Suffern Central School District: Social Studies Program

Suffern Central School District: Social Studies Program


The Suffern Central K-12 Social Studies Leadership Team was an initiative we began last year
as a way to promote vertical articulation between grades K-12, in the field of social
studies. Teachers from all over the District have been collaborating on a theme of “who are we and where are we from”, and we are doing a lot of exciting work with that theme using common social studies vocabulary. We are piloting the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, which is an augmented reality program where the entire class uses class sets of
selfie sticks and they can get an experience of being able to be immersed in their content area without having to leave the school building. What do you notice about the texture of this tank? It’s bumpy! So far the kids have been amazed by it because its something new that they’ve never been exposed to. Welcome to the trial of Christopher Columbus. Columbus is being charged with crimes against humanity. Each year we do a trial in the 7th-grade social studies and we put Christopher Columbus on trial and there are lawyers that defend him and lawyers that prosecute and we have witnesses and its all done by the kids. They have to research their characters, they have to collaborate with one another so they have to work in groups. I think history is an important part of the
curriculum because it really teaches about where we came from and how we got to where we are. It can help us to progress. And when we really got to learn about what happened and why, it made history very personable. Kids would stay after talking about what
we just learned, and getting excited or heated over a discussion that happened 200 years ago. I think what makes Suffern Central really
special in the field of social studies is being allowed to have this initiative and
really build a foundation for our students in the field.

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