Social Studies Curriculum
Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: Expectations
of Excellence www.ncss.org/standards/toc.html
Media literacy in the National Council for the Social
Studies (NCSS) is not as specific as in the Language Arts
curriculum. Some states like Wisconsin now include
media literacy in their Social Studies standards
(For a diagram, check out www.med.sc.edu:1081/
The national standards do not make specific
reference to television, computers, the Internet, music,
radio or the movies; but instead, they treat media as
To understand how media literacy might fit
under the Social Studies curriculum, it is best to
examine the national standards to see how media
literacy is compatible with their 10 thematic strands.
Ten Thematic Strands in Social Studies:
- Time, Continuity, and Change
- People, Places, and Environment
- Individual Development and Identity
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
- Power, Authority, and Governance
- Production, Distribution, and Consumption
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Global Connections
- Civic Ideals and Practices
In reviewing the standards, we can find three
examples of where media literacy instruction could
impact better understanding of the media and our
efforts for My Journey Home.
1. People, Places, and Environment
Students in high school are able to apply
geographic understanding across a broad range of
fields, including the fine arts, sciences and humanities.
Geographic concepts become central to learnersf
comprehension of global connections as they expand
their knowledge of diverse cultures, both historical
2. Global Connections
Through exposure to various media and first-hand
experiences, young learners become aware of and
are affected by events on a global scale. Within this
context, students examine and explore global
connections and basic issues and concerns, suggesting
and initiating responsive action plans.
3. Civic Ideals and Practices
Children also experience views of citizenship in
other times and places through stories and drama.
By the middle grades, students expand their ability to
analyze and evaluate the relationships between ideals
Specific language in the standards discusses how
integrating curriculum can be a powerful teaching
and learning tool. It specifically talks about the use of
technology. Social studies teaching and learning are
powerful when they are integrative.
- Social Studies are integrative in their treatment
- Social Studies are integrative across time and
- Social studies teaching integrates knowledge,
skills, beliefs, values, and attitudes to action.
- Social studies teaching and learning integrate
effective use of technology.