Discover! Social Studies

Engaging learners through visual and textual lessons, real-life connections, and critical thinking exercises, Discover! Social Studies focuses on teaching accurate history, citizenship, and the worth and responsibility of each individual. Integrating the neuroscience of learning with research-based instructional strategies, Discover! Social Studies explores the world around us through engaging text, colorful illustrations, social/emotional learning connections and critical thinking exercises. Topics are covered in increasing depth each year, and new topics are also introduced to build the students understanding of the world around them.

Grades are formatted similarly with two Student Worktexts and the Instructor Guide for the year. Currently, these are only available in kit form.

With its horizontal presentation, consumable Student Worktexts begin with an introduction to the worktexts and instructor guides, provide a lesson plan overview, and explain the lessons. Lessons are organized topically into chapters and include a review lesson at the end of the chapter. The number of lessons vary by grade (71-77 lessons), with each lesson taking 2-3 days to complete, for a total of 150 lessons per year. Numerous extension activities are included that encourage students to expand learning and explore topics more in-depth. Lessons are written to the student and divided into four parts: Lesson Overview, Explore, Direct Instruction, and Show What You Know. In the Lesson Overview, students learn lesson objective and vocabulary words. Explore encourages students to discover new concepts by introducing the topic, asking reflective or observational type questions, or online or real-world connections. Reading, written reflections, and practice is prioritized in the Direct Instruction. Practice focuses on applying what the student has read through hands-on activities which vary from pencil and paper activities like drawing or matching exercises, to hands-on activities that use easily found items – for example art supplies or clay. The final part of each lesson, Show What You Know, has students demonstrate what they learned through fill-in-the-blank and true or false exercises. Additional activities are scattered throughout the lessons and may include artistic assignments like making models and inventions, real world observations, research projects with power point presentations, and lesson related games or role playing. Lessons are engagingly written with vibrant photographs and illustrations, plenty of text white space to help readers not be overwhelmed by the text, and space to respond to written exercises.

The Instructor Guide is a helpful tool that breaks down each lesson into objectives, suggestions to support your student through the lessons, ideas to teach the different learning styles, and extension activities. Answer keys to all lesson questions are also included. Every chapter provides an assessment which includes a quick review followed by a hands-on activity or project, or question and answer/mapping exercises. Assessments in the Instructor Guide are reproducible for family use. Answers and a Grading Rubric are also included.

Meeting the learning needs of all 21st century students, this well-organized curriculum presents social studies from a religiously neutral perspective. The significance of religion is explored within its historical context. See individual grade levels for more information. I applaud the publisher’s effort to design a user-friendly, engaging social studies curriculum that meets various learning styles.

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