Technology, Social Studies, and the Common Core: Part II

This summer I have been working with Todd Whitten on how we can integrate the Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies into the classroom for this upcoming year. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing what we have come up with both here and on his blog.

Yesterday, Todd began with a post on “iPad Activities for the Common Core in High School Social Studies.” While the title is long, he makes up for it by offering 14 innovative ways to hit specific standards. I hope you find today’s sequel post more Back to the Future Part II than Beethoven’s 2nd.

As with Todd’s post, this list of activities focuses on the reading standards* which are categorized into three sections: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. We rebranded the categories Green Circle, Blue Square, and Black Diamond which reflects both their increasing level of difficulty and my desire to ski this winter. (Todd jokes about renaming them Padawans, Jedi Knights, and Jedi Masters but I have a strong desire not to get sued.)

The lists that we have created are not, by any means, exhaustive and we would love to hear more. So, please join our discussion and/or have one of your own!

Green Circle Activities: 

RH.11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Concept Map –Use a whiteboard app to create a concept map of the central idea and the supporting ideals that stem from it. Screenshot and share with another group (on a blog or through Edmodo) and discuss similarities/difference.

RH.11-12.3. Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

News Blog – Write a news article about what actually happened based upon the primary document and your own research. Discuss why the primary document creator sees things differently. Respond to another’s blog.

Private Journal – Write a first person account as to what happened using the documents provided. Go beyond just the regurgitation and attempt to explain why the event happened.

Blue Square Activities:

RH.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Socrative Vocabulary – Have class define key words on the Socrative “Short Answer” activity. Haves the class vote on the best definitions (developing the definition if needed).

RH.11-12.5. Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Primary Document Assemble! – Give students in small groups different pieces of a primary document. Have them assemble the document and explain why they chose to put it together as is.**

RH.11-12.6. Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.

Moderated Debate – Create a video/audio debate between two primary document authors. Focus both on the differences and the reasons for the differences.

Black Diamond Activities:

RH.11-12.7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Infograph- Create an infograph to explain or address an issue in history using data from a variety of sources.

RH.11-12.8. Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Hot Seat or Meet the Press – Create a dialogue (blog, audio, film, or live) between a primary document creator and a fact checker. Challenge the document creator with facts that you have learned. This will require careful research!

Again, check out Todd’s post for more ideas on infusing technology with the Common Core Social Studies Standards and stay tuned for more. Next week, we will be launching how we addressed primary documents for all three of the levels (Green Circle, Blue Square, and Black Diamond).

*While there are 10 Reading Standards, we will not address the 10th. The unaddressed standard is “RH.x-xx.10. By the end of grade x, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades x–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.”
**While this is not a tech-infused activity, I really enjoyed this idea. Plus, it has a Captain Planet feel that I very much enjoy.

Our Common Core Series (so far):
Technology, Social Studies, and the Common Core: Part I
Technology, Social Studies, and the Common Core: Part II
Common Core Social Studies Activity for 11-12 (John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government)
Primary Documents, Social Studies, and the Common Core: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

For my other posts on the Common Core click here.

As always, feel free to add more ideas or add to the discussion below!

About Michael K. Milton

I teach students Social Studies at Burlington High School. When I became a teacher, I believed that students would frequently give me apples. This has not happened (not even a Red Delicious ~ a name which is a misnomer). However, my school has given me a MacBook Pro and an iPad in an effort to right this wrong (I assume). I'm very lucky to work in a 1:1 school.
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2 Responses to Technology, Social Studies, and the Common Core: Part II

  1. Kali Kurdy says:

    Michael, I am so happy that I happened across your blog site. I am inspired by the good work you are doing.

  2. Pingback: Going Meta: Cataloguing My Past Two Years of Blogging | Michael K. Milton ~ @42ThinkDeep

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