Teaching the Language of Social Studies
Language-aware lessons support all students, especially Multilingual Learners who are still developing in English, access primary-source rich learning
Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies TPS Project
Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, funded by a grant from the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program of the Library of Congress, has collaborated with the Collaborative for Educational Services and other organizations to increase multilingual learner access to the social studies. Read the project announcement post.
Lessons developed and piloted
The English Learner Collaborations project commissioned the development of lessons to illustrate applying English Language Development (ELD) teacher resources to History and Social Studies content.
Annotated with connections to the terms and principles from the WIDA 2020 ELD framework, and with suggestions for additional supports and preparation depending on the needs of the students in the classroom, these lessons provides a plan to meet not only history content objectives but language objectives.
These lessons are still under development, and are made accessible here to encourage teacher thinking and feedback. See the bottom of the page for suggested citation for these lessons. Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress. An editable copy is available upon request by emailing email@example.com.
A professional learning community (PLC) bringing together social studies teachers with ELD teachers is underway, with discussion and reflection on language growth and social studies teaching using primary sources. A new pilot of primary source lessons designed for use in ESL classrooms is also in development; these lessons will expand the range of the lessons linked below.
LANGUAGE-AWARE LESSON EXAMPLE: IS IT EVER OKAY TO BREAK A LAW? (HIGH SCHOOL)
LANGUAGE-AWARE LESSON EXAMPLE: CAN YOU ALWAYS SPEAK YOUR MIND FREELY IN SCHOOLS…
LANGUAGE-AWARE LESSON EXAMPLE: COLONIAL DAILY LIFE (3RD GRADE)
Self-paced, free professional development with particular focus on those students whose home language is not English is available from another grantee from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. The Integrating Library of Congress Primary Resources into High School Social Studies Lesson Plans course offers five modules, each of which provides the teacher with "an ‘out-of-the-box’, ready to use standards-aligned lesson that will fully engage every student, " walking instructors through selected resources and demonstrating strategic adaptations to benefit all students, with particular focus on multilingual learners.
Considerations and Contributions of Multilingual Americans and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap
The English Learner Collaborations project of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies convened a council of expert advisors to develop resources to increase the inclusion of multilingual learners in civic and social studies education. One working group considered how the 2021 Educating for American Democracy Roadmap could contribute to that work.
In progress is a document that aims to offer guidance to be used by national, state, tribal, and local leaders to assess the adequacy of current practices, standards, and resources, and to guide innovation around a more inclusive approach to history and civics that includes histories of multilingual Americans. A copy that invites your comments and suggestions is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suggested citation for language-aware lessons linked above: Audet, A. and Noyes, A. (2022). Primary source lessons demonstrating practical applications of WIDA 2020 principles and resources for elementary, middle school, and high school social studies teaching. Extending the reach of primary sources: English Learner Collaborations project of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies. http://www.emergingamerica.org/english-learner-collaborations