Planning an Integrated Thematic
Social Studies Curriculum Unit
History/Social Science Standards
• What History/Social Sciences academic
content standards are addressed in the unit?
• Include the strands, standard number, and
description for each standard addressed in the unit in
history/social sciences, science, visual and
performing arts, health, and/or P.E.
• What Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
in English Language Arts and Mathematics are
addressed in this unit?
• How can I give my students direct
experience of this topic?
• Think of possible fieldtrip – either real or
• Reflect children’s interests, abilities and
issues of concern: How will I hook them in?
• Involve concepts and skills at the right level
of challenge for the age group
• Topic should be complex and interesting
enough to be explored at some depth
What Enduring Understandings do you
want students to gain?
• What are the essential questions for this unit
• Brainstorm the purpose and goals
• Gather the resources and materials
• Create a graphic organizer or curriculum
• Ask the children:
• What do you want to know?
• What would you like to learn?
Criteria for Theme Selection
Topic must provide active learning and direct, hands-
•Children can explore it with their senses.
•Concept is developmentally appropriate
•Concept can be organized to move from:
• Simple to complex
• Concrete to abstract
•Interesting, meaningful, and worth knowing about.
•Help children acquire understanding and appreciation of
themselves, others, and the world in which they live.
• Organize curriculum around a California
Social Studies theme
• Umbrella overarching interest area
• Integrates different developmental and subject areas
• Contributes to child’s growing understanding of
his/her place in time and space
• Provides opportunities for child to learn by doing and
have direct experiences with the topic
• Helps students understand that learning is connected to
Social Studies Themes
•Grade Three—Continuity and Change
•Grade Four—California: A Changing State
•Grade Five—United States History and
Geography: Making a New Nation
•Grade Six—World History and Geography:
Continuity and Change
• Our Local History: Discovering Our Past and Our
• Our Nation’s History: Meeting People, Ordinary and
Extraordinary, Through Biography, Story, Folktale, and
Consider your own local community history, legends, geography,
economy, significant leaders, local Native American tribes, etc.
California: A Changing State
• The Physical Setting: California and Beyond
• Pre-Columbian Settlements and People
• Exploration and Colonial History
• Missions, Ranchos, and the Mexican War for
• Gold Rush, Statehood, and the Westward Movement
• The Period of Rapid Population Growth, Large-Scale
• and Linkage to the Rest of the United States
• Modern California: Immigration, Technology, & Cities
United States History and Geography:
Making a New Nation
• The Land & People Before Columbus
• Age of Exploration
• Settling the Colonies –The Virginia Settlement
• Life in New England –The Middle Colonies
• Settling the Trans-Appalachian West
• The War for Independence-
• Life in the Young Republic
• The New Nation’s Westward Expansion-
• Linking Past to Present: The American People, Then &
World History and Geography:
• Early Humankind and the Development of Human
• The Beginnings of Civilization in the Near East and
• Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush
• The Foundation of Western Ideas: The Ancient
Hebrews and Greeks
• West Meets East: The Early Civilizations of India
• East Meets West: Rome
Outline for an Integrated Thematic
• Title: Kid Grabbing Topic
• Concept: What is the big idea
from social studies you want
students to understand? What
is the essential question?
• Why is this important for
students to know?
• Why are the outcomes of
this unit important in the
• Unit Objectives: Major
• Resources: Books, Articles,
Websites, Multimedia, etc.
• Content Standards and
Common Core State
• Create a two week history-social science based unit that
integrates a majority of subject areas.
• Unit should reflect the content standards for the grade level
• Unit should include lessons that utilize a:
• Variety of intelligences
• Different levels of thinking (Depth of Knowledge)
• Adaptations based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
• Utilize technology appropriately (TPACK framework)
• The unit should be designed for one grade level 3-6.
• Mindmap, Graphic Organizer, or Curriculum Map for the Unit
Plan – week 4
• At least 4 lessons
• A final performance-based final assessment with a rubric.
• Include the following:
• Graphic Organizer/Curriculum Map
• Prezi presentation – Introduction to the Unit Week 5
• Week 6 Google Classroom
• Fieldtrip Lesson Preparation
• The unit should include:
• Primary Source/s Lesson Plan
• Visual or Performing Arts Lesson Plan
• CCSS ELA and Math Lesson Plan
• Project-based Culminating Project: Lesson Plan with Summative Rubric
• Design a fieldtrip related to your thematic unit.
• Provide the title and the location or web address of
your fieldtrip location.
• Summarize the experience
• What will students do?
• How will you organize the real or virtual experience?
• Describe student learning activities and essential
questions to be investigated.
• Describe the key history-social science concepts that
you think this virtual experience addresses.
Mind Map, Infographic
• Brainstorm social studies unit topic
and provide a visual of possible
subtopics for your thematic unit.
• Plan thematic integration of subject
matter with history/social science
• Begin process of organizing a 2-week
unit to meet needs of all students
focusing on the multiple intelligences
and diverse learning styles.
• Due in Week 4
Mind Map of Possible Activities
Field Trips Simulations
Mindmeister Example: MI
Curriculum Map – 4 Lessons
• Shows the sequence of lessons, content areas addressed in
each lesson, multiple intelligences utilized, and level of
depth of knowledge.
• Lessons should progress in a logical sequence and connect
with unit objectives
• Lessons should reflect a variety of content areas, multiple
intelligences, and levels of depth of knowledge.
Social Studies Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans with Formative/Summative
•Primary Source Lesson
•Visual or Performing Arts Lesson
•Common Core (CCSS) in English Language Arts
•Additional integrated lessons in math, science, health, PE
•Capstone Project-based Lesson: hands-on student learning activity: project,
presentation, publication, or performance. The project-based final lesson
should include the summative authentic assessment rubric.
Lesson Plan Activities
• Use primary sources (physical or virtual)
• Finding Primary Sources: Library of Congress
• Library of Congress Themed Resources
• Integrate literature (books, stories,
poems, plays) and informational text
(nonfiction writing in narrative or non-
narrative form that is intended to inform.)
• Incorporate the use of technology and
digital media for research, publication, or
• Include hands-on student learning
Visual and Performing Arts Lesson
• Drama – Theatre
• Visual Arts
Lesson Planning with
Common Core State Standards
• Two of the lessons should
meet a Common Core State
Standard (CCSS) in English
Language Arts and a CCSS
• Use of Informational Text –
• Student Research Using the
• Use of Media and Technology
• Multimedia Publishing
• What learning experiences and activities will students
• How will students be grouped during the lesson?
• What materials, technology, and resources will you
use during this lesson?
• How will you engage and motivate students to learn
the subject matter content?
• How will you differentiate your learning activities for
a diverse student population and assure that all
students have access to Common Core and curriculum
• How will you introduce the study to children?
• What activities will you do to determine prior knowledge?
• Activities to Build Understanding
• Activities that encourage exploration
• Activities that build skill
• Activities that develop understanding
• Culmination Activities
• Activities help children express and generalize what
• Activities to bring closure to the unit
• The first lesson should hook students into the topic
and connect to their prior knowledge. (Prezi)
• Focus on the history-social science curriculum
strands in knowledge and cultural understanding
(history, geography, economics, culture, politics,
ethics) or democratic understanding and civic values).
• Anticipatory Set
• How will you interest “hook” students in the lesson, help
them see the purpose and connect with prior knowledge?
• How will you help build student understanding of the
concept or skill?
• What teaching or instructional strategies will you use?
• Target Vocabulary, Key Concepts, Graphic Organizers,
Contextual Cues, Modeling, Questioning, Reframing, Media
• What technology will be used by the teacher and for
Lesson Topic and Standards
• Grade Level History-Social Science Content
• Common Core State Standard/s
• English Language Arts in History and Social Studies,
Mathematics, Next Generation Science
• Integrated Subject Matter Content Standard/s
• Literature, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Math,
Science, PE, Health
Learning Objectives and DOK Levels
• Lesson Objective(s):
• Learners will demonstrate their understanding of
_______by doing ____
• Must be measurable.
• Depth of Knowledge (DoK) Level:
• Recall – Skill/Concept – Strategic Thinking –
• Resources/Materials Needed:
• What information or literary texts, digital resources,
and materials will be used in this lesson?
Assessment and Adaptations
• Formative Assessment: Progress Monitoring
• How will you gain understanding of students’ prior knowledge at the
beginning of the lesson?
• How will you monitor student progress during the lesson?
• How will you assess student understanding at the end of the lesson?
• Independent Practice
• What will students do to continue practicing and applying what they have
• Describe the adaptations you could make in the lesson for English
learners, gifted students or students with special needs and explain why
those adaptations would be appropriate?
• Adaptations could be made to any of the aspects of the lesson described
• How do you document children’s
• How do you know if children understand
the big ideas of your unit?
• Documentation for Progress-Monitoring
• Graphic Organizers
• Exit Slip
• Quick Write
• Draw It!
• Apps: Socrative, Kahoot, Peardeck, Nearpod
Apps and Tools for Formative
• 56 Formative Assessments – Google Doc
• 56 Formative Assessments for Social
• Growing the List: 50 Digital Education
Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment
• 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment
Tools from Edutopia
• Assessment Apps for Teachers
Summative Authentic Assessment
• Describe the assessment tool (project, presentation,
• Do Not use a test!
• Describe what students are being asked to do, how they
are to complete the task, and the time frame allotted to
complete the task.
• Develop a rubric that will be used to evaluate student
performance on the final assessment.
• Make sure you design an assessment that addressed the
objectives of the unit.
• Allows teacher to focus on what expectations
he/she have for student work
• Provides alternative grading system for
performance assessment, portfolios, projects,
web assignments, etc.
• Can measure a variety of categories in any
• Teacher can determine criteria and scale - rather
than be subject to standardized testing scores.
Rubrics for Assessment
Universal Design for Learning
• Multiple Means of Representation
• How can you present information and content in different
• Multiple Means of Action and Expression
• How can you differentiate the ways that students can express
what they know?
• Multiple Means of Engagement
• How can you stimulate interest and motivation for learning?
Media and Technology
TPACK: Technology, Pedagogy, and Content
• What media or technology will be used by the
• What media or technology will be used by the
• How will this promote student learning?
• What is the purpose of using this technology?
• knowledge building
• knowledge expression
Annotated Bibliography of Resources
• Resource Books
• Literature Connections- At least 1 literature book
or stories/poems that connect to the theme
• Informational Text Connections - At least one
informational text that connect to the theme
• Primary Sources
• Videos/DVDs or other media
• Digital Resources and Websites (At least 5 sites)
• Possible Guest Speakers (Give job titles)
Signature Assignment in LiveText
• Submit in LiveText: http://www.livetext.com
• Options for Creating Unit Plan:
• Create one complete document (preferably pdf) and
submit that pdf as the LiveText assignment
• Create multiple documents and files and submit all of
them one by one in LiveText
• Create your thematic unit in LiveText by copying the
template. Insert files in appropriate sections and
submit the LiveText document
• Tutorial: https://sites.google.com/site/livetexttutorials/copying-a-