Reading & Writing in Social Studies

Students often struggle to understand the increasingly complex content and vocabulary presented in social studies. Frustrated teachers often feel that it is easier to just cover the information presented instead of working to help students make meaningful connections. Effective strategies increase student learning and build scores on standardized social studies reading and writing tests.

Presentation Handouts

Common Core and Social Studies Grades K-2 (pdf)
Common Core and Social Studies Grades 3-5 (pdf)
Common Core and Social Studies Grades 6-12 (pdf)

Teaching Social Studies through Film
Teaching Thoughtfully With and About Film

KAP Social Studies Docs and sample prompts
ELA / MDPT sample prompts

Evidence-Based Terms bookmark

Writing Prompts One
Writing Prompts Two

Workshop Resources

Historical Thinking sites

National Archives for Teachers
NARA: Teaching with Documents
Library of Congress Learning Page
Our Documents
America's Library
Social Studies Central Documents page
Reading Quest: Making Sense in Social Studies

Tech Tools

Writing Navigator
Teach With Movies
Teaching with movies resources

Zoom In
Zoom In Resources
Google Public Datasets
Storehouse / ex

Adobe Voice example
Listen Current
Zaption / example
Using Evidence / Analysis Worksheets
Video game resources
Graphic Organizers from TeacherVision
Editable Graphic Organizers


Helpful book sites

University of Delaware Children's Literature with Social Studies Themes
NCSS Notable Tradebooks
(Lesson Plans)
Literacy Connections
K-6 Children's Lit for Understanding Economics
What's New in Children's Lit
PBS TeacherSource: Recommended Books
Carol Hurst's Children's Lit Site
K12 Literary Genres
Suggested Children's Lit Activities
Opening Doors to Social Studies with Children's Literature
Social Studies Central reading resources

Reading & Writing Tools

Glossary of Instructional Strategies
Hundreds of effective strategies to try
Lots of interactive, online, and face to face strategies
Instructional Strategies for Social Studies
Useful stuff here
Literacy in Social Studies
Some useful links and tutorials
ReadingQuest: Making Sense in Social Studies
A website designed for social studies teachers who wish to more effectively engage their students with the content in their classes
Reading Strategies for the Social Studies Classroom
Use these practice activities to help struggling readers with comprehension
Reading, Writing and Researching for History
Written for college kids but could be adapted for MS and HS use
Tools for Reading, Writing and Thinking
These tools should be used to help students engage in rigorous thinking, organize complex ideas, and scaffold their interactions with texts