Writing to Learn in Social Studies Grades 3-5

Wednesday November, 28 - Friday, November 30, 2018

Grade: 3-5
Featuring: Stephanie Harvey, Emily Smith, Jasmine Junsay, and Alexis Czeterko, with Colleen Cruz

We’ve revamped our content-area institute this year in order to take a deep dive into a critical topic: supporting students as they write to make sense of unfamiliar time periods and topics in social studies. Come ready to rethink how you can infuse your social studies instruction with rich, purposeful opportunities for writing across a wide variety of genres! Stephanie Harvey, author of Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles for Curiosity, Engagement, and Understanding, among other titles, will join us on this institute, sharing her latest thinking about best content literacy practices.

Writing to learn often starts with note taking. Presenters will introduce you to the top note taking strategies you can teach your students, and you’ll practice note taking with a wide variety of texts: primary and secondary sources, maps, charts, timelines, images, artifacts, and more. You’ll hear about the predictable challenges kids face as they take notes and learn high-leverage ways to address those challenges.

Presenters will explore ways you can get students writing in social studies, whether you want kids to write a piece on the run, in a day or less, or whether you want them to take a piece through the writing process. You’ll hear about ways kids can craft information and argument pieces—and how oral rehearsal can make the world of difference as kids make sense of what they’re learning and how to structure that information. Whether you’re a social studies specialist or a third through fifth grade classroom teacher, you’ll learn how you can help students transfer what they’re learning in writing workshop over to content-based writing experiences. Expect to see lots of student examples and to get practice studying those pieces to identify thoughtful next steps.

As a special treat, you’ll hear about how historical fiction writing can be especially powerful in helping kids construct kno wledge of a time period. Y ou’ ll hear ho w role pla ying, storytelling, and tableaus can help students understand what they know—and don’t know—about a time period and can help them better understand the diverse perspectives of people living in another time and place.

Come with your notebook or device, ready to do your own writing to learn! Presenters will dramatize the most critical minilessons and small groups that will help you write to learn. They’ll coach you as you craft demonstration pieces in different genres and come to understand the predictable challenges students face when they write within each genre.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY