Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

May 2023- Social Studies Signal Newsletter


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

2023 Professional Learning Survey

The Ohio Department of Education's Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies invites social studies educators to complete a professional learning survey focused on district and school professional development and learning needs by 4 p.m. EST on Friday, June 16.

Data from this survey will help the Department plan supports and professional learning for social studies in the 2023-2024 school year.

High School Financial Literacy Licensure Validation Update

The State Board of Education approved the draft of the OAC 3301-24-30 Educator License Validation in Financial Literacy Instruction on April 11. The Department will next file this rule with the Joint Commission for Agency Rule Review for final adoption into the Ohio Administrative Code. The Department is currently developing a financial literacy Ohio Assessment for Educators, as required by the rule, and will begin accepting applications for this new validation as soon as the State Board of Education has adopted the examination.

2023-2024 List of Approved Assessments is Now Available

The Department’s List of Approved Assessments for the 2023-2024 school year now is available on the Department website.

Registration Open for 2023 Ohio Teacher Leadership Summit

The 2023 Ohio Teacher Leadership Summit is June 14. This exciting event brings together educators from schools, districts and organizations doing innovative work to develop teacher leaders.

Office Hours with Ohio Department of Education Program Specialists

Ohio educators can schedule office hours directly with Ohio's Social Studies and Financial Literacy consultants, Justin Leach and Linda McKean, using the Microsoft Teams Bookings links below: 

News from Education Organizations

Ohio Holocaust Commission Launches New Website and Grant Opportunity

The Ohio Holocaust and Genocide Memorial and Education Commission recently launched a new website and announced a grant opportunity.

The Commission will make funds available for grants to non-profit, educational and governmental organizations to support educational programming about the Holocaust and genocide that align with definitions in Ohio law. The Commission partnered with Ohio Humanities, the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to operate the grant program.

Grant amounts will be up to $10,000. The application period opened on April 17, and the deadline to submit applications is May 12. Grant recipients must implement funded projects between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the grant guidelines and review the grant webpage before applying. Contact an Ohio Humanities Program Officer with any questions regarding the grant
at 614-461-7802.

The Commission's new website shares information about Holocaust and genocide education educational resources, news and events and information about exhibits and memorials.

Professional Learning Opportunities

2023 Summer Professional Learning Opportunities from Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves is offering several in-person and virtual summer learning opportunities for social studies educators:

108th Annual National Council for Geographic Education Conference

The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) will hold its annual conference on October 27-29 in Columbia, South Carolina. Registration is now open for the conference.

NCGE also offers a free resource library for geography educators. These resources include bellringers for Advanced Placement Human Geography, GeoInquiry lesson plans from Esri and professional development resources.

Teaching American History Summer and Fall Seminars invites educators to participate in conversational seminars that explore themes in American history and self-government by studying original historical documents.
Upcoming Seminars Include:

All Ohio Summer Conference for Educators on Holocaust and Genocide

The Holocaust and Genocide Education Network (HGEN) is hosting a two-day summer conference on teaching about the Holocaust and genocide. HGEN will hold the June 13-14 conference at Wright State University in Dayton.

Teaching the Holocaust: Intersections of History and Storytelling

In this workshop, designed by the Nancy and David Wolff Holocaust and Humanity Center in partnership with Miami University's Ohio Writing Project, teachers will explore the intersections of history and storytelling and establish best practices in Holocaust education to foster empathy and critical thinking skills through reading and writing. Participants will leave with strategies to incorporate the Holocaust in their classrooms through primary sources, storytelling, history, and literature. Participants will leave with strategies to incorporate the Holocaust in their classrooms through primary sources, storytelling, history and literature. Email Lauren Karas at to register.

Summer Financial Literacy Education Camp for Educators

Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is partnering with NextGen Personal Finance (NGPF) to offer a two-day financial literacy professional development training in June. Interested educators can learn more and register on the NGPF website.

Other Resources, News and Information

Financial Literacy Resources from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland offers free financial literacy resources, including online games, lesson plans and tools for use in classrooms. The Federal Reserve's professional education staff created these resources in alignment with Ohio's financial literacy standards. 

Advanced Placement Resources from the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center offers free Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics classroom resources on notable United States Supreme Court cases and founding documents.

Explore Engaging Resources from Statistics in Schools

The U.S. Census Bureau's Statistics in Schools (SIS) program offers more than 200 free engaging classroom materials with student-friendly census data for grades K-12.
The Census Bureau also seeks educators interested in becoming Statistics in School (SIS) ambassadors. The Statistics in Schools (SIS) Ambassador Program is a collaborative effort by educators, librarians and the Census Bureau to discuss and determine the needs of teachers and students in today's data-driven world and provide educators with real-life tools and data to boost the statistical literacy of K-12 students.

Zoomable Digital World History Maps from OER Project

The OER Project has developed zoomable digital World History Maps using Microsoft's Deep Zoom technology. The maps examine specific historical periods at any scale and promote critical historical thinking and reasoning skills. Educators find the maps on the Teacher Resources page.
These maps cover 300 BCE to the Cold War and include three layers: 
  1. political map that identifies the nations and communities students will encounter and explore throughout World History
  2. thematic layer that reveals the spread of trade routes, religions, and conflict over time
  3. blank version of the political map, which educators can zoom in on and crop for use in quizzes and activities

K-12 Geography Resources from the Leventhal Map & Education Center

The Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library offer free geographic resources through its K-12 education page. Resources include lesson plans and professional learning opportunities.

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Social Studies resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies

Linda McKean, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies