Webinar: When Schools Close But Learning Continues: Middle School Social Studies

Thanks to all who attended our webinar yesterday! We shared inquiry-based curriculum design principles for distance learning and talked with Sarah Amin, 6th Grade Teacher form Yellow Springs Local schools about how she is implementing distance learning in her classroom.

Inquiry-Based Distance Learning Principles

#1: Distance Inquiry Should Be Responsive

  • Asks authentic questions that honor students’ experiences of this moment

  • Presents open-ended challenges that allow for a variety of responses

  • Provides opportunities for going deeper than a pencil and paper will allow

  • Empowers teachers/caregivers to adapt the work to their context

#2: Distance Inquiry Should Be Connected

  • Provides a through-line that ensures day-to-day experiences build on each other

  • Engages multiple skills and disciplines at once

  • Prompts iteration through authentic reflection and feedback

  • Culminates in students sharing their learning

inquirED Free Distance Learning Curriculum

  • Together When Apart, free weekly distance learning inquiries for both early learners (K-2) and intermediate (3-6). It was designed according to the principles above.

Sarah Amin's class pages featuring student work from Together When Apart inquiries

Inquiry: How can I capture where I am in time and place?

  • Summary: In this weekly inquiry, students learn about historical setting by examining images of the past: a photo from the Library of Congress, a picture of a birthday party in Australia, a sketch by Vincent van Gogh. Throughout the week, they use their learning to create a “Here and Now Snapshot." Their creation will serve as an artifact that tells the story of their experience during this unique period of time.

  • Sixth Grade Here and Now Snapshots

Inquiry: How can I cHow can we celebrate our everyday heroes?

  • Summary: There are heroes all around us. In this week’s inquiry, students think of a person in their family, community, or larger world who is making a difference right now. They identify a heroic trait or talent, then use words, pictures, and a heavy dose of exaggeration to cast this person as a tall-tale character.

  • Sixth Grade Everyday Heroes Trading Cards

Inquiry: How can we take positive action to support and encourage our community during difficult times?

  • During difficult times, people have always found ways to support and encourage each other by taking actions that spread joy and make others feel less alone. In this week’s inquiry, students investigate the ways that members of their community and others around the world are performing uplifting actions to bring joy to and support each other.

  • Sixth Grade Uplifting Actions

Finally, if you did not have a chance to attend the webinar, watch the video below.


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