All resources in Washington Social Studies

AP U.S. Government & Politics

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This course contains five projects that are organized around the following question: “What is the proper role of government in a democracy?” Each project involves political simulations through which students take on roles that help contextualize the content required by the new College Board course framework. Founders' Intent Elections Supreme Court Congress Government in Action Openly licensed PDF unit plans of all the above units are available at this Sprocket Lucas Education Research Platform (scroll to bottom of web page). Alternately, educators may sign up for free access to the online AP U.S. Government and Politics course that includes additional instructional supports: https://sprocket.lucasedresearch.org/users/sprocket_access

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Knowledge in Action, University of Washington

Civics Course Resources

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In Washington, a stand-alone high school civics course is required by a new state law. A statewide sub-committee of OSPI's Social Studies Cadre and Walter Parker, Professor of Social Studies Education, University of Washington, drafted this list of resources in hopes that it will be useful to schools needing to create such a course or update an existing course. It is a work-in-progress.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Barbara Soots, Walter Parker, Jerry Price, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

Washington State Social Studies Learning Standards

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Social studies is a vital component of education in Washington state. The Office of Superintend¬ent of Public Instruction (OSPI) envisions “all students prepared for post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement.” Additionally, the National Council for the Social Studies states, “The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an inter¬dependent world.” Students who receive quality instruction in social studies are engaged in learning that promotes inquiry and thoughtful civic participation. With this in mind, we are pleased to introduce OSPI’s updated Washington State K–12 Learning Standards for Social Studies. Our hope is that you will find these standards to be rigorous, thoughtful, inquiry-driven, and organized for easy accessibility.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The State We're In: Washington - Eighth Edition

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The State We’re In: Washington is a digital and printed educational publication written by Jill Severn for the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund. Part of a larger Civic Education Project, this instructional resource establishes the link between public participation and effective government. Colorful graphs, historical photos and thought-provoking illustrations help to describe the basics of government, and the connection between a governing authority and culture and economy. Young readers and adults alike will gain a robust sense of past and present tribal governance and their relationship to state and local government in Washington.Teacher guides to accompany this resource as well as translated versions are included.

Material Type: Reading, Textbook

Authors: Barbara Soots, Kari Tally, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

State We're In: Washington - Teacher Guide

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These Teacher Guides were created by Washington educators to accompany the League of Women Voters of Washington's book The State We're In: Washington - Your guide to state, tribal and local government.Each chapter guide is  aligned with Washington Social Studies Learning Standards and includes a launch activity, focused notes, text-dependent questions, and an inquiry lesson developed using the C3 Framework. 

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan

Authors: Barbara Soots, Kari Tally, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

State We're In: Washington (3-5 Edition) Teacher Guide

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These Teacher Guides were developed by Washington educators to accompany the League of Women Voters of Washington's book The State We're In: Washington (Grade 3-5 Edition). Each chapter guide is  aligned with Washington Social Studies Learning Standards and includes a launch activity, focused notes, text-dependent questions, and an inquiry lesson developed using the C3 Framework. 

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Authors: Barbara Soots, OSPI Social Studies, Kari Tally, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

Territory and Treaty Making: A study of Tribes, Westward Expansion, and Conflict

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This unit is focused on the examination of a single topic, in this case, the Native Americans of the inland Northwest and conflict that arose when other non-native people started to settle in the northwest, and to specifically address the native populations that lived in the inland northwest. The materials were created to be one coherent arc of instruction focused on one topic. The module was designed to include teaching notes that signal the kind of planning and thinking such instruction requires: close reading with complex text, and specific instructional strategies or protocols are described that support students’ reading and writing with evidence are described in enough detail to make it very clear what is required of students and how to support students in doing this rigorous work. Materials include summative assessment of content and process, central texts, key resources, and protocols that support and facilitate student learning.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Leslie Heffernan

The State We're In: Washington - Teacher Guide Ch. 2: The Design of Today's Democracy

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This is a Teacher's Guide for The State We're In Washington: Your guide to state, tribal and local government. These quides are developed by members of the Washington State Social Studies Cadre. Chapter 2 of the State We're In: Washington explores the design of today's democracy. The resources here may be implemented separately or together to guide students toward a deeper understanding of the content therein and to develop important social studies skills.

Material Type: Lesson, Unit of Study

Authors: Barbara Soots, Leslie Heffernan, Jerry Price, Ryan Theodoriches, Callie Birklid, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

Grade 6-8 Inquiry: Differentiate between Fact and Assumption

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This inquiry by Cynthia Yurosko, Evergreen Public Schools, is based on the C3 Framework inquiry arc. The inquiry provides students with the opportunity to analyze, through the evaluation of words, how conflicts between the U.S. government and Native American tribes arose. Students will be asked to investigate federal reports, speeches, and news reports to discern U.S. leaders’ perspectives and compare these biases to the words of Native American leaders Chief Red Eagle and Chief Tecumseh.

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Authors: Barbara Soots, Cynthia Yurosko, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project

The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 2)

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In this activity students will analyze the Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article I, sections 8-10 of the Constitution in action. This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

We the People: U.S. Capitol

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Of the three branches of our government, many believe that the most important is the one directly elected by "We the People": the legislative branch, represented by the two houses of the U.S. Congress at the Capitol building. Join a group of middle schoolers on a tour of Washington, D.C. as they learn about the Constitution and what it means to be "We the People." The "We the People" videos are produced in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Material Type: Lesson

The Constitution in Action: Article II (Lab Team 3)

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In this activity students will analyze the Senate Journal of the First Congress and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article II of the Constitution in action. This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Primary Source

Inaugurations and the White House: Classroom Resource Packet

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An inauguration is the act or ceremony of bringing someone into a position or an office. Every president of the United States has been inaugurated, dating back to the first executive, George Washington. These inaugurations symbolize a peaceful transition of power between administrations. Although the Constitution provides an oath for the new president to take, all other elements of the modern presidential inauguration grew from traditions, changes, and preferences that evolved over 200 years. As the president's residence, the White House plays an important role in inaugurations. Gain a deeper appreciation of presidential inaugurations and transitions at the White House by learning about the history behind the Oath of Office, inaugural parade, parties, and more.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Tour the White House in 360 Degrees

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Welcome to the White House 360 Virtual Tour! This immersive experience will bring you inside the halls of the White House and provide access to all the public rooms on the Ground and State Floors. It will also allow you to examine the rooms and objects even closer than you would in person. This feature was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Primary Source

Author: White House Historical Association

The White House at Work: Classroom Resource Packet

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Ever since John and Abigail Adams moved into the President's House in 1800, hundreds of individuals have worked behind the scenes to help the White House fulfill its roles as a home, office, and museum. White House staff serve the many needs of the first family in a variety of occupations. They prepare family meals, serve elaborate State Dinners, maintain the grounds, and much more. There is no such thing as a "typical" day in the White House. Explore the dedication and skills of the residence staff, their cohesion as a community, their special relationship with the first family, and their experiences as witnesses to the nation's history.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

We the People: The White House

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The president of the United States serves as the chief executive and commander of the armed forces, all defined in Article II of the Constitution as the executive branch. Join a group of middle schoolers on a tour of Washington, D.C. as they learn about the Constitution and what it means to be "We the People." The "We the People" videos are produced in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Material Type: Lesson

Grade 8 Inquiry - Citizenship

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This inquiry by Joshua Parker, North Thurston Public Schools, is based on the C3 Framework's inquiry arc. The inquiry takes students through a consideration of what the duties of citizenship are. Students consider current controversies about behavior during the national anthem, historical reasons behind revolutionary and loyalist perspectives during the revolutionary era, and by applying learning to answer how loyalty and opposition play a part in actions of engaged citizens.

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Authors: Barbara Soots, Jerry Price, Joshua Parker, Washington OSPI OER Project