• Instructional Resources

    The following resources are useful in support of History-Social Science instruction.

    Key Documents

    • California History-Social Science Framework.  The State Board of Education adopted the History-Social Science Framework on July 14, 2016. Curriculum frameworks provide guidance to educators, parents, and publishers, to support implementing California content standards.
    • The California History Social Science Standards.  Adopted in 1998, this document outlines history-social science learning standards for California students, Kindergarten-12th Grade
    • Revitalizing K-12 Civic Learning In California: A Blueprint For Action. The product of the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning, this Blueprint addresses four key areas for schools and students in grades K-12: Curriculum, Instructional Practices, and Resources; Professional Learning; Community and Business Partnerships; and Student Assessment and School Accountability. It outlines a plan of action for students, teachers, administrators, business and community leaders, courts, and local government and elected officials to take immediate action to improve civic learning in all California schools and communities.

    Women's Suffrage march, New York City, 1912

    "History must share with reading, writing and arithmetic first rank as the most important subjects in the curriculum. Understanding the issues on which citizens of a republic are expected to vote is impossible without an understanding of the past." --Walter Cronkite

    Useful Resources

    • California Department of Education, History-Social Science.  Information that defines the knowledge, concepts, and skills students should acquire at each grade level.
    • California History-Social Science Project.  CHSSP is one of nine California Subject Matter Projects that provide high quality professional development for educators at the pre-kindergarten through post-secondary levels. Participation in CHSSP fosters the development of knowledgeable history-social science educators who take responsibility for the development and implementation of standards-based comprehensive and sequential programs in history-social science at every educational level. CHSSP Regional Sites host activities that are designed to deepen teachers' knowledge of history, geography, civics, and economics, and enhance teachers' instructional strategies in the teaching of those disciplines.
    • The Content, Literacy, Inquiry, and Citizenship (CLIC) Project.  Professional learning and resources to help educators and school administrators successfully implement the California History-Social Science Framework. 
    • National Council for the Social Studies C3 FrameworkThe result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs. Its objectives are to: a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines; b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens; and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. 
    • Stanford History Education Group (SHEG).  SHEG offers a range of professional development options for teachers across grade levels. They developed and host Reading Like a Historian curriculum that engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Additionally, SHEG is developing new assessments for history called Beyond the Bubble. 
    • California Historical Society (CHS).  CHS is a 140-year-old, non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California's richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people.
    • Facing History and Ourselves. Facing History and Ourselves provides educational materials to support civic responsibility, tolerance, and social action for young people.
    • American Historical Association (AHA). AHA is the largest professional organization in the United States devoted to the study and promotion of history and historical thinking. AHA brings together historians from all specializations and professions, embracing their breadth, variety, and ever-changing activity.
    • California Museum.  The California Museum — home of the California Hall of Fame — engages, educates, and enlightens people about California’s rich history and unique contributions to the world through ideas, innovation, the arts, and culture. Through interactive and innovative experiences, the museum inspires men, women, and children to pursue the California dream and make a mark on history.
    • National History Education Clearinghouse. NCHS has a threefold mission: to develop and provide teachers with curricular materials that will engage students in exciting explorations of U.S. and World History; professional development for K-12 history teachers; and to collaborate with schools in building their history curricula.
    • National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS) NCHS has a threefold mission: to develop and provide teachers with curricular materials that will engage students in exciting explorations of U.S. and World History; professional development for K-12 history teachers; and to collaborate with schools in building their history curricula.
    • Historical Thinking Project’s Historical Thinking Concepts.  The Historical Thinking Project works with six distinct but closely interrelated historical thinking concepts.
    • Historical Thinking Matters.  Historical Thinking Matters focuses on key topics in U.S. history, designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives.
    • Teaching Tolerance. Teaching Tolerance's  mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.  Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.
    • Teaching Hard History: American Slavery. A special project from Teaching Tolerance: "Most students leave high school without an adequate understanding of the role slavery played in the development of the United States—or how its legacies still influence us today. In an effort to remedy this, we developed a comprehensive guide for teaching and learning this critical topic at all grade levels."
    • The 1619 Project. The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are. 
    • Vietnam War Commemoration: Teachers Tool Kit. The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Teachers’ Toolkit provides a comprehensive packet of information for educators in their efforts to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families, especially those who lost loved ones. The packet provides recommended service-learning projects and suggested websites and resources for activities and events. The History and Legacy Branch’s goal is to provide historically accurate materials and interactive experiences that will help teachers and students better understand and appreciate the service of our Vietnam veterans and the history of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
    • Old Mission San Jose.  Are you looking for a field trip?  Tour the Old Mission San Jose.  Located just off I-680 in Fremont, docent-led tours include an 18-minute educational video depicting Spanish exploration and the 1797 founding of Mission San Jose as well as day-to-day living within the mission.  Your class will become grounded in material aligned with the History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, Grade Four, including: Pre-Columbian life of California Indians; How their hunter-gatherer lives were affected by the missions; Why Spain established the missions; How everyone’s lives changed again with secularization, ending the Mission Period.


  • Contact

    Ben Sanders Ben Sanders, Ed.D.
    Acting Director I,
    Core Learning
    (510) 670-7751