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                                                                                   Common Core Aligned H-SS Lessons

The following lessons and classroom sources have been developed by H-SS leaders and organizations to give examples of ways to translate the Common Core State Standards into effective tools to build both social studies content understanding and enhance writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills.

The History Blueprint – The Civil War

The History Blueprint is a dynamic program of curriculum, innovative assessment tools, student literacy support, and teacher professional development,
aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  It uses historical investigations, comprehension and vocabulary development activities, and analysis and
evaluation of arguments about various issues of the Civil War.

The History Blueprint - The Cold War
The Cold War project includes Common-Core aligned curriculum, assessments, literacy, and teacher professional development. Drawing on new historical
scholarship about the global context of the Cold War, the unit is framed around the investigation question:
Why and how was the Cold War fought?

Voices from Little Rock: Understanding the Civil Rights Movement Through Primary Sources
This module of 15 lessons developed by Expeditionary Learning is a model of common core aligned history-social science instruction. The resources include primary sources and assessments as well as descriptions of teacher instructional practice and student activities.
(MS & HS)

From Revolution to Democracy: The Complex Fight for Freedom

This module consists of two units that model what Common Core aligned H-SS instruction may look like. The two units serve as "bookends" to the study of the American Revolution. Unit 1 delves into the pre-Revolutionary period (1754-1776) through the close reading of primary and secondary sources. Unit 2 Post-Revolution: The Critical Period (1781 – 1787) focuses on various stakeholders unhappy with early attempts to build a new federal government. Materials include lesson level agendas with text-dependent questions and activities, as well as formative and summative assessments.

Declaration of Independence
This Idaho Department of Education lesson uses the Declaration of Independence and a secondary document about it to teach how to determine central ideas within a text and strategies of summarizing.

Commentary on the Declaration of Independence,%20Opinion,%20Reasoning.pdf

This lesson from the Idaho State Department of Education guides students to analyze the Declaration of Independence by evaluating how Jefferson with the help of the rest of committee use fact, opinion, and persuasive appeals to support the claims of the American colonies that they are right to seek independence from Great Britain.

Rights of British Colonies (1763) by James Otis, William Pitt’s Address to Parliament (1766), Rights of Colonist (1772) by Samuel Adams, Olive Branch Petition (1774) by Congress in Philadelphia, Proclamation of Rebellion 1775 by King George, Declaration of Independence (1776)

This is a series of strategies to teach about Point of View for use with the above series of documents. Some strategies are useful for one document, others for comparing the point of view of several.

Declaration of Independence (1776), Declaration of the Right of Man (1789), Unanimous Declaration of the People of Texas (1836), Declaration of Sentiments – Seneca Falls Convention (1848), UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

In this activity, students compare and contrast different sources on similar topics and integrate information from the diverse sources listed above.


The Declaration of Independence, Art from the Era of the Declaration, and Political Cartoons

This activity adds another dimension to the one above by adding visual representations in the comparison and contrast of different sources related to a topic.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Teaching Literacy Through History
Teaching Literacy Through History provides lessons and professional development opportunities to align and adapt instructional content and strategies to Common Core State Standards.

Gilder Lehrman: History Tech – 46 Free [American] History Lessons Aligned to Common Core

These materials were written and aligned to reading, writing, and communicating skills by Gilder Lehrman teachers of the year.


Unleashing the Power and Potential of Common Core for History/Social Studies

Here are lessons on WWI and more. Follow this CRF blog as it announces new lesson resources aligned to Common Core in the coming year. They have a grant form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enrich, and Common Core align their rich treasure of lesson resources. 

California’s Diversity: Past and Present – Lessons for the Fair Education Act of 2011

This set of lessons was developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation in partnership with the California Three Rs Project to assist schools in implementing
the changes to the Education Code related to teaching about the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds including LGBT, the disabled, and Asian and
Pacific Islanders.  All lessons are aligned to the Common Core State ELA Standards and use instructional strategies that build the capacity for civil dialogue in
dealing with controversial issues.

What Was the Purpose of the Preamble? (5th Grade)
This lesson from the California Council of Humanities and the California History-Social Science Project is a model of how to integrate H-SS content and ELA Common Core instructional outcomes.

Preparing Students for College, Career, and CITIZENSHIP: A California Guide to Align Civic Education and the Common Core State Standards for
English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects
This guide is intended to achieve a dual purpose: to provide English-Language Arts teachers a civic education context for improving literacy skills and, to provide
social studies teachers a pedagogical framework for building literacy competencies needed for civic life. The organizing ELA competencies are derived from the
Common Core State Standards in ELA.

The History Blueprint: Sites of Encounter in the Medieval World

This California History Social Science Project Blueprint unit on the Middle Ages draws on new historical scholarship about the Mediterranean world, maritime technology transfers, travel narratives and multicultural trade cities. The unit is framed around the investigation question:  How did sites of encounter change the medieval world? The unit embeds Common Core ELA standards throughout.

Reading Like a Historian
This website has and overview of what it looks like to “read like a historian” and lessons for major content topics and questions in the US history and world history
curriculum. This site predates the Common Core’s development but the research of the Stanford History Education Group that developed it is infused in the Common
Core State Standards.

Library of Congress’ Teachers’ Page

The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital
collections in their teaching. Teachers may search for materials by Common Core Standard or by Content Standard topic.

Thinkfinity Social Studies

Select social studies and your grade level at this site to search for inquiry-based lessons from the top organizations such as National Geographic, EDSITEment,
Econedlink, Smithsonian’s Explorer, etc.  Most of these lessons employ Common Core standards and strategies though some lessons do not identify these directly.

Pathways to America: Teaching About Immigration
In this Common Core ELA aligned New York Times Learning Network lesson, students examine the myriad issues surrounding an immigration overhaul, including border security, the economic impact of foreign-born workers, and paths to citizenship for those who have entered illegally. In extension activities, they can explore the history of immigration, consider the personal stories of immigrants and try their hand at crafting a compromise or competing bill that emphasizes their own priorities.

Argumentative Writing - Defining Bullying
In this New York Times Common Core lesson
students read an Op Ed piece by Emily Bazelon "Is there a difference between drama and bullying in schools?"  Using at least one quotation from the article, students then create a response to Ms Bazelon explaining their viewpoint based on their experience of school culture.

CRF Civic Action Project
Civic Action Project (CAP) is a project-based learning model for civics and government courses. CAP offers a content rich and motivating example of the integration of Common Core ELA Standards for literacy in H-SS, science and technical subjects.

Understanding Language: Persuasion Across Time and Space
This set of lessons for EL students uses topics in economics, world, and US history to teach English Learners how to analyze complex texts and to create persuasive writing.

This website written by and for teachers maintains are large number of resources for classroom use. It is free but users must register. There are a number of lesson materials for Common Core that can be used by history-social science teachers, such as the series by IM Kessel on Evidence-Based Claims. To find materials, search by standard or grade level or subject area.

California Council for the Social Studies
Serving K-16 Educators Statewide
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