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Parallel Curriculum Units for Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Parallel Curriculum Units for Social Studies, Grades 6-12

December 2009 | 240 pages | Corwin
The Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM), as described in the best-selling book The Parallel Curriculum, is a framework for developing a dynamic curriculum that helps students acquire expertise in specific subject areas. This resource deepens teachers' understanding of how to use the PCM to provide rigorous learning opportunities for students in social studies.

In Parallel Curriculum Units for Social Studies, Grades 6–12, experienced teachers contribute sample social studies units that demonstrate what high-quality curriculum looks like within a PCM framework. Covering history, geography, sociology, and interdisciplinary studies, these field-tested units each contain:

- Teacher explanations of the unit design

- Connections to concepts, skills, and standards

- Step-by-step directions for delivering the lessons and units

- Modification strategies and methods for assessment

Use these examples to design your own units and enhance your ability to provide challenging curriculum tailored to the abilities, interests, and learning preferences of each learner.

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Introduction: A Brief History of the Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM)
Heather Burke
1. Becoming a Geographer (Grade 6)
Background Information

Content Framework

Unit Assessments

Overview of the Unit

Lesson 1: Climate and Seasons

Lesson 2: Investigating World Populations

Lesson 3: Shop Around the Globe

Lesson 4: The Culture of Geography

Dawn Vier, Lisa L. Ward
2. Through the Looking Glass: A Unit for Reading/Writing/Social Studies Intervention Classes (Middle School)
Introduction to the Unit

Content Framework

Unit Assessments

Background Information

Unit Sequence, Description, and Teacher Reflections

Lesson 1: Introduction?"Who Am I?"

Lesson 2: The Pursuit of Happiness

Lesson 3: Authentic Authors

Lesson 4: Sociocentrism

Lesson 5: The City

Lesson 6: The Great Depression

Lesson 7: A Sign of the Times

Lesson 8: Persuade Me!

Lesson 9: Planet Earth

Kelly M. Dausel
3. Subversion and Controversy: Sociological Considerations of Humor, a Cross-Curricular Unit in Sociology and Literature (Grades 7 and 8)
Background Information

Content Framework

Guiding Questions for Each Parallel

Unit Assessments

Overview of the Unit

Unit Sequence, Description, and Teacher Reflections

Lesson 1: Introduction to Sociology and How Sociologists Think

Lesson 2: Humor in Society

Lesson 3: Humor in Communication

Lesson 4: Sociological Research

Lesson 5: Curriculum of Identity Creative Extension

Catherine Little
4. True Story-Telling: How Historians Construct the Past, Grade 10
Background Information

Content Framework

Unit Assessments

Overview of Key Lesson Ideas/Purposes

Lesson 1: Selective Memory

Lesson 2: Constructing History

Lesson 3: The Past Through Many Eyes

Lesson 4: Who Writes History?

Lesson 5: What Makes the History Books?


"There is a freshness to Purcell and Leppien's approach transforming the curriculum into a platform for active investigation of our rapidly changing world. Your learners become 21st-century social scientists as they engage in probing timely issues and problems."

Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Curriculum Expert and Author
President, Curriculum Designers, Inc.

"All teachers want to provide high-quality curriculum for their students, but this goal is often not easily accomplished. The four social studies units in this book provide a clear view of what high-quality curriculum based on the Parallel Curriculum Model should look like and how it should be implemented. The units include high-end achievement targets; highly engaging lessons; innovative instructional strategies; activities that stimulate high-level thinking; and pre-, formative, and summative assessments. After reading these units, teachers will have a clear understanding of what makes high-quality curriculum."

Karen L. Westberg, Associate Professor of Education
University of St. Thomas

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Becoming a Geographer

Jeanne H. Purcell

Jeanne H. Purcell is the consultant to the Connecticut State Depart­ment of Education for gifted and talented education. She is also director of UConn Mentor Connection, a nationally recognized summer mentorship program for talented teenagers that is part of the NEAG Center for Talent Development at the University of Con­necticut. Prior to her work at the State Department of Connecticut, she was an administrator for Rocky Hill Public Schools (CT); a pro­gram specialist with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, where she worked collaboratively with other researchers on national issues related to high-achieving young... More About Author

Jann H. Leppien

Jann Leppien served as a gifted and talented coordinator in Montana prior to attending the University of Connecticut, where she earned her doctorate in gifted education and worked as a research assistant at the National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented. She has been a teacher for 24 years, spending 14 of those years working as a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Montana. She is past president of the Montana Association for Gifted and Tal­ented Education. Currently, she is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Great Falls in Montana.... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412965408
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