Common Core Social Studies Lesson Plan Template

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

It can be confusing to figure out how to align your social studies teaching with the Common Core State Standards. This lesson provides you a template to work with across ages and specific subject areas.

The Common Core Social Studies Standards

As a history or social studies teacher, you might be feeling a bit confused about how to align your lessons with the Common Core State Standards. In the elementary grades, the social studies standards are intertwined with the standards for reading and writing. In middle and high school, the standards are intentionally vague so that you can cater them to the needs of your particular students and the content standards of your state or district. This vagueness allows for flexibility, but it can also be frustrating: as a teacher, how do you know what you are supposed to do? In a nutshell, though, regardless of the age level, the CCSS emphasize some particular skills:

  • Analyzing primary source documents

The authors of the CCSS believe that it is important for students to learn to look at a primary source document, like a map, historical text, or political cartoon, and derive the big messages it communicates.

  • Thinking critically

Regardless of students' ages and the specific content areas, the CCSS asks students to weigh different points of view and consider alternate perspectives on major historical themes and issues.

  • Supporting ideas with evidence

The CCSS asks students to write critically as well, supporting ideas with evidence from history and from different texts in order to demonstrate the capacity for making a strong argument.

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