Vermont Learning Opportunities for Social Studies — Grade 12

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Students initiate an inquiry by Asking focusing, probing, and significant research questions that incorporate ideas and concepts of personal, community, or global relevance and could lead to answers which allow students to become participants in solutions (e.g., Does my purchasing behavior affect child labor practices in the developing world?).


Students develop a hypothesis, thesis, or research statement by Predicting results, proposing choices about possible actions, or interpreting relationships between facts and/or concepts.


Students design research by Establishing criteria for the quality and quantity of information needed, including primary and secondary sources. Identifying tools and procedures needed for collecting, managing, and analyzing data, including a plan for citing sources (e.g., establishing a time line or schedule for research, independently identifying places to find sources). Determining the best ways to present their data (e.g., PowerPoint, hypercard, report, graph, etc.). Determining ways research plan can be applied to other areas (e.g., to future career goals)


Students conduct research by Referring to and following a detailed plan for a complex inquiry (e.g., conduct an inquiry into the several causes of WWI). Locating relevant materials such as print, electronic, and human resources. Applying criteria from the plan to analyze the quality and quantity of and corroborate the information gathered (e.g., judging the accuracy of historical fiction by comparing the characters and events described with accounts in multiple primary and secondary sources ). Describing evidence and recording observations using notecards, videotape, tape recorders, journals, or databases. Revising research plan and locating additional materials and/or information, as needed. Citing sources.


Students develop reasonable explanations that support the research statement by Organizing and displaying information in a manner appropriate to the research statement through maps, graphs, charts, tables, narratives, timelines, models, simulations, or dramatizations. Determining the validity and reliability of the document or information in relation to an analysis of the hypothesis. Choosing and using appropriate methods for interpreting information, such as comparing and contrasting, summarizing, illustrating, generalizing, sequencing, synthesizing, analyzing, inferring, deducing, and/or justifying. Revising explanation as necessary based on personal reflection, peer critique, expert opinion, etc.


Students make connections to research by Predicting and/or recommending how conclusions can be applied to other civic, economic or social issues. Using research results to support or refute the original research statement. Proposing solutions to problems based on findings, and asking additional questions. Identifying problems or flaws with the research process and suggesting improvements (e.g., evaluating the limitations of some sources). Proposing further investigations.


Students communicate their findings by Developing and giving presentations for various audiences. Soliciting and responding to feedback. Pointing out possibilities for continued or further research.


Students connect the past with the present by Explaining historical origins of key ideas and concepts (e.g., Enlightenment, Manifest Destiny, religious and governmental philosophies) and how they are reinterpreted over time. Assessing how lifestyles and values have undergone dramatic changes in the U.S. and world (e.g., comparing life in China under the early imperial dynasties to present day life, and assessing the degree of similarity and difference). Hypothesizing how critical events could have had different outcomes . Predicting possible outcomes of current world events, and supporting these predictions. i


Students show understanding of how humans interpret history by Locating appropriate primary and secondary sources in order to find evidence to support his or her hypothesis . Reading and interpreting historic maps, and evaluating bias in these maps (e.g., size of African on Europeanmade maps). Evaluating the credibility of differing accounts of the same event(s), and recognizing any existing bias in their own writing about historical events (e.g., comparing accounts of an event in history textbook written in the early 1900s to the same account described in a more recent history text). Recognizing media bias in the interpretation of world events, past and present (e.g., World War II propaganda). Using technology to interpret history (e.g., using technology to access and interpret historical data ). i