Category Archives: Social Studies

Lesson plans that use the high school social studies curriculum to build literacy and learning skills.

ARPAnet

This reading on ARPAnet, which it will tell you, was the precursor to the Internet, has invariably been a high interest item for the students with whom I’ve worked over the years. Here is its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Weimar Republic

While its importance is undisputed, and indeed as a moment in cultural, social and political history it it rife with concepts students ought to understand, I nonetheless remain sceptical, based on my experience, that this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Weimar Republic will be useful to many social studies teachers. A

As always, if it is useful to you, I’d be very interested in hearing about that.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Homer

I have to assume that people somewhere in the nation–even with its rapidly declining and increasingly unsophisticated literacy–are still teaching The Iliad and The OdysseyThat means someone, somewhere, unless I very much miss my guess, might need this short reading on Homer as well as its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Hulk Hogan

I’d assumed his star was no longer part of the professional wrestling firmament, but it has generally turned out that this reading on wrestler Hulk Hogan is of high interest to quite a few kids. You’ll probably want this vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

E.H. Gombrich on the Ice Age

“The Ice Age lasted for an unimaginably long time. Many tens of thousands of years, which was just as well, for otherwise these people would not have had time to invent all these things. But gradually the earth grew warmer and the ice retreated to the high mountains and people—who by now were much like us—learned, with the warmth, to plant grasses and then grind the seeds to make a paste they could bake in the fire, and this was bread. In the course of time, they learned to build tents and tame animals which until then had roamed freely around. And they followed these herds, as people in Lapland still do. Because forests were dangerous places in those days, home to large numbers of animals such as wolves and bears, people in several places (and this is often the case with inventors) had the same excellent idea: they built “pile dwellings” in the middle of lakes, huts on stilts rammed deep in the mud. By this time they were masters at shaping and polishing their tools and used a different, harder stone to bore holes in their axe-heads for handles. That must have been hard work! Work which could take the whole of the winter. Imagine how often the axe-head must have broken at the last minute, so they had to start all over again.”

Excerpted from: Gombrich, E.H. Trans. Caroline Mustill. A Little History of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

Cultural Literacy: Victorian Period

Starting another morning, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Victorian Period in British history.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Archaic Period

Archaic Period: A term used to describe an early stage in the development of civilization. Specifically, in Egypt it covers the first two dynasties, c 3200-2800 BC, in which the country was unified and came to its first flowering of culture. In Greece it describes the rise of civilization from c 750 BC to the Persian invasion in 480 BC. As used by Americanists, the term refers to a stage of development rather than a chronologicaql period. It is characterized by a hunting and gathering way of life in a post-Pleistocene environment similar to that of the present. Under special circumstances there may be settled life, pottery, and even agriculture as long as this is subsidiary to the collection of wild foods. The term was coined for certain cultures of the woodlands of eastern North America dating from c 8000-1000 BC, but usage has been extended (sometimes uncritically) to all sorts of unrelated cultures which show a similar level of development but may be of widely varying dates.

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.