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HSS: History/Social Science

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History, Civics and Government, Geography, and Economics, are integral to our shared mission of preparing California’s children for college, careers, and civic life. These disciplines develop our students’ understanding of the physical world, encourage their participation in our democratic system of government, teach them about our past, inform their financial choices, and improve their ability to make reasoned decisions based upon evidence. Moreover, these disciplines play a vital role in the development of student literacy, because of their shared emphasis on text, argumentation, and use of evidence. History–social science teachers are encouraged to collaborate with their colleagues in other disciplines to ensure that all students achieve the common goal of readiness for their future as literate, informed, and engaged citizens.

What are the major shifts in History/Social Science?

Read all about the changes in the HSS classroom.  Go to the HSS Framework, Chapter 1:  Content.Inquiry.Literacy.Citizenship


History/Social Science Standards

Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
Grade K-5 found on pages 10-32
Grades 6-12 found on pages 80-86

California Department of Education History-Social Science Updates:  

for information on the California State Seal of Civic Engagement:  



Region 6 CLIC/HSS Community of Practice Resources:




General Social Science:    
General Information/Lesson Plans DBQ/Primary Resources Documentaries
Historical Thinking Matters Docs Teach Documentary Storm
Stanford History Education Group EyeWitness to History Free Documentaries
Teaching a People’s History DBQ Project  
The National Archives    
The Choices Program    
Read Like a Historian    


American History

The National Archives
American Historical Association
National Humanities Center
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Library of Congress


World History

Center for World History, UC Santa Cruz
World History Association



California Council for Economic Education


Civic Education

“Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3): Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards (pdf)

Civic-Learning Compendium for the California History-Social Science Framework

Sample Units

Comparing Economic Systems (High School) - Kathy Thiebes from Centennial High School in Portland, Oregon, offers an argumentation module for teaching this task: “What combination of market and command systems do you believe creates an ideal mixed economy? After reading informational and opinion texts, write an essay that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the texts. Be sure to acknowledge competing views.” 

The Individual & The Community (6th Grade) - The National Paideia Center, along with Ross Anderson (Moore Square Museum Magnet School, Raleigh, NC), Amy Freeman (Chattanooga School for the Arts and Science, Chattanooga, TN), Melissa Hedt (Ashville Middle School, Ashville, NC), Nathan Marsh (Pueblo School for the Arts and Sciences, Pueblo, CO), designed a module for sixth-graders entitled: The Individual and the Community: My Responsibilities in a Time of Crisis. They included Paideia’s Socratic Seminar as a strategy for teaching students to address the task.

Ideologies of the 19th Century (High School) – Laura Jordan (Washington, DC, private school) shares a history module that asks students “Of the political ideologies we’ve studied in this unit which do you think was the most influential ideology in Europe during the years of 1814-1871?”

Cold War Argumentation (High School) – Kathy Thiebes (Centennial High School, Gresham, Oregon) asks students to evaluate the question “How effective was the United States government in its attempt to halt the spread of communism in Europe and Asia between the years 1945 and 1975?” The students use primary source documents and earlier class work to develop their essays.

Ancient India & China Explanatory (7th Grade) – Donna Schaidle, Kevin Biddle, & Jeremy Troop (Elizabethtown Area School District, Pennsylvania) call on students to synthesize their learning in response to this teaching task: “After researching secondary sources on ancient India or China, write a report that explains the geography, culture/customs, and government of these civilizations. What conclusions or implications can you draw? Cite at least three sources, pointing out key elements from each source.”

Alexander the Great Was He or Wasn’t He a Great Military Leader? (8th Grade) - Throughout history, many military leaders have led conquests as a way to increase power and as a result have established an improved status in modern textbooks. Some of the most exceptional of these generals have been assigned the label of great.   Historians often argue in comparing the greatest of these commanders and whether they deserve such reverence. One of the men that is always used as a standard-bearer is Alexander the Great, because of his success in battle and the influence he had on those the followed. The question really becomes, how great was this young Macedonian king?

When should the United States become involved in Foreign Wars? (7th Grade) - As the United States grew and developed in the early 1900’s, it took on more and bigger responsibilities. As its interest expanded, the country became concerned with the affairs of other nations. The United States took a wider range of responsibilities in the world and became involved in foreign wars.

US Policy of Isolationism vs Aggression in 1930s (High School) - How did the US policy of Isolationism affect Fascist (Germany/Italy) aggression in Europe and Japanese aggression in the Pacific, 1933-1939.

Contact Us

1100 H Street
Modesto, CA 95354

Key Contacts

photo of Jose Marquez, from the chest up, standing in front of a wall

Jose Marquez, Project Coordinator, STEM/History-Social Science

(209) 238-1331
photo of Armida Ramirez, from the chest up, standing in front of a bush

Armida Ramirez, Event Planning Specialist II

(209) 238-1316