Front Row's Social Studies program includes 11 literacy-focused Social Studies units that are built around a curated list of articles, each available at various reading levels. Interspersed throughout each unit are engaging activities that span diverse mediums such as simulations and role-plays, Gallery Walks, Socratic Seminars, video clips, and diary entries (just to name a few). In each unit, you will also find primary sources, discussion questions, interactive maps and timelines, and much more!
How do I access Front Row's Social Studies units?
To find Front Row's Social Studies units, log on to your Teacher Dashboard and click on "Assign Social Studies" on the left navigation bar. Click on the blue "+Add an Assignment" button, and you will be taken to the page with all the Social Studies units (see above). From here, you can browse through the units, access the videos, assign students articles, and read through and print the corresponding activities.
What is the format of Front Row Social Studies?
Each social studies unit begins with an introductory video to give the context and background information needed for the unit. Additional materials, such as vocabulary and timeline resources, are also provided at the beginning of the unit. Each unit is then divided into thematic lessons. The lessons are composed of at least one informational article and at least one activity, but some lessons are longer and include multiple articles and activities. Depending on the unit, the number of lessons changes, but each unit can span a month or longer. The lessons are designed to done in chronological order, however, teachers can be flexible in what articles and activities they want to use. While Front Row provides time estimates for every lesson, article, and activity, teachers should feel free to pick and choose articles and activities, jump around within a unit, and fit these resources into the time they have for social studies.
Simply click on the blue buttons next to each article or activity to access the materials. The "Assign Article" button next to each article will take you directly to the page to assign the article to your students. The "Discussion Questions" button will provide you with questions for your class to discuss after each article. The "Student Handout" buttons will give you access to ALL documents you will need for any given activity, including a teacher's guide, teacher handouts, and student handouts. All you need to do is print them, make the necessary copies, and familiarize yourself with the lesson.
At the end of each unit, there is a concluding video to tie the unit together and answer the question “What now?” There are also assessment tools for teachers including leveled unit exams, leveled essay prompts, and a final project, all easily printable with the click of a button!
What sets Front Row Social Studies apart from other social studies curriculum?
Today, most social studies classes are taught from a textbook. Schools often have few resources to extend their teaching and often end up creating a lot of the materials on their own. We know how tiring and time-consuming this can be. With Front Row Social Studies, we hope to change the monotony of social studies instruction and make this subject both more interactive as well as more accessible to all students. Here’s what we think sets our program apart from the others:
- Every article in a unit is available at 3-5 different reading levels, so every student is able to access the material at his or her level and read it independently. In addition, every set of comprehension questions and every writing prompt linked to an article is also leveled (just like in our ELA program).
- The social studies units are flexible for teachers! While each lesson within a unit has a suggested time frame, it is not necessarily designed to be completed in one day or even one class period. We recognize that teachers have such a range of time that they can allocate to teaching social studies, and for that reason, we designed the lessons to be flexible. A lesson can be completed in a day (time permitting) or extended over a week or even weeks.
- Our units focus on learning history through diverse perspectives. In many Front Row Social Studies units, students will receive identity cards. As they learn about historical events through their reading, they will often be brought back to the “character” from their identity cards and asked to reflect on how they might react or feel in a given situation. In this way, we give students the opportunity to go back in time and step into the shoes of people who were influenced real events. You can find identity cards in the following units:
- U.S. Relations with Native Americans
- U.S. Civil War
- American Revolutionary War
- and in certain lessons within the Election Topics unit
- The Front Row Social Studies units are extremely interactive, and the included activities take on a variety of formats. Not only do we feel these activities will really interest and engage students, but we believe that they will cater to the diverse learning styles and needs of your students. Some of the things your students will be doing throughout the units are:
- Analyzing primary sources
- Debating from diverse perspectives
- Acting in role-plays and simulations
- Constructing timelines and maps
- Writing diary entries and newspaper articles
- Participating in Gallery Walks
- Engaging in rich discussion
- Analyzing real-world statistics
- Creating their own advertisements and works of art, etc.
- The Front Row Social Studies units are all completely planned out for teachers with all resources provided! Each activity begins with a teacher guide that you can use to familiarize yourself with the activity and ensure smooth setup and execution. All activity handouts (for students and teachers) are included as easy-to-print PDFs!
- Every unit comes with assessment tools that, again, are completely prepared for teachers, including leveled unit exams, leveled essay prompts, and an interactive, thought-provoking final project that ties the themes of the unit together.
We hope you enjoy Front Row Social Studies as much as we enjoyed creating it! As always, your feedback is welcome. If you have comments, questions, suggestions, or just want to share how you've been using our Social Studies units in your classroom, please email us as firstname.lastname@example.org.