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An inquirED Blog

Wisconsin Makes The Case For Elementary Social Studies

View webinar recording for Wisconsin Makes the Case For Elementary Social Studies at the bottom of this blog post.


This webinar takes a look at how two districts in Wisconsin - Appleton Area School District and Oconomowoc Area School District - are prioritizing social studies aligned to the Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies. This webinar, co-sponsored by inquirED and Ahrens Education Group, connects to the series of webinars sponsored by the National Council for the Social Studies and inquirED on Making the Case for Social Studies across the country.

Anne Matz, Director of Partnerships at inquirED, interviewed a panel of Wisconsin district social studies leaders to explore how they are meeting the need for elementary social studies instruction across their schools. The panel included:

  • Linda Kuhaupt, Director of English Language Arts and Social Studies (EC-6), Appleton Area School District

  • John Flannery, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Oconomowoc Area School District

  • Elizabeth Schmocker, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Oconomowoc Area School District

Both Appleton Area School District and Oconomowoc Area School District are making changes to social studies this year by adopting a new social studies curriculum, Inquiry Journeys. During the webinar, they discussed rebounding from the marginalization of social studies of the last decade and finding a curriculum that meets the emphasis on inquiry in their Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies which were released in 2018.

Both districts describe how they explored writing their own curriculum before deciding to partner with inquirED and use Inquiry Journeys, inquirED’s K-6 Social Studies Curriculum. The district leaders share the obstacles they faced in attempting to write their own curriculum. Then, they share the selection process and tools they developed for leading teacher committees to choose a curriculum. Finally, they discuss their implementation plan in the first year of adoption of Inquiry Journeys.

Sample Tools for Social Studies Curriculum Selection:

Books on inquiry-based learning that panelists from Oconomowoc and Appleton Area School Districts recommended:

Additional study and resource mentioned:

If you were unable to attend the webinar please view the webinar recording below.

About inquirED

inquirED has moved beyond the textbook, offering a customizable, digital curriculum that supports teachers in shifting to student-centered instruction. inquirED delivers year-long, student-centered curriculum and assessment with engaging content and activities for students and embedded professional learning for teachers. Inquiry Journeys is inquirED’s core elementary social studies curriculum. Inquiry Journeys is a comprehensive inquiry-based curriculum with embedded PD that helps teachers shift their practice to a more inquiry-based approach. Learn More


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