion
  6. *1*Assessment -- From Prentice-Hall

Essential Question 10: Based on links from the sites below, and considering the following "EXTRA TOPICS" sites, how might you make your teaching more relevant and reach more students?

Particularly, through a) working with parents and families, b)using alternative assessment to help students learn more, c) confronting the dilemma of depth vs. coverage. d) teaching the gifted and talented, the learning disabled, and English Language learners likely to be in your classes via "inclusion", e) coping with challenges of (beginning) teaching, including mastering the dynamics of questioning, and f) helping students with career planning and transition to life after high school.
  1. Working With Parents: What Parents Should Do, What Is the Teacher's Role
  2. Teacher Web.com -- A fast and easy way to create a great connection to students and parents. You can use many of the links you find in this course!
  3. **Rubrics! Great site to help you evaluate students most fairly and to help them learn to self-evaluate in all subjects!
  4. Depth vs. Coverage in Teaching and Preparing Students for Standardized Tests
  5. Teaching Gifted and Talented Students
  6. Teaching Strategies and Techniques -- Matched to types of diabilities students may have
  7. Free Translation.com -- A site that can be used to translate handouts, tests, and texts into Spanish and several other languages
  8. Teaching English Language Learners
  9. Guides for New (And Not So New) Teachers
  10. *1*TEACHERS ON TEACHING Discussions by classroom teachers on what they wish they'd known when they started.
  11. *1*My Hero: Teacher Heroes Inspiring!
  12. *1*Teacher Tools Page -- On-line tools for making quizzes, puzzles, rubrics, webquests, and more.
  13. Custom Classroom -- Free tools
  14. SchoolNotes.com FREE! Easily develop homework assignments and class information, posting it on the Web!

    *1*Consider, too, the importance of WAIT TIME. Most teachers ask questions at an extremely rapid rate, and average only one second of wait time after each question and after each student answer.

    When teachers increase wait time by 5 seconds, the following results occur:

    1) Longer student answers;
    2) More appropriate answers;
    3) More frequent student responses;
    4) More answers on the analysis and synthesis levels;
    5) More questions and responses from slow learners; and
    6) More confidence by students in their answers.

    An excellent site to inquire further into the dynamics of questioning and wait-time is *1*Changing the Questions.

  15. Careers.org -- Resources for Job Seekers and links to numerous career information sites.
  16. Exploring Careers
  17. Career Paths Online

    FINAL TASK

    Go through your Essays and annotated sites. *1*Make Table of Contents for each section, and **star the sites you want to be sure to make reference to in teaching each area of Social Studies.

    Describe ideas you have gotten that you believe will make your classes come alive.

    Finally, compose an imaginary letter to a friend who has written, asking you about teaching. Tell the friend about one class based on ideas from this online course—the kinds of students you have, the work they’ve done, how you’ve evaluated them, and what you want to try to add next year.

    Mail your completed work to:

    Chad C. Osborne
    923 West Mission St.
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101