Teachers’ Curriculum Institute’s (TCI) provides comprehensive and supplemental resources to support social studies instruction in elementary schools* and high schools. Instruction is discovery-based and includes hands-on activities and frequent opportunities for students to work with peers. Course resources are designed for use with interactive whiteboards and include some print materials. Learning List has recently completed reviews of this social studies series.
Primary instruction combines three resources: (1) an editable, interactive whiteboard- compatible presentation (2) the student text, and (3) the “Interactive Student Notebook.” Presentations contain step-by-step guidance for each activity, vivid illustrations, and references to the accompanying resources in the student text and Interactive Student Notebook. Each presentation begins with an essential question followed by a “Preview” activity that introduces new vocabulary, links to what students already know, and frames new content. Subsequent slides structure discovery-based activities. Activities incorporate some direct instruction, but most learning takes place in hands-on experiences. Presentation slides pose questions and students use their texts and Interactive Student Notebooks to discover answers. Some lessons include “Experiential Activities” that relate historical events to students’ experiences in order to deepen their understanding of key concepts.
Instructional materials include the “Reading Challenge” game and “Glossary Cards.” The Reading Challenge checks for students’ understanding through multiple choice questions presented in a game format. The game provides multiple opportunities to answer correctly and provides corrective feedback. Glossary Cards are interactive tools to support vocabulary development. Each card provides a term or word on one side and flips to reveal the definition. Other resources include a glossary, biographies of key figures, and access to a variety of maps (e.g., political, physical). For a Free Trial for any of these programs, please click here. [* Note there is no 4th grade Texas-based (TEKS) product from TCI.]