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.

Glenn will share successful strategies that target the unique features and constructions of social studies texts as well as other forms of non-fiction & fiction. Handouts and materials provided can be used immediately to modify your social studies instruction.

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)

Slideshare presentation (long)
Slideshare presentation (short)


Workshop Resources

Historical Thinking sites

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

Tech Tools

Video game resources
Graphic Organizers from TeacherVision
Editable Graphic Organizers

Word Magnets (word sorts)
Image resources

Tell Me a Digital Story

iPod / iPad resources

PhotoStory 3
Comic Life

My Fake Facebook

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
The Historian's Toolbox
Six units leading kids through good history practices
Language Strategies for Social Science
Included here are strategies for integrating language and literacy learning into high school Social Science and History from Stanford University
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
Strategies in Action: Being a Strategic Teacher of Social Studies
Over 100 helpful ideas
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