Effectively Using Social Studies Textbooks in Historical Inquiry
Scott L. Roberts
Central Michigan University
Of all of the educational tools used in social studies education, by far the most critiqued is the standard basal textbook. If used properly, nevertheless, textbooks are not as problematic as critics claim and can be a useful tool in the teaching and learning of social studies and history. Based on the focus found in the Common Core Standards on informational texts, the practicality of using textbooks is especially true in today’s educational environment. This article was written with the goal of helping social studies teachers develop lessons that assist their students in meeting the requirements of the Common Core. One specific strategy is described to offer teachers an example of how to effectively use their textbook in a Common Core focused and social studies content-based activity. A sample lesson, based on an inquiry activity titled “Hollywood or History,” is provided.
Key Words: Textbooks, Historical Inquiry, Common Core Standards, Social Studies, Movies, Film, Gone with the Wind