Social Studies » Resources for Teachers

Resources for Teachers

Pathfinders, Webquests, Web Pages
  • If you are interested in pathfinders, webquests, or Web pages specially designed for a particular assignment or unit, e-mail Mrs. Wright or visit her in the library.
Social Studies Lesson Plan Web Sites
Inquiry-based Learning Unit Starters
United States History (Grades 9-12):
  • Presidential Powers:
    • Essential Question: What process do U.S. presidents use to make decisions?
    • Subsidiary Questions: How have specific presidents differed in their view of the powers of the executive branch? How has this changed the scope of presidential power in the U.S.? What current foreign policy issues will require decisions, and what processes should be used to make these decisions? How have specific presidents made choices regarding education, health care, the environment, immigration, Supreme Court appointees, foreign policies, and other issues? What are examples of good presidential decision-making processes? (Inspired by Bob Berkowitz and John DonVito's lesson plan "Powers of the President: A Study in Presidential Decision-Making (Grades 7-12)" found at Big6.)
Contemporary U.S. History:
  • The U.S.'s Response to Injustice
    • Essential Questions: What responsibility does the U.S. have to confront injustice in the area of human rights in foreign countries? Under what circumstances should it get involved? What steps could be taken to develop a protocol for U.S. involvement in ethical matters on foreign soil?
    • Subsidiary Questions: What role did the U.S., given its military superpower status, have when the genocide was taking place in Rwanda? What were the reasons for U.S.'s lack of involvement in the conflict? To what extent has that decision affected current U.S. foreign policy today? How has the U.S. responded to genocide in other countries? (e.g. Bosnia, Darfur, etc.)
Contemporary Global Politics
  • The Effectiveness of the United Nations
    • Essential Questions: Why was the U.N. created? What are its aims? What has it accomplished? What are obstacles to its effectiveness? What would it take for the U.N. to become more effective in achieving its aims? Why is it more effective in certain types of situations and less effective in others?
    • Subsidiary Questions: What has been and continues to be the role of the United Nations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How has it changed over the last 50 years and why? What are the differing views of the conflict and what the UN should be doing from different regions of the world?
Interdisciplinary (Grades 9-10):
  • World Studies and Survey Literature (Grade 9) Greco-Roman Culture through the Eyes of Myth:
    • Essential Questions: What can we learn about the ancient Greeks and Romans by reading Greco-Roman mythology? Do works about Greco-Roman history, archeology, government, architecture, etc. confirm or differ from the way these ancient civilizations are portrayed in their mythology?
    • Subsidiary Questions: What did they value? How did they celebrate and entertain themselves? How did they sustain themselves? What did their education look like? How did they respond to political conflicts, natural disasters, wars, etc. What were their major inventions and accomplishments? What rules of behavior are implicit in their stories? How was their civilization different from ours? How was it similar?
    • Essential Question: How do the media influence our ideas and understanding of faraway places?
    • Subsidiary Questions: What types of images have the media given us about Iraq? How has the context of the Iraq War affected our opinions of the country and its people? How can journalists minimize bias or present multiple perspectives when they report?
  • Political Science and Environmental Science (Grades 9-12) Global Warming:
  • Essential Question: Why should we care about global warming? (View Al Gore's 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, and read
  • Subsidiary Questions: In what ways has global warming affected biodiversity, climates, seasons, etc.? Why has global warming escalated in our lifetime? What can we, as individuals, do to stop global warming? What can the U.S. do to stop global warming? Why has the U.S. resisted ratifying the Kyoto Protocol? What can the U.S. do to decrease its dependence on oil?