Top Ten Reasons to Include Social Studies in Your Instructional Day

By Porter, Priscilla H. | Social Studies Review, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Top Ten Reasons to Include Social Studies in Your Instructional Day


Porter, Priscilla H., Social Studies Review


It is 11:35 p.m. Exhausted from another day on the job, the teacher drifts off to sleep while in the distance the television drones on. David Letterman steps forth into her dream as Letterman begins to announce another one of his "Top Ten" lists. But this list is different; it is, "The Top Ten Reasons to Include Social Studies in Your Instructional Day".

10. It's on the test.

9. It's in the book.

8. While students learn to read, they can read to learn.

7. While students learn to write, they can write to "show what they know".

6. It's all about TIME.

5. It's all about PEOPLE.

4. It's all about PLACE.

3. To prepare for the future, learn from the past.

2. Be PROUD to be an AMERICAN.

1. Social Studies can be fun!

In her dream, Letterman begins, "Let's take a closer look at the 'Social Studies Top Ten' and analyze the rationale for each item on the list."

Number 10. It's on the test.

While, some people would list the test as the #1 reason to teach social studies, the test is only one small reflection of a students' knowledge. For this reason, the test is located at the bottom of the list as a reason to include social studies in your instructional day. Testing is not considered the most critical goal, nonetheless, it is an important consideration.

In California, students are not tested in social studies until Grades 8, 10, 11 and 12. A familiar adage says, "What gets tested, is what gets taught." Why then should an elementary teacher worry about including social studies in the instructional day? The secondary teachers cannot be held solely responsible for all of the content measured on their students' tests. They stand on the shoulders of those elementary teachers who have come before them.

The California History-Social Science Framework provides a sequentially developed comprehensive curriculum for each grade level that builds upon content learned in the previous years. In Kindergarten to Grade 2, students learn the fundamental concepts of geography, history, economics and political science. This instruction lays the foundation for success in the grades that follow. Local History is studied in Grade 3, California History in Grade 4, and American History follows in grades 5, 8, and 11. World History, which is taught in grades 6, 7, and 11, is subsequently followed with Economics and Government in Grade 12.

If any one rung in this sequential ladder is skipped, the later grade levels are adversely affected. The neglect shows up on the test. (For information about the content included on the California History-Social Science tests, refer to the California Department of Education website: www.cde.ca.gov. Once there, click on STAR, then Program Resources. From this page you can access blueprints for each of the tests and the released questions from past tests.)

Number 9. It's in the book.

This year, most school districts in California have selected new social studies textbooks for students to use in Kindergarten to Grade 8. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money has been spent with the expectation the new materials will be used in the classroom. A list of the adopted textbooks and resource materials for California can be accessed at hrtp://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/im/sbehssadop.asp

Textbooks play a useful role in the social studies classroom, but they should not be the "only" books to teach the subject matter. Seek out literature that is based upon historical and fictional figures. Identify sources that recount history and events as "stories well-told". Find sources that draw from historical documents such as eye-witness accounts, oral histories, diaries, photographs, and newspaper accounts. A diversity of resources invigorates the social studies program at any grade level. One reference book, Pages of the Past, aligns numerous children's literature titles to History-Social Science Standards. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Top Ten Reasons to Include Social Studies in Your Instructional Day
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.