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Social Studies Skills

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Basic Resources
Links to Sources

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Analysis of Sources
Types of Sources
Lesson Framework

NYS Standards
NYS Skills
State Standards

State Testing
Document Based
Constructed Response
Thematic Essay

Using Information   Presenting Information

Getting Information

Students shall be able to:

Identify a variety of sources of information:

  • multiple sources of the same types of information
  • varying approaches, viewpoints, interpretations
  • reference works, newspapers, magazines, primary and secondary sources
  • tables, graphs, charts, diagrams
  • maps, globes, atlases, vocabulary
  • visuals, field trips, artifacts
  • listening
  • observing

Recognize advantages and limitations of various sources

Locate sources of print and non-print information:

  • libraries (card catalogs, indices, library guides such as Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature)
  • tables of contents, appendices, glossaries, bibliographies, and indices
  • museums, galleries, public and private collections, motion pictures, television, radio, recordings, conversations, interviews

Identify the types and kinds of information needed:

  • recognition of information that is relevant as differentiated from information that is irrelevant
  • use of sub-questions and/or predicted con-sequences
  • understanding of purposes for which information is to be used locate information in print and non-print sources:
  • main elements
  • main ideas
  • supportive elements organize collected information:
  • orderly, precise, summarized notes
  • cited sources

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 Using Information

Students shall be able to:

classify and/or categorize data by:

  • selecting appropriate headings for data
  • distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information and events placing ideas in order, chronological and other
  • developing tables, charts, maps, and graphs to clarify data and ideas
  • identifying differences and similarities in data

evaluate data by:

  • differentiating fact from opinion
  • identifying frames of reference
  • identifying value-laden words
  • detecting evidence of propaganda
  • evaluating author’s or person’s qualifications draw inferences from data by:
  • identifying relationships among the parts
  • detecting inconsistencies
  • weighing conflicting facts and statements

check on completeness of data and question hypotheses based on sufficiency of evidence by:

  • using simple mathematical and statistical devices to analyze data
  • testing, refining, and eliminating hypotheses and working out new ones where necessary
  • drawing conclusions

generalize from data by:

  • applying previously learned concepts and generalizations to the data or situation
  • checking reasoning against basic principles of logic and looking for inconsistencies, limitations of data, and irrelevancies
  • creating a broad statement which encompasses findings

scrutinize possible consequences of alternative courses of action by evaluating them in light of basic values, listing arguments for and against such proposals, and selecting courses of action most likely to achieve goals

revise generalizations in the light of new data

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Presenting Information

Students shall be able to:

speak in an effective way by:

  • spending sufficient time in planning and preparing, whether it be for an individual oral report or as a member of a panel, debate, forum, etc.
  • talking in complete sentences
  • keeping to the topic
  • using appropriate visuals
  • learning and developing the skills of being a discussion leader or participant

use media and various visuals for communicating ideas by:

  • previewing such media and visuals
  • preparing appropriate commentary
  • using a variety of media forms: films, film-strips, photographic essays, etc.
  • constructing and using appropriate tables, charts, graphs, cartoons, etc.

write in an expository way by:

  • thinking logically
  • communicating ideas coherently
  • forming generalizations based on appropriate data
  • supporting such generalizations through the use of relevant factual information
  • using different forms of written exposition: investigative, informative, interpretive, argumentative
  • following an acceptable format that includes an introductory element, a body containing the basis of the exposition, a conclusion

recognize and use nonverbal means of communication by:

  • understanding the variety of kinds of non-verbal communication: gestures, touching, eye language, etc.
  • appreciating that the amount and kind of nonverbal communication varies from culture to culture

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Teaching With Documents

Developed by Peter Pappas  email
Senior Consultant 
International Center for Leadership in Education



Copyright 1999 - 2006, Peter Pappas,
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