Review how these units align with the National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards.
The problem with most social studies textbooks is that they lack the content K-3 students need to develop basic social understandings-despite the fact that this is one of the goals of most state and district curriculum guides. With "Social Studies Excursions, K-3," Janet Alleman and Jere Brophy offer a better alternative. They provide units structured around powerful ideas, developed in depth with applications to outside life, creating a far more substantive program than any major textbook can support.
This is the second in a three-volume series in which the authors present instructional units on cultural universals for the primary grades. Here, the focus is on communication, transportation, and family living. Although similar units are found in other textbooks, Alleman and Brophy's provide much more depth. They help teachers concentrate on content that is basic and familiar to students, addressing fundamental aspects of the human condition and connecting with experience-based knowledge. In addition to reaffirming what students already know, these units help teachers impart knowledge about the cultural universals unfamiliar to students, develop connections to help students transform scattered bits of information into a network of integrated knowledge, and guide students in applying this knowledge to their lives outside of school.
"Social Studies Excursions, K-3" has been developed primarily for teachers who are looking for a supplement to-if not substitute for-their primary-grade textbook. Teacher educators will find it a one-of-a-kind resource. Staff developers will find it an excellent reference for workshops and presentations on how to create a more powerful social studies program that reflects reform standards.