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Everyday Inquiry in Elementary Social Studies

In the Everyday Inquiry in Elementary Social Studies video series you will find inspiration and direction for how elementary teachers infuse their social studies instruction with the elements of inquiry. Think it can't be done? Check out examples from 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades that show engaged students doing the work of historians, geographers, economists, and political scientists. Watch how the teacher's role has evolved with the shift to inquiry and hear from leaders why they support this shift.

Social Studies Classrooms

1st Grade “Rating and Ranking Historical Figures”

Description: First grade teacher extraordinaire, Jennifer Zoumberis, of Houston County, shows how even our very youngest students can "do" history and engage in inquiry. Note: Jennifer is now a vital and treasured member of the GaDOE Social Studies team.

Lesson Resources

3rd Grade “Using Inquiry to Launch a Lesson: American Indians”

Description: Cobb County teacher, Lisa Rogers, shares favorite ways to elicit deeper questions from students and shows how map work builds essential understandings even in the 21st century.

Lesson Resources

4th Grade “Was the Battle of Fort Sumter the Start of the Civil War?”

Description: Angie Battle, fourth grade teacher in Houston County, supports finding evidence to bolster claims that answer an intriguing essential question. Note: Angie is now doing equally stellar work with the GCEE (Georgia Council on Economic Education.)

Lesson Resources

5th Grade “Presidential Advisors: Should We Go to War?”

Description: Dekalb County's Nancy Balaun interweaves a rich assortment of primary sources and a compelling question to turn her students into intelligent presidential advisors. Backing up their claims with evidence proves to be exciting and powerful.

Lesson Resources

Leader Q&A

To view this Professional Learning Video Series in the embedded YouTube playlist below, click the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner of the video and select a playlist topic.

Everyday Inquiry in Elementary Social Studies: Leader Q&A Playlist Topics

Benefits of Inquiry

District leaders describe the benefits they have observed with the shift to inquiry-based instruction.

Biggest Challenges

District leaders were asked “What are some of the challenges that district leaders should be aware of if they are shifting to inquiry?” Hear their responses in this video.

District Support

In this video, leaders describe ways that districts can support inquiry-based instruction in elementary social studies classrooms.

Future of Inquiry

Listen as district leaders discuss the future for inquiry based learning in elementary social studies classrooms.

Helpful Resources

District leaders share some helpful resources that support inquiry in elementary social studies classrooms.

How Do You Know It Works

District leaders in Georgia share success stories related to implementing inquiry-based learning in elementary social studies classrooms.

How to Use the Videos

District leaders share how they can use these videos to inspire and support inquiry-based learning in elementary social studies classrooms.

Ingredients of Inquiry

District leaders talk about the essential ingredients of inquiry in elementary social studies classrooms.

Inquiry and Testing

District leaders in Georgia address the assessment concerns that arise when shifting to inquiry-based learning in elementary social studies classrooms.

Additional Professional Learning Videos

• More professional learning videos on social studies instruction

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