Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

October 2022- Social Studies Signal Newsletter


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Academic Conversations Book Study

Join the Ohio Department of Education for a virtual book study based on the book Academic Conversations by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford. This book study is an opportunity for educators across disciplines and the state to collaborate, brainstorm and discuss ways to support students with academic talk.

Students often struggle with speaking and listening, so this discussion group will cover topics like getting started with academic talk, developing disciplinary-specific vocabulary through talk and fostering conversations in social studies, science and English language arts classrooms. Participants will share ideas with the overall goal of accelerating student learning.

The strategies shared can be used with any curriculum and across content areas, but most are useful for grades two and up. The book study supplements independent reading with engaging virtual discussion and other hands-on activities.

Participants will need to secure their own copies of the text and may attend a single session or all the sessions. Attendance certificates will be available for participants who attend the live, virtual sessions.

Registration is required to receive meeting link.

Registration will close on Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.

Facilitators: Teresa Castellaneta, High-Quality Instructional Materials Specialist; Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant; Cathy Holmes and Robin Deems, Science Consultants.

Dates and Times:
Oct. 26, 2022; 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 9, 2022; 4:00- 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 14, 2022; 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Jan. 18, 2023; 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Feb. 15, 2023; 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Mar. 8, 2023; 4:00-5:15 p.m.

2022 Ohio School Report Cards Released

Recently, the Ohio Department of Education released the 2022 Ohio School Report Cards. Districts and schools did not receive overall ratings this year. The report cards include five rated components and other data. The five components received ratings from one to five stars.

In preparation for the release of the Ohio School Report Cards, the Department developed the 2022 Guide to Ohio School Report Cards. The guide provides an overview and explanation of the key components of the report cards. Districts and schools will not receive overall star ratings this year.

The data for districts, schools, community schools, career-tech schools and schools that receive the dropout recovery and prevention report card will be available at

United States Senate Youth Program Applications Due October 17

The United States Senate Youth Program is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school seniors interested in pursuing careers in public service. Two student leaders from each state will have the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action during the annual program in March. Student delegates hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense, and directors of other federal agencies and participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Students selected to represent Ohio in the national program also receive a $10,000 scholarship. The application deadline is October 17.
To learn more about eligibility and access the application, visit the Department’s United States Senate Youth Program page.

Spotlight on Ohio’s Citizenship Diploma Seal

Under Ohio's long-term graduation requirements, students must demonstrate readiness as a part of their pathway to earning a high school diploma. To demonstrate readiness, students must earn at least two seals, one of which must be a state-defined seal. 
One of the state-defined seals available is the Citizenship Seal. Students earn the Citizenship Seal by demonstrating knowledge and skills through course work, on Ohio's State Tests, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and tests, or in College Credit Plus coursework. Educators can learn more about the Citizenship Seal and Ohio's long-term graduation requirements on the Department's website

News from Education Organizations

The National Constitution Center Launches Constitution 101 Curriculum for High School

In September, the National Constitution Center launched its Constitution 101 core curriculum and Founders' Library of historic documents. 
Constitution 101 is a 15-week course that represents an introduction to key content about the Constitution. There's a self-guided course for learners of all ages and a high school curriculum for teachers to bring into their classrooms. 
The course includes videos and recommended reading from primary sources, all found in its new Founders' Library. The Founders' Library contains nearly 170 historical texts and 50 landmark Supreme Court cases, selected by America's leading historians and law professors of diverse perspectives from the Founding era to the civil rights era. 

National History Day and the Library of Congress

National History Day (NHD) announced new resource guides for teachers in students. NHD collaborated with the Library of Congress to create resource guides on crucial historical thinking skills. The open-access student guide contains hints, tips, and activities to encourage student inquiry and historical research. 
The teacher guide, Guide to Student Research and Historical Argumentationprovides an overview of the inquiry process, explores primary and secondary sources from the Library of Congress and helps teachers guide students to construct historical arguments. The book targets important historical thinking skills that often challenge students.

iCivics and the Center for Civic Education Launch The Constitution EXPLAINED Video Series

In honor of Constitution Day, iCivics, in collaboration with the Center for Civic Education, released 35 short animated videos that explore every article and amendment of the Constitution. Each 2- to 4-minute video in The Constitution EXPLAINED series provides easily understandable context and connections to students’ lives. 

Professional Learning Opportunities

Registration Open for the Ohio Council for the Social Studies 66th Annual Conference

The Ohio Council for the Social Studies (OCSS) 66th Annual Conference is scheduled for October 14-15 at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. Registration closes on October 10.
The OCSS Conference is the largest gathering of Ohio social studies and history teachers. The year's theme is "Celebrating Social Studies Educators! Collaborate, Appreciate, Rejuvenate." Speakers at this year's conference include:  
  • Keynote Speaker: Kurt Russell- 2022 National Teacher of the Year and Oberlin High School Social Studies Teacher
  • Featured Speaker: Dr. Stephen Lewis- Supervisor of Equity and Inclusion- Olentangy Local School District
  • Dr. Shawn Healy- Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, CivXNow Coalition, iCivics
  • Bill Hilt- OCSS Vice-President, Founder and President of the World Affairs, Northwest Ohio Chapter, Middle School Teacher, Perrysburg School District
  • Adam Moler- New Richmond Middle School Teacher, Co-Author of EduProtocol Field Guide- Social Studies Edition 
  • Dr. Julie Heath- Executive Director, Emeritus of the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati 
Interested educators can learn more about registration at the OCSS website.  

Registration Open for the 2022 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will welcome its members and all social studies educators, administrators and specialists from across the globe to the first face-to-face NCSS Annual Conference since 2019. NCSS has scheduled the conference for Dec. 2-4, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
The NCSS Annual Conference is the largest gathering of K-12 social studies classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists, district and state social studies supervisors, international educators and social studies discipline leaders. The conference will feature: 
  • 500+ sessions covering 6 sub-themes to increase your professional development.
  • A growing lineup of featured speakers and panels.
  • Opportunities to network and exchange ideas with other social studies professionals.
  • An exhibit hall highlighting the latest resources and services for your classroom, school, or business; and,
  • Clinics, tours, and special social events.
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has assembled a preview guide of programs, exhibits, sessions, and speakers for its conference. Interested educators can learn more about the conference and register on the NCSS website.  

Ohio Council for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) Constitution Camp Professional Development Series

In November, the Ohio Council for Law-Related Education will hold its virtual Constitution Camp PD. This webinar series provides educators opportunities to learn from experts about important topics related to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Understanding the Appellate Process—all through an Ohio lens. Each Wednesday in November, OCLRE will release videos of scholarly conversations about these topics, paired with teaching strategies for bringing those topics into your classroom. Registration is free to OCLRE members and $10 for the full series for non-members. Please direct questions to Cheyenne Oechsle at  

2022 George Washington Teacher Institute Digital Symposium

George Washington's Mount Vernon offers a free two-day George Washington Teacher Institute digital symposium on Oct. 22-23 for K-12 teachers to learn more about Martha Washington's biography, complex legacies and how to teach 18th-century women's history. 

Other Resources, News and Information

The National Council for Social Studies Announces The 1787 Prize In Observance of Constitution Day

In September, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) announced The 1787 Prize, an annual essay contest for high school students in grades 11-12, introduced on the observance of the 2022 Constitution Day. The 1787 Prize recognizes the best annual student essay on the subject of the U.S. Constitution’s past, present and future relevance by exploring how our written principles align with this vision of citizen engagement. 
For the inaugural prize year, NCSS will announce two (2) awards of $2,500 each. Essays are due to NCSS by 11:59 PM Hawaii Standard Time on March 31, 2023. 
Students can find more information on the 2022-2023 essay topic and submission process on the NCSS website

Native Knowledge 360º Educator Resources

The National Museum of the American Indian's Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Most Americans have only been exposed to part of the story, as told from a single perspective through the lenses of popular media and textbooks. NK360° provides educational materials, virtual student programs and teacher training incorporating Native narratives, more comprehensive histories and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native peoples and offers a view that includes not only the past but also the vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today.

Monetary and Fiscal Policy Resources from the Federal Reserve System

The Federal Reserve System's education network offers several resources for supporting monetary and fiscal policy instruction. 
Monetary Policy Resources  
Fiscal Policy Resources

Street Law’s SCOTUS in the Classroom Cases 

Each Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Term, Street Law selects the most classroom-relevant, student-friendly cases as part of its SCOTUS in the Classroom Cases. Street Law designs these resources to allow educators to hold moot courts or mini-moot courts of the case the same weeks the Supreme Court hears arguments. 
Street Law releases each SCOTUS in the Classroom case in the days or weeks leading to its oral argument. Street Law provides a case summary and links to case briefs, news articles, oral argument recordings and transcripts, and the opinion of the Court (after the SCOTUS reaches its decision).

Edutopia: 5 Tips for Creating an Effective Virtual Field Trip

Edutopia offers practical tips for creating virtual field trips for students in this article from August 2022
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