Johns Hopkins University Secondary Support Initiative (JHUSSI)  

Social Studies


A painting of daily life at the Jamestown Colony in Virginia, circa 1630 (National Park Services, 2014).


The main goal of social studies is to teach children about the local and global society in which they live. As part of this objective, it is important for students to learn about the origin and history of contemporary life. The social studies curriculum achieves this by analyzing the past civilizations and important historical events. As part of this analysis, students are exposed to a wide variety of non-fiction texts such firsthand accounts, newspaper articles, textbooks, and scholarly research. An effective social studies curriculum provides students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to be engaged aware members of the world community (National Council for the Social Studies, 2014).


The following lessons detail strategies that teach children to synthesize historical information and organize their thoughts into cohesive arguments.