Document_bw Programs Description

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Contributed on April 25, 2012 04:48 PM

Related to Social Studies - Secondary

The Plano ISD Social Studies program promotes learning in a concept-based curriculum using a variety of skills.

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills are aligned in a K-12 written curriculum based on the eight social studies strands (history, geography, government, economics, citizenship, culture, science and technology, and social studies skills).

  • The elementary curriculum is organized by integrating social studies concepts with science and health.
  • The middle school curriculum is based on a framework of enduring understandings and essential questions.
  • Students at the high school level must complete four years of in-depth social studies requirements for the State Recommended Plan.

Program options include standard, pre-Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement, and pre-International Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate courses.

The Social Studies Program is designed to:
  • Provide a classroom environment where students work together in flexible groups as well as independently.
  • Facilitate the development of self-directed learners.
  • Provide students the use of appropriate tools and methods to collect, analyze, and interpret information.
  • Promote the use of technology and mathematics to interpret social studies information.
  • Develop understanding of social studies content and skills as a result of interactive experience such as role play, simulations, debates, panel discussions, hands-on activities.
  • Demonstrate the students’ ability to communicate social studies information in written, visual and oral formats.
  • Provide opportunities to locate and use primary and secondary sources.
  • Provide the use of problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Develop responsible citizenship.

Classroom designs should facilitate a learning environment to promote the social studies program goals. Classrooms should be large enough to accommodate students’ computers, multi-tasking, and flexible class arrangements. The size should provide opportunities for large group and small group work. Classrooms need adequate storage and shelf space. The furniture should consist of tables and chairs or desks to enable a variety of classroom arrangements. Space for display of students’ work is very important. Each classroom needs a multi-media projection device and screen.


Social Studies classrooms should have a variety of print, visual, manipulative, and multi-media resources. Each elementary teacher should have a district curriculum guide, copies of the Organizing Ideas, and access to the elementary database for the online curriculum. The middle school teachers should have access to the online Middle School Project curriculum, and high school teachers should have a district curriculum guide. The state-approved textbook adopted by the district should be available for every student. Teachers need ancillaries for the adopted textbooks.


All social studies classrooms should be dynamic, stimulating and student centered. Social Studies activities should reflect the different learning styles and needs of students. Teachers should employ a wide variety of instructional and behavioral strategies. Active Learning: role play, debate, simulations, re-enactments, socratic seminars, presentations, multi-tasking, cooperating learning, research, respectful learning environment

  • Technology multi-media, Internet research, PowerPoint, Inspiration, GIS, laser discs, digital cameras, video stream, CDs, software, hyperstudio
  • Independent Learning: Writing, document analysis, reading, research, note taking, organizational skills, listening, contracts, self-assessment, study skills
  • Tools: Graphic organizers, artifacts, maps, globes, computers, encyclopedias, library resources, newspapers, graphs, charts
  • Assessments: Authentic, performance, teacher assessment, group assessment, objective tests, essays, projects, self-assessment, peer review, teacher feedback
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Sequencing, compare and contrast, cause and effect, conclusions, inference, generalizations, point of view, bias, analyze primary and secondary sources, interpret and analyze data

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