Social Studies

Passport to Social Studies Overview

The NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies program is a comprehensive instructional resource that integrates the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and the New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework to support strong social studies teaching and learning.

An effective social studies program allows students to make sense of the world in which they live, make connections between major ideas and their own lives, and see themselves as active members of a global community. While knowledge of content is very important, it is equally important to engage our students in historical thinking. This program challenges students to think like historians and encourages them to raise questions, think critically, consider many perspectives, and gather evidence in support of their interpretations through the practice of chronological processing, decision-making, and historical research and analysis. These real-world skills will serve students well as participating citizens of a democracy.

Designed to support The New York City K-8 Social Studies Scope & Sequence, each yearly course of study is organized around newly developed units of study, each guided by essential questions. Teachers can use the units of study to plan coherent instruction that considers relevant skills, practices, and knowledge objectives for deep historical understanding.

The units of study were developed with and for classroom teachers by the Social Studies Department as part of the Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Learning. Members of the Social Studies Department and other staff worked with teachers to design the activities and lesson plans provided within each unit guide. The unit guides offer a sequence of instruction that can be adapted and customized to meet individual students’ needs and were structured to support high quality social studies instruction that will engage students in historical thinking and disciplinary literacy. The units of study leverage the rich diversity and resources our city has to offer to enhance robust and rigorous social studies instruction. The development of each unit was informed by and integrated with the following documents and perspectives: New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, the Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Understanding by Design, and Reading Like a Historian (Stanford History Education Group).

NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies include units of study as well as a variety of documents, trade books, and primary sources as part of the classroom package to support rigorous instruction and student inquiry. These “text sets” should be added to and change and grow over time. Just as knowledge and historical scholarship is not static, our resources should not be static either. As new information, discoveries or interpretations are published they can be added to the existing units of study. Lastly, teachers know their students best and should also consider student needs when adding additional print or non-print materials.