Recent Research on Social studies

Vocabulary matching test is good measure of content learning in middle school

There are many tools for tracking student progress in reading and math. But, how can you tell if students are making progress in content areas such as science and social studies? One of the best formative assessments for measuring content-area learning appears to be vocabulary matching, according to recent research in Exceptional Children. Vocabulary matching… Tell Me More »

The Hunger Games motivates students to get involved in social justice

Hunger, violence, involuntary labor, sex trade and forced warriors are some of the social justice issues experienced by Katniss and other characters in The Hunger Games. Reading  the trilogy in class can encourage students to become activists on these issues to help current victims of these problems. Students can write to public officials, propose innovative… Tell Me More »

This may be one of the best arguments yet for grade 6-12 content teachers to spend more time teaching vocabulary

Researchers estimate that every year, beginning in 5th grade, students encounter approximately 10,000 unfamiliar words. Despite this exposure to nearly 70,000 new words over the course of 7 years, the average high school student graduates with a vocabulary of only 35,000 to 42,000 words, according to a recent article in The Social Studies Journal. Many… Tell Me More »

Hunger Games mini-unit challenges students to brainstorm about world’s problems

A 1-week mini-unit based on the wildly popular book and movie, The Hunger Games, challenges students to infer what events led to the post-apocalyptic world in the story and to analyze how we can avoid a similar fate. The mini-unit curriculum, “Avoiding the path to Panem,” is available for free download at the Educurious website (…. Tell Me More »

Why 9/11 should be taught more in school

Educators suggest resources for teaching this difficult topic In the days immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, many teachers dropped their lesson plans to involve students in unfolding events by watching television coverage and engaging in classroom discussion. It was the quintessential “teachable moment” that promised to galvanize… Tell Me More »

Word wall in middle school hallway reinforces 8th-grade content vocabulary as students walk to classes

Word walls have been used in many elementary school classrooms to help students build their vocabulary as they learn how to read. One rural public middle school in the southeastern United States took the word wall one step further, says a recent article in The Clearing House. Eighth-grade teachers in the school collaborated on a… Tell Me More »

Integrating math and social studies: ‘Ten Black Dots’ and September 11th

To find the time to teach social studies and science to elementary school students, educators have had to become highly resourceful at integrating these subjects with reading instruction. But, teachers have found it much more difficult to integrate other content areas with mathematics, especially in the upper elementary grades, according to a recent article in… Tell Me More »

When documentary replaced textbook, LD students mastered social studies content, study finds

Poor reading skills hamper students with learning disabilities (LDs) from learning challenging material presented in classes such as social studies. While there is a great deal of emphasis on giving students with LDs access to the general curriculum, observational research reports that they frequently do not learn much in social studies classes. In a recent study published in Exceptional… Tell Me More »

Less classroom time spent on social studies as focus turns to subjects included in NCLB testing

Social studies teachers are envied by some of their peers because they are left out of the testing and accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind. But a report in Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices suggests that the omission has negative consequences. The biggest: Less time spent on social studies curriculum and more time for… Tell Me More »

Improving the social sudies curriculum

Social studies curricula in the primary grades are often criticized as trite, redundant, and unlikely to help students achieve important educational goals. Educators disagree about how to improve social studies curricula. It is variously suggested that cultural literacy, history or social issues should be the focus of instruction. Researchers Jere Brophy and Janet Alleman, Michigan… Tell Me More »