When we met as a discipline last fall we discussed the new Next Generation Standards and spent time on the new LITERACY strand or standard. As the year moves to a close it is a good time to review the standards and objectives. As we plan for next year we need to really emphasize the Literacy standard, as our discipline is counted on to support Literacy across the curriculum. Think back to how we used the primary documents in our session last fall and strive to incorporate this sort of thing into your lessons throughout the year. Continue to emphasize reading and writing in our content area to allow our subject to be relevant and realistic to learners. Create prompts in WV Writes and have students as much as possible writing in our content to support our standards, as we “write to learn.” As we have long known in our content are, no matter the subject, everyone is a reading teacher! In our schools social studies teachers will be encouraged to mesh what we do with the English Language Arts teachers as their new standards contain documents rooted in history. This will be great opportunity for us to work across the curriculum to maximize literacy with all of our students.
West Virginia Social Studies Content Standards K-12
Civics addresses both citizenship and political systems. Citizenship education prepares students to be informed, active and effective citizens who accept their responsibilities, understand their privileges and rights and participate actively in society and government. To be successful participants in society, students must understand how to build social capital (a network of social relationships) that encourages reciprocity and trust, two characteristics of civic virtue and good citizenship. Students must be able to research issues, form reasoned opinions, support their positions and engage in the political process. Students exercise tolerance and empathy, respect the rights of others, and share a concern for the common good while acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind. Students must learn and practice intellectual and participatory skills essential for an involved citizenry. To develop these skills, the curriculum must extend beyond the school to include experiences in the workplace and service in the community. While studying political systems, students develop global awareness and study the foundations of various world governments and the strategies they employ to achieve their goals. With respect to the United States, students learn the underlying principles of representative democracy, the constitutional separation of powers and the rule of law. The students learn the origins and meaning of the principles, ideals and core democratic values expressed in the foundational documents of the United States. Students recognize the need for authority, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Economics analyzes the production, allocation, distribution and use of resources. The economic principles include an understanding of scarcity and choice, productivity, markets and prices, supply and demand, competition, role of government, international trade factors and consumer decisions in a global economy. Understanding economic principles, whole economies and the interactions between different types of economies helps students comprehend the exchange of information, capital and products across the globe. Learners investigate economic principles and their application to historical situations. Learners will work cooperatively and individually to analyze how basic economic principles affect their daily lives. Students become financially responsible by examining the consequences of and practicing personal financial decision-making.
Geography encompasses physical and human systems and the interactions between them on local and global scales. People interact with the natural world in culturally distinct ways to produce unique places, which change over time. New technologies and perspectives of geography provide students with an understanding of the world, and the ability to evaluate information in spatial terms. The geography standard stresses the world in which we live and the role of the U.S. in the global community. Students use geographic perspectives and technology to interpret culture, environment and the connection between them. Students collaborate with one another and work individually using geographic skills and tools to ask geographic questions based on the five themes of geography (location, place, human-environmental interaction, movement and regions). They acquire the necessary information, organize and analyze the information and respond to those geographic questions. Students examine the varying ways in which people interact with their environments and appreciate the diversity and similarities of cultures and places created by those interactions.
The Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies lay out a vision of what it means to be literate in social studies. The skills and understanding students are expected to demonstrate in both reading and writing have a wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Reading requires an appreciation of the norms and conventions of social studies, such as the kinds of evidence used in history; an understanding of domain-specific words and phrases; an attention to precise details; and the capacity to evaluate intricate arguments, synthesize complex information, and follow detailed descriptions of events and concepts in social studies. In writing students must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. They have to become adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing material accurately, reporting finding from their research and analysis of sources in a clear and cogent manner. Students who meet these standards demonstrate the reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private and responsible citizenship in a democratic society.
History organizes events and phenomena in terms of when they occurred and examines where, how and why they took place. Students study how individuals and societies have changed and interacted over time. They organize events through chronologies and evaluate cause-and-effect relationships among them. Students analyze how individuals, groups and nations have shaped cultural heritages. They gather historical data, examine, analyze and interpret this data, and present their results in a clear, critical manner. Students study origins and evolutions of culture hearths, settlements, civilizations, states, nations, nation-states, governments and economic developments. Through history, students understand the identity and origins of their families, communities, state and nation. Through history, students recognize the influence of world events on the development of the United States and they evaluate the influence of the United States on the world. Understanding the past helps students prepare for today and the events of the future