Social Studies can be SPECtacular

Social Studies can be SPECtacular. Anthony J Fitzpatrick Vice President for Professional Development Services The American Institute for History Education. Looking for SPECs in your classroom:.
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Social Studies can beSPECtacularAnthony J FitzpatrickVice President for Professional Development ServicesThe American Institute for History EducationLooking for SPECs in your classroom:
  • State standards, textbook objectives, and writing outlines are almost always written in a form of SPEC or other helpful anagrams.
  • So what is it?
  • SPEC
  • Social
  • Having to do with people in groups, their living together, includes issues such as gender, economic status, and ethnicity.
  • Political
  • Having to do with gaining, seeking, and organizing power, events related to the function of government: making laws, enforcing laws, and interpreting laws.
  • Economic
  • Having to do with how people meet their basic material needs; the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; includes such issues as domestic and international trade, monetary policies, and taxation.
  • Cultural
  • Having to do with the technology, arts, and institutions of a given group of people at a given time. It is a tangible representation of interactions.
  • Common Core Connection
  • Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • A sample from Grade 8
  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • 2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • 3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
  • We need a formula!
  • Other subject areas have formulas to help students “show their work” and have a path to figure our problems.
  • History and Social Studies can be considered in the same way . . .
  • You don’t have to capitalize the C
  • Often the most confusing theme is Culture as students may confuse it with Social.
  • It’s quite acceptable to use SPE first until they get the SPEcial nuance that separates social and cultural.
  • Let’s Try It:
  • What do you know about Thomas Jefferson?
  • OK
  • Let’s Take that content and begin to analyze it for its SPEC significance!!!
  • Now:
  • Let’s take the list and use SPEC to categorize and organize our answers.
  • TOPICThe result:
  • Absent of an initial clear vision of an Thomas Jefferson – armed with SPEC – students will be able to approach content with a plan in order to use what they know to formulate a response.
  • Grade Level Appropriateness
  • Students of ALL ages and grade levels can begin to investigate SPEC in thoughtful and meaningful ways.
  • The key is to engage the standards in different ways, scaffold the skill and then spiral it so keeps unlock deeper meaning.
  • Disclaimer
  • Are you limited to SPEC?
  • There are other themes appropriate to bring into your classroom (Geography, Religion as example)
  • SPEC is just a wonderful starting point, and very versatile.
  • There are ways to introduce the other themes while keeping SPEC as the foundation.
  • Get out your SPECtacles.
  • Let’s examine some primary source documents for some SPECifics.
  • Documents
  • Mayflower Compact
  • Federalist 10
  • Excerpts of Emancipation Proclamation
  • Reconstruction Amendments
  • Let’s move it past just the generation of ideas . . .
  • Graphic Organizers.
  • Scavenger Hunts.
  • Extension into an interactive notebook.
  • Make generalizations that will lead to . . .
  • Common Core Writing Expectations
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing whatis to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • SPECulate
  • In need of a conclusion that doesn’t “tell me what you told me” – have the students take a calculated risk!
  • What is the goal?
  • Have students providing a broad SPECtrum of thesis statements and conclusions that show their content mastery and their historical thinking capabilities.
  • Thank You
  • Questions, comments, modifications?
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