Table of Contents

Unit 2: Literacy in Early Elementary History/Social Studies

Unit 2 presents example instructional activities excerpted and adapted from “Common Core Exemplar for English Language Arts and Social Studies: Why We Need Rules and Laws – Grade 1” developed by Michelle Herczog from the Los Angeles County Office of Education. 
The instructional activities were developed from models provided by Student Achievement Partners at and California State University, San Diego professors Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp in Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading that emphasize close reading activities. You may download the sample lesson for use in your classroom or to reference throughout the module.

The goal of this unit is to demonstrate how early elementary students can apply the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills to understand a history/social studies textbook selection. The activities demonstrate techniques for helping students closely read and reread the text to answer text-dependent questions, develop comprehension, and demonstrate understanding through dialogue, writing, and presentations.


Throughout and upon completion of Unit 2, participants will be able to:

  • Examine instructional practices that develop CCSS
    skills and knowledge in an early elementary classroom
    through the examination of a
    history/social studies textbook excerpt
  • Understand the relationship between the CA CCSS for
    ELA/Literacy and history/social studies content standards
  • Explore strategies for supporting students’ reading,
    collaborative conversations, research, writing, and


If you have not done so already, you may wish to print the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy K–5 to reference the standards throughout this unit.