School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Standards: Social Studies, Grade 8

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Social Studies:

Social Studies Skills and Processes

Standard 6.0 Social Studies Skills and Processes

6.0 Social Studies Processes & Skills - Students shall use reading, writing, and thinking processes and skills to gain knowledge and understanding of political, historical, and current events using disciplinary and inquiry literacies. (Source: COMAR 2015)


Rationale


Maryland's Social Studies State Standard was developed in 2006. When the C3 - College, Career & Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards document was released in the fall of 2013 it became apparent that Maryland's Standard 6.0 needed to be revised to reflect the process skills embedded in the new framework. As stated in the C3:

"Now more than ever, students need the intellectual power to recognize societal problems; ask good questions and develop robust investigations into them; consider possible solutions and consequences; separate evidence-based claims from parochial opinions; and communicate and act upon what they learn And most importantly, they must possess the capability and commitment to repeat that process as long as is necessary. Young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college, career, and civic life." (C3, 2013, 6)

Social Studies educators revised Standard 6.0 to capture the best of the 2006 Skills and Processes document, the process skills from the C3 and connections to Maryland's College and Career Ready Standards (MDCCRS). Standard developers will find this document a useful tool when planning lessons to addresses Standard 6.0 - "Students shall use reading, writing, and thinking processes and skills to gain knowledge and understanding of political, historical, and current events using disciplinary and inquiry literacies."



"The development of compelling and supporting questions is a sophisticated intellectual activity (C3, 2013, 24)." Over time, the responsibility for identifying compelling and supporting questions should shift from teacher to student. By 6th grade, the expectation for student ownership of the compelling and supporting questions should start to increase. By 12th grade, the students should be constructing their own compelling and supporting questions for inquiry.


To plan an inquiry, students will determine the sources needed to help answer the compelling and supporting questions. They will determine the kinds of sources that will help in answering compelling and supporting questions. They will assess the multiple points of view represented in an argument or explanation, the types of sources available, and the potential use of sources.



With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Constructing Compelling Questions
    1. Identify a disciplinary topic that reflects a key idea in the field
    2. Identify possible questions for inquiry into the key idea
    3. Analyze key disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with the compelling questions
  2. Constructing Supporting Questions
    1. Construct supporting questions that connect with the compelling question
    2. Analyze the extent to which the supporting questions drive the inquiry
    3. Analyze key disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with the supporting questions
  3. Determining Helpful Sources
    1. Analyze sources that will be helpful in answering the compelling or supporting questions
    2. Compare experts' interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with compelling and supporting questions

Connections to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MDCCRS)

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.1).*
  • With teacher guidance, the students will select, read, and comprehend informational text that reflects grade level complexity (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.10).*

* Standards for grades preK-5 reading and history/social studies are integrated into the Maryland College and Career Ready (MDCCR) Pre-K-5 Reading standards. * Reading standards for grades 6-12 are divided into two sections, one for ELA and one for History/Social Studies.


Applying Disciplinary Concepts & Tools
This section focuses on the disciplinary concepts and tools students need to understand and apply as they study the specific content prescribed in the state standard. It is divided into four sections - Civics (previously named Political Science in the state standard), Geography, Economics, and History.



Civics teaches the principles of government such as adherence to the social contract, consent of the governed, limited government, legitimate authority, federalism, and separation of powers that are meant to guide official institutions. It also teaches the virtues that allow individuals to analyze multiple perspectives, follow rules, and use the deliberative process when individuals engage in political participation and contribute to the public process.

With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Civic and Political Institutions Disciplinary concepts are addressed in Standard 1.0, State Standard except in areas where gaps were identified
  2. Participation and Political Deliberation
    1. Apply civic dispositions and skills when working with others
    2. Apply civic dispositions and skills when participating in school, community settings
    3. Identify and apply the appropriate deliberative processes for various settings.
    4. Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic skills, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society
  3. Processes, Rules, & Laws Disciplinary concepts are addressed in Standard 1.0, State Standard except in areas where gaps were identified


Effective economic decision making requires that students have a keen understanding of the ways in which individuals, business, government, and societies make decisions to allocate human capital, physical capital and natural resources among alternative uses.

With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Economic Decision Making
    1. Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups over time
    2. Plan and predict the financial outcomes in an applied decision-making process
  2. Exchange and Markets
    1. Compare at least three markets that sell similar goods and services and determine which offers the best value
  3. The National Economy
    1. Use appropriate data to evaluate economic indicators such as, unemployment, inflation, total production, income and economic growth in the economy
  4. The Global Economy
    1. Investigate how social and cultural decisions affect the ecology and economy


Geographic inquiry helps people understand and appreciate their own place in the world. It fosters curiosity about earth's wide diversity of environments and cultures. Geographic reasoning rests on understanding the earth's physical and human features, including the locations of places and regions, the distribution of landforms and water bodies, and historic changes in political boundaries, economic activities, and geographic representation. It requires using spatial and environmental perspectives to analyze geographic issues and problems by using geographic representations.

With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Geographic Representations Spatial Views of the World
    1. Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics
    2. Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics
    3. Use paper based or electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics
  2. Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Region, and Culture
  3. Human Population: Spatial Patterns and Movements
  4. Global Interconnections: Changing Spatial Patterns

Note: All indicators for B-D are content in nature and are addressed in the State Standard 3.0


Historical thinking requires understanding and evaluating change and continuity over time, and making appropriate use of historical evidence in answering questions and developing arguments about the past. Historical inquiry involves acquiring knowledge about significant events, developments, individuals, groups, documents, places, and ideas to support investigations.

With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Change, Continuity, and Context
    1. Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts
    2. Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity
    3. Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant
  2. Perspectives
    1. Analyze multiple factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras
    2. Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time
    3. Analyze how people's perspectives influenced what information is available in the Analyze how people's perspectives influenced what information is available in the historical sources they created (Begins in Grade 9) (Begins in Grade 9)
  3. Historical Sources & Evidence
    1. Classify the kinds of historical sources used in a secondary interpretation
    2. Detect possible limitations in the historical record based on evidence collected from different kinds of historical sources
    3. Use other historical sources to infer a plausible maker, date, place of origin, and intended audience for historical sources where this information is not easily identified
    4. Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources
    5. Evaluate the relevancy and utility of a historical source based on information such as maker, date, place of origin, intended audience and purpose
  4. Causation & Argumentation
    1. Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past
    2. Evaluate the relative influence of various causes of events and developments in the past
    3. Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past
    4. Compare the central arguments in secondary works of history on related topics in multiple media


Connections to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MDCCRS)

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.1).*
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented graphically, visually, orally, and multimodally as well as in words within and across print and digital sources (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.7).*
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and fluency of the evidence (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.8).*
  • With teacher guidance, the students will select, read, and comprehend informational text that reflects grade level complexity (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.10).*

* Standards for grades preK-5 reading and history/social studies are integrated into the Maryland College and Career Ready (MDCCR) Pre-K-5 Reading standards. * Reading standards for grades 6-12 are divided into two sections, one for ELA and one for History/Social Studies.


Evaluating Sources & Using Evidence
"Evaluating sources and using evidence includes a sophisticated set of skills, even the youngest children understand the need to give reasons for their ideas. As they progress through the grades, students learn more advanced approaches related to these skills." (C 3, 2013, 53)


With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Evaluating Sources
    1. Gather multiple sources that may be relevant to the task
    2. -     
    3. Evaluate the credibility of the sources by considering the authority, the origin, type, context, and corroborative value of each source
    4. Identify credible, relevant information contained in the sources
  2. Developing Claims & Using Forms
    1. Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations
    2. Develop claims and counter claims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both

Connections to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MDCCRS)

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.1).*
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented graphically, visually, orally, and multimodally as well as in words within and across print and digital sources (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.7).*
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and fluency of the evidence (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.8).*
  • With teacher guidance, the students will select, read, and comprehend informational text that reflects grade level complexity (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.10).*

* Standards for grades preK-5 reading and history/social studies are integrated into the Maryland College and Career Ready (MDCCR) Pre-K-5 Reading standards. * Reading standards for grades 6-12 are divided into two sections, one for ELA and one for History/Social Studies.



"Communicating conclusions involves students formalizing their arguments and explanations. This can take the form of essays, reports, and multimedia presentations which offer students opportunities to represent their ideas in a variety of forms and communicate their conclusions to a range of audiences. Students' primary audience will likely be their teachers and classmates, but even young children benefit from opportunities to share their conclusions with audiences outside their classroom doors." (C3, 2013, 60)


Critiquing claims demands students to evaluate the sources, how the evidence is used, and the structure and/or form the arguments or explanations take. The critiquing of arguments and explanations deepens students' understanding of concepts and tools in the disciplines and helps students strengthen their conclusions.


To take informed action, students use disciplinary knowledge, skills, and perspectives to analyze problems involved in public issues; deliberate with other people about how to define and address issues; after assessing options for action, take constructive, independent, and collaborative action; and then reflect on their actions. (C3, 2013, 62)


With teacher guidance, by the end of grade 8 students will be able to

  1. Communicating Conclusions
    1. Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging the counterclaims strength and limitations of the arguments
    2. Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.
    3. Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps)
  2. Critiquing Conclusions
    1. Critique arguments for credibility
    2. Critique the structure of explanations
  3. Taking Informed Action
    1. Draw on multiple lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and cause, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem
    2. Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible strategies and potential outcomes
    3. Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms and schools, and in out-of-school civic contexts


Connections to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MDCCRS)

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.1).*
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented graphically, visually, orally, and multimodally as well as in words within and across print and digital sources (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.7).*
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and fluency of the evidence (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.8).*
  • With teacher guidance, the students will select, read, and comprehend informational text that reflects grade level complexity (MDCCR Anchor Standard R.10).*
  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. (MDCCR Anchor Standard W.1.).*
  • Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (MDCCR Anchor Standard SL 1.).*

* Standards for grades preK-5 reading and history/social studies are integrated into the Maryland College and Career Ready (MDCCR) Pre-K-5 Reading standards. * Reading standards for grades 6-12 are divided into two sections, one for ELA and one for History/Social Studies.

Date: 04/2015