enCORE Social Studies Lesson Plans

TeachTown’s enCORE social studies curriculum provides equitable, inclusive access to the general education curriculum with a K-12 standards-aligned and evidence-based adapted core curriculum. Read on to learn more about each segment within enCORE’s Social Studies Lessons.

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Special Education Social Studies Curriculum

enCORE is a comprehensive approach to delivering grade-aligned academic instruction for students with moderate to severe disabilities. As a blended learning curriculum, enCORE includes:

  • Hands-on learning through scripted, print-based lessons
  • Teacher-led technology lessons (ideal for small group or individual instruction)
  • Data-driven, individualized technology lessons for students to complete independently

The Social Studies domain of enCORE is grounded in evidence-based instructional practices, including the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and systematic, explicit instruction. enCORE Social Studies lesson plans also incorporate high-priority vocabulary instruction at the start of each lesson and then builds upon it throughout the lesson to provide students with repeated exposures to target words. Inquiry-based research activities move students from recall to deeper understanding, supporting TeachTown’s overall vision of appropriately challenging students to move beyond exposure to mastery of new skills.

Social Studies Lesson Plans

Finally, text-based content (e.g., companion texts in middle school and high school, as well as some chapter books in elementary school) help students connect their reading to social studies-specific content. A sampling of companion texts are shown below:

example of TeachTown Social Studies History Lesson example of TeachTown Social Studies Cultural Lesson example of TeachTown Social Studies Lesson Plan










Tailoring Social Studies Instruction Across Grade Levels

In each grade band, Social Studies lessons begin with anchored instruction to activate background knowledge and help students make connections from prior learning to the new skills and themes being presented. Then, teachers move through the structure of the gradual release of responsibility. This progression is noted within the print lesson plans as ‘Model, Lead, Test’ for Elementary and ‘Model, Guided Practice, Independent Practice’ for Middle and High School. This framework will likely be familiar to educators as the I Do, We Do, You Do model. Introducing students to new skills in small, bite-sized pieces supports complex learners by ensuring students receive multiple exposures to the new skill, prompting and regular feedback to avoid practicing incorrectly, and plenty of practice to reinforce new learning. Learn more about enCORE Social Studies at the elementary, middle, and high school levels below.

enCORE Elementary School Social Studies Curriculum

enCORE Elementary School Social Studies lesson plans are comprised of 3 segments:

  • Segment 1: Understanding Big Ideas
  • Segment 2: Applying What We Know
  • Segment 3: Making Connections

Building Core Vocabulary: The Foundation of Our Social Studies Curriculum

In the Understanding Big Ideas segment, students learn core social studies vocabulary specific to the unit’s theme. For example, in Unit 33, the literature title is The Wizard of Oz. The social studies vocabulary words that relate to the theme of finding a way to get home include continent, North America, United States, and city. To expand on the target vocabulary, teachers are provided with an explicit script on how to build social studies concepts with various strategies, such as example and non-example instruction.

Applying Knowledge: Interactive Learning in Social Studies

In the Applying What We Know segment, students apply their knowledge of the social studies concepts and skills addressed in the Understanding Big Ideas Segment. Students are guided through a hands-on game, assignment, or project that encourages them to apply what they know and demonstrate that knowledge to others. To promote language and reading comprehension skills, students are guided through a social studies newsletter related to the skills taught in the unit. After completing the writing task, students are guided through a series of questions to deepen their comprehension of the newsletter in the Making Connections segment.

enCORE Middle School Social Studies Curriculum

enCORE Middle School Social Studies lesson plans that are comprised of 4 segments. Each segment includes anchored instruction to help students connect new learning to prior knowledge and/or provide context for new learning; core vocabulary and concepts; and an activity focused on concept building. All 4 segments are connected through a central topic, and each segment builds on the knowledge gained in the previous segment to get to a deep understanding.

  • Segment 1: Understanding the Big Idea
  • Segment 2: Connecting the Big Idea
  • Segment 3: Investigate and Extend
  • Segment 4: Research and Collaborate

enCORE High School Social Studies Curriculum

enCORE High School Social Studies lesson plans are comprised of 5 segments:

  • Segment 1: Introducing the Topic
  • Segment 2: Understanding the Big Ideas
  • Segment 3: Connecting the Big Ideas
  • Segment 4: Research and Collaborate
  • Segment 5: Applying What We Know

Each segment is used as an opportunity to deepen knowledge on a specific topic, such as the causes and impact of the Great Depression or the process of electing the president of the United States. Each segment includes anchored instruction, core vocabulary and concepts, and a concept building section. High School Social Studies content also includes a section dedicated to reading and reviewing the text to help students build understanding of the content from a companion text. When reading the companion texts, students are guided to practice reading comprehension skills including rereading, demonstrating understanding of the main idea, answering comprehension questions, identifying supporting details, and making text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.

enCORE Lesson Plans:

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