General Information about Teaching Social Studies for Understanding courses

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Title: Using Cognitive Flexibility Theory to Teach History

Author: Tammy Clark

Abstract: The course is meant to address the uses of Using Cognitive Flexibility Theory (CFT) in an online setting, and it can be used as well in a face-to-face (f2f) course.

Course Objective: By the end of this course, you should be able to define CFT, ill-structured domain, case-based learning and epistemic beliefs, develop a survey for your students based on epistemic beliefs and begin composition of a history course using CFT.

Tag(s): CFT, online setting, f2f, case-based learning


Title: Teaching Themed History

Author: Mark Frament

Abstract: This course is designed to offer a new organizational approach to teaching social studies.

Course Objective: Students will be able to use generative topic themes, such as the themes noted in most state curriculums, to create their instructional goals, link topics of instruction together by identifying common themes between them, and become comfortable and wise in using the theme approach by delineating when and when not to apply it and using it for supplemental instructions.

Tag(s): themed history, theme approach


Title: It's All Greek To Me!

Author: Jamilah Jones-McLea

Abstract: A 6th grade course study on Ancient Greece.

Course Objective: Students will demonstrate strong understanding of the history, geography, and culture of Ancient Greece; obtain a strong understanding towards Sparta and Athens, and the age of Pericles.

Tag(s): history, Ancient Greece


Title: 21st Century Skills and Technology in the Social Studies Classroom

Author: Kimberly Young

Abstract: Designed for current and prospective Social Studies educators, this is a course to help you reflect on your role as a 21st century educator and to expose you to new educational practices and technologies.

Course Objective: Students will understand what 21st century skills are, their relevancies to the social studies curriculum, and be able to create lesson plans that effectively teach/practice 21st century skills using technology within the context of social studies.

Tag(s): technology skills, social studies teaching, curriculum


Title: Effective Social Studies Classroom Discussion

Author: Dan Fountain

Abstract: This mini-course will educate teachers on how to ensure that effective social studies classroom discussion is taking place.

Course Objective: In a social studies classroom, the student(Classroom Teacher) will be able to summarize the limitations of the Initiate, Response, Evaluation (IRE) Model of classroom discussion, generate higher order thinking questions and pose them to their class at least 5 times a period, adopt their class's responses and create delving questions to further promote deeper understanding utilizing the Initiate, Response, Feedback (IRF) model of questioning and state the advantages of the Initiate, Response, Feedback (IRF) Model of classroom discussion.

Tag(s): social studies, classroom discussion, IRE model, IRF model


Title: US History Through Digital Storybooks

Author: Mike Porter

Abstract: The course uses digital storybooks to teach The American Journey (Glencoe/McGraw Hill 2006): Chapter 13 North and South 1820-1860, and Chapter 14 The Age of Reform 1820-1860.

Course Objective: The students need to meet curriculum objectives provided by New York State. Unit 5 Section III: Life in the New Nation, the Preindustrial Age: 1790-1860s - New York State Core Curriculum pages 59-61.

Tag(s): digital storybooks, US history


Title: Career Exploration Mini-Course

Author: Sarah Graham

Abstract: In completing this mini-course students may not know exactly what they want to do in the future but what things affect their choices, but this course will allow them to explore all of the things that may be a possibility for them in the future.

Course Objective: Learners can explain how interests, aptitudes, and skills influence career choices, give strategies for applying and interviewing for a job and list education possibilities for getting a job.

Tag(s): career exploration


Title: Slavery Unit

Author: Frank Engle

Abstract: This course will use primary sources, videos, and maps to help learners better understand how slavery helped build our young nation and how in attempting to realize our founding father's belief that "All men are created equal" the United States fought a brutal and bloody civil war.

Course Objective: Learners will gain a deeper knowledge of slavery in America and understand how conflict over slavery led to the American Civil War, understand the Missouri Compromise, create an audacity file of historical documents related to slavery in 19th century America, understand why people supported or opposed slavery based on a variety of reasons and create an editorial representing one side of the slave debate in 19th century America.

Tag(s): American history, slavery


Title: The Historical Puzzle of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Author: Scott Graham

Abstract: Unit one lays the roots for the cognitive process of Blogging which will drive the “construction of sustained communication” within the classroom. Unit two, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, is a collaborative effort among the students to investigate the content of this subject. Unit three, The Solution, is an effort to allow students the ability to synthesize the material and create new knowledge which leads to meaningful solutions for this global event.

Course Objective: Students will be able to describe and analyze the historical circumstances of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in order to come to a solution for this crisis.

Tag(s): history, Arab-Israeli conflict


Title: Designing Effective Learning Targets for US History and Government

Author: Jessica Mascle

Abstract: The purpose of this course is to clarify for teachers, students, and parents the effectiveness of learning targets and how to apply learning targets as guides to intended learning.

Course Objective: Learners will be able to come up with answers to the following questions with the knowledge of learning targets: 1) How does a teacher go about establishing learning targets for a course? 2) How do they teach them explicitly to students? 3) And how do they communicate progress towards the meeting of them?

Tag(s): learning targets


Title: Improving Geography with the Help of Google Earth

Author: Todd Lewis

Abstract: This lesson will incorporate technology into a process that is designed to improve a student’s understanding of geography and their ability to locate landmarks on a map. Students will work side-by-side in a lab environment learning the locations of various landmarks such as various cities, and other popular attractions of historical significance.

Course Objective: Students will be able to locate a specific location on a map when given it’s address and all of the States within the Continental United Stated; use Google Earth to learn more about the economy of a particular state or county and use it as a geography learning tool to increase map skills.

Tag(s): Geography teaching, Google Earth


Title: Exploring Latin American Countries and Caribbean Islands

Author: Magaly Barreto

Abstract: The idea for this project in a language class is for students in secondary school to learn about and develop an appreciation for the cultures that exist around the world.

Course Objective: By studying a Latin American country or Caribbean island, student will be able to develop a better understanding of the Spanish language and the culture that exist in these countries. The learning outcomes for this mini course relate to students developing cognitive strategies and more importantly attitude skills.

Tag(s): culture, attitude


Title: Teaching Socials Studies for Understanding

Author: Michael Flynn

Abstract: The course examines various articles that highlight key components of fostering deep understanding within students, the structure of social studies curriculum and developing classroom activities of our own that we will be able to utilize in order to promote understanding.

Course Objective: Learners will be able to differentiate between "knowledge" and "understanding", identify the role of "generative topics" in fostering understanding, extract examples of generative topics from within the NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum, demonstrate effective instructional strategies by developing activities for classroom instruction that foster understanding and generate a complete lesson plan to demonstrate your understanding of effective teaching strategies.

Tag(s): social studies, teaching for understanding


Title: Design Project Theme: Using Project Based Learning to Teach The United States Constitution

Author: Lawrence Moultrie

Abstract: This mini-course was designed to help Social Studies teacher integrate project based learning and technology into their classroom.

Course Objective: At the end of the unit the learner will have an in-depth understanding of the rights that are granted to the learner in the United States Constitution. Additionally, the learner will be cognoscente of the struggle that the framers of the Constitution encountered when attempting to develop the laws that would govern the United States. The learner will enhance their communication, research and cooperative learning skills.

Tag(s): US history, social studies, US Constitution


Title: Design Project: Theme Project - Native American Indians

Author: Susan Fenstermacher

Abstract: In this theme project of Native American Indians, the project will cover the theme topics of 1) Native American Indian housing; 2) the different types of clothing used by different tribes; 3) Native American Indian crafts; 4) different legends and lore of the Native American Indians; 5) the change in culture as the white man came into the Native American Indian world.

Course Objective: The students can learn a variety of things while engaging in this topic of Native American Indians. The students can learn about the lifestyles of the Native American Indians, focusing on their different hunting techniques, their housing, how tools were made, what games the children played, the roles of the different members of the tribe, tribe colors, animals and clothing and so on.

Tag(s): Native American Indians, social studies


Title: News Literacy

Author: Fiona Grady

Abstract: This News Literacy mini-course is designed to be a short course that introduces students who are not enrolled in the School of Journalism's News Literacy course (JRN 101 or 103) to some of the main concepts of News Literacy.

Course Objective: At the end of this course, students will be able to define what is meant by the term “news”, recognize quality journalism, evaluate information critically, and appreciate the importance of news literacy.

Tag(s): News Literacy


Title: The Hudson River as the Context for Learning

Author: Susan Hereth

Abstract: This self-guided mini course, " The Hudson River as the Context for Learning", is a professional development structure aimed at giving participants the tools they need to implement Place-based Education practices focused on the Hudson River Valley as the context for learning.

Course Objective: After completing this course, learners will have a clear understanding of Place-based Education, be able to find and choose resources related to Place-based Education and the Hudson River Valley, seek out professional development experiences in Place-based Education, and re-design current lessons or design new lessons and projects to incorporate Place-based Education using the Hudson River Valley as the context for learning in their instruction.

Tag(s): Place-based Education, The Hudson River


Title: Communities_course

Author: Andrew Walldroff

Abstract: In this course it will examine two short and sweet and to the point units in a first grade social studies. It is designed to show some different ways and ideas to do things and how to present the lesson. It is an away to use different forms of media as well as introducing technology into the first grade classroom.

Course Objective: The students will use a website that allows them to place buildings and people in their town and community. Students will look at and talk about blogging and the effectiveness at building that type of online community.

Tag(s): Community, course, social, blog,


Title: Character Education: The units

Author: Shihhan Kung

Abstract: The intent of this course is to show educators the knowledge of Character Education and how to effectively integrate it in classroom. For understanding the purpose and principle of Character Education, the topics will cover the theory of Moral development, the main components of moral development, purpose and benefits of Character Education, and the principle of effective Character Education. By the end, the course will introduce how to apply Children literature to teach Character in classroom.

Course Objective: Course participants should be able to identify the meaning of character education and the effective principles of character education. As well, participants will be able to identify the meaning and benefits of using children literature to teach character. Also, they will learn to evaluate certain children literature which can be applied to Character Education.

Tag(s): Character Education, children literature, moral development, classroom



Title: American Revolution Through Mindful Engagement

Author: Michael Griggs

Abstract: There are two parts to this framework: Mindful and Engagement. The mindful part is meant to foster cognitive and reflective aspects of reading and the Engagement part confirms that interests, motivation and personal investment shape the act of comprehending new material. In a nutshell, we are trying to use our students prior knowledge and understanding of the American Revolution while engaging them in a way that fosters personal investment in the material. We want our students to not only understand why the American Revolution is important and we want them to understand how it still affects their lives today!

Course Objective: After reading/watching the appropriate material, learners will understand the importance of creating instructional objectives by participating in an online discussion. Understand the importance of multiple intelligence theory and its implications in the classroom by sharing their new found knowledge with classmates through online discussion. Use multiple intelligence tests to help gauge a students learning style through their own results and the results of their classmates. Understand how background knowledge can affect student motivation and engagement.

Tag(s): American Revolution, Mindful Engagement, Online learning.



Title: Exploring the American Revolutionary War Through Primary Source

Author: Ryan Johnson

Abstract: Welcome! There are so many ways to learn about historical events, people, and places, and one of the most interesting and accurate ways to do this is through the use of primary source documents. Primary source documents are pictures, diary entries, letters, maps, or first-hand accounts presented by the people who actually saw or did something. When learning about the American Revolutionary War, we can look at battle maps, read letters from soldiers and their families, look at pictures and read first-hand accounts from the people who actually lived through this event in history.

Course Objective: Students will be be able to define "primary source document," and be able to identify one when it is presented to them. Students will acknowledge and be able to show an understanding of the importance of primary source documents, and how they uniquely and accurately capture one's personal experiences as it relates to the American Revolutionary War. Students will learn about the precipitating events that led to the American Revolutionary War, about the key people involved, the major battles and other events, primarily through Primary Source Documents.

Tag(s): History, Primary source


Title: Incorporating Media Literacy in Social Studies Classrooms

Author: Joshua Lewandowski

Abstract: This course has been developed to teach social studies teachers how to effectively incorporate media literacy education into their classrooms. Teachers participating in this course will understand the importance of media literacy, learn a classroom process of having students decode media to stretch student thinking, and create their own full-length social studies media literacy lesson plans.

Course Objective: At the conclusion of this lesson, participants of this course will be able to define media and media literacy.

Tag(s) : Media Literacy, Social Studies.



Title: Creating a Bully Free Environment Within Your School

Author: Ally Dellacioppa

Abstract: Welcome to the Creating a Bully Free Environment Within Your School mini-course! The intent of this course is for educators to become informed about bullying and cyberbullying and what they can do to help create a bully free environment within their schools. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is a scary reality for many of our students whether we realize it or not. Hopefully this course will educate you on the dangers surrounding it and help you to better prepare in dealing with it should you experience it within your school.

Course Objective: Students will be able to define cyberbullying and identify the dangers of it (verbal). Students will be able to create a Wordle document that cites examples of how cyberbullying can take place at the elementary, middle and high school level. (verbal). Students will be able to compare and contrast cyberbullying to traditional forms of bullying (intellectual)

Tag(s) :Bully Free Environment, Cyberbullying, Bullying.



Title: Stop Bullying Now

Author: Jamie T.

Abstract: The intent of this course is to help both students and teachers to recognize the effect that bullying has in our schools. Both teachers and students will become more aware of the signs of bullying, the different types of bullying they may see, and how to prevent or stop bullying from happening in our schools.

Course Objective: Learners will be able to: identify the different types of bullying they may see in a classroom/school setting. (Verbal). Identify and describe/act out what the bullying cycle is and looks like. (Motor Skills). Create and implement a plan using the information from this wiki on how to create a caring community in their classroom and stop bullying. Work together to develop ideas of how they could prevent bullying from happening in the classroom. (Cognitive Strategies). By the end of this unit, use their knowledge about bullying to spread the word to end bullying. (Attitude)

Tag(s): Bulling, Stop Bulling