Social Studies & Physical Education
The Wyoming Social Studies Content and Performance Standards represent the cooperative effort of school district, University, community college, and business participants. The State Social Studies Standards Committee recognizes that social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The mission of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. Students develop a core of knowledge and skills drawn from many academic disciplines, learn how to analyze their own and others’ opinions on important issues, and become motivated to participate in civic and community life as active, informed citizens.
Current Wyoming Social Studies Standards
- 2014 Social Studies Standards (PDF)
- 2008 Social Studies Standards (PDF)
- 2008 Social Studies Standards (Word)
- National Social Studies Standards
- Wyoming Legislature Composite Narratives (stories of Wyoming’s legislative history)
Wyoming Legislature Composite Narratives
This is a collection of the Cowboy State’s legislative history in narrative form focusing on “issues facing the state during each period and how state policy makers addressed the challenges of their time.” Material for the narratives was derived from the “Wyoming Blue Book” and T.A. Larson’s “History of Wyoming” (http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LSOWeb/LegCompositeExhibit.aspx).
Also visit the Constitution Day websites at the following addresses:
- This is the Constitution Day Inc. official Website
- National Archives, Teaching With Documents: U.S. Constitution Workshop
- University of Wyoming Constitution Day Activities
Promising Links and Web Sites for Socials Studies
There are many excellent on-line resources and web sites for students and social studies teachers. The following are just a sampling of some that might prove particularly useful in the classroom. If you would like to suggest a site for inclusion, please contact Stephanie Brady at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-3793
Disclaimer: The following are suggested sites that are only recommended by the WDE Social Studies Content specialist; they should not be interpreted in anyway as recommended or endorsed by the Wyoming Department of Education.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence, at: http://free.ed.gov/, has many resources in social studies and other categories. These are upgraded monthly and listed by topic and subject.
I. Civic Education
The Albert Shanker Institute offers “Educating Democracy: State Standards to Ensure a Civic Core” at: www.shankerinstitute.org/Downloads/gagnon/contents.html.
The Bill of Rights Institute, at: www.BillofrightsInstitute.org, provides instruction in U.S. government, history, law, and democracy. The Institute offers to partner with your school for professional development programs. Contact Laura Vlk at 703-894-1776 ext. 20 or email email@example.com.
The Center for Civic Education, at: http://www.civiced.org/index.php, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy.
The Center on Congress at Indiana University, at: http://congress.indiana.edu/about/index.php, was established in 1999 to improve broad public understanding of Congress and its role and impact on the lives of ordinary people, everyday.
Liberty Day, at: http://www.libertyday.org, is a non-partisan grassroots celebration of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution. The site offers lessons on appreciating democracy that are designed mainly for civics and American government courses taught at the high-school level. They can also be used in courses on American history.
Youth for Justice, at: http://www.crfc.org/yfj.html, is the nationally coordinated law-related education (LRE) program supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.
II. Cultural Diversity and Heritage
Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students (CARTS), at: http://www.carts.org, is the leading site for incorporating folk arts, folk lore, and the traditions of people, place and cultural into the classroom.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH): AASLH is an organization that supports community history and expressions of personal and regional heritage: http://www.aaslh.org . The site offers templates for conducting oral histories, archiving and interpreting historical photographs, and other resources useful for students who want to explore and research their heritage and their communities.
The American History Association (AHA): AHA’s “Teaching Diversity: People of Color” is an essay series from AHA’s Committee on Minority Historians that is a good teacher resource.
Teaching Tolerance, at: http://www.tolerance.org, is an excellent on-line destination for people “interested in dismantling bigotry and creating, in hate’s stead, communities that value diversity.” The site publishes both a newsletter and magazine, offers curriculum on subjects such as the holocaust, and has excellent free materials produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center on subjects such as Rosa Parks and the Birmingham Children’s March.
The National Council for Economic Education (NCEE): NCEE is “a national network that leads in promoting economic literacy with students and their teachers.” It’s website at: www.ncee.net has materials for classes on Financial Fitness for Life, a comprehensive K-12 program that consists of teacher resource manuals, student workbooks, parent guides, interactive activities, and a CD- Rom. Materials, which must be purchased, are designed to help “students apply economic and decision-making skills to the real world of earning and spending”. They include “income, savings, using credit, investing, and managing money.” http://www.ncee.net?ea/program.php?pid=8.
Virtual Economics: Also try CS4’s newly minted Virtual Economics at http://www.ncee.net/ve3
National Geographic offers “on-line adventures,” teacher guides, lesson plans and history activities, a teacher’s store, and “much more” through: www.nationalgeographic.com/education.
Wyoming Geographic Alliance coordinates and sponsors the Wyoming State Geography Bee: http://ngsednet.org/community/about.cfm?community_id=94. Since 1986, the Alliance has helped build a state-wide network dedicated to improving geography education in K-12 schools.
There are so many outstanding sites under this category it’s hard to choose but here are a couple that are exceptionally useful:
The Library of Congress Teacher Resources offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching.
Find Library of Congress lesson plans and more that meet Common Core standards, state content standards, and the standards of national organizations. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/
George Mason University’s Center for History and the New Media also has excellent resources on world history at the high school level. See, for example, their World History Matters and American Social History Project. The site also offers resources on using material culture effectively in the classroom, with units that demonstrate how maps, symbols, and images can be incorporated for research and interpretation. The Center’s Teaching American History component has a wealth of projects created by Virginia school districts in collaboration with the Center and other partners. http://chnm.gmu.edu.
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, at: www.bbhc.org, offers a wealth of materials and traveling trunk exhibits on the history of the American West. Contact Maryanne Andrus at maryannea@BBHC.org.
For a wealth of primary resource materials on early Wyoming history try The Diaries of John Hunton: Made to Last, Written to Last – Sagas of the Western Frontier edited by Michael Griske. The original diaries are at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.
For Historic Trails in Wyoming, the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office has an excellent site: http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/trailsdemo/select.htm.
Wyoming Voices: Wyoming Public Television’s three part series on the history and people of Wyoming can be purchased by calling 1-800-495-9788, or through their website at http://www.wyoptv.org.
VII. American History
The History Channel offers a free 92 page Teacher Sourcebook, a valuable resource created for teachers to work with their 100 Milestone Documents which focuses on key documents in the National Archives. The Sourcebook includes an annotated timeline, key themes, guidelines to primary resources, and detailed lesson plans. www.historychannel.com
The Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History provides documents and exercises for classroom use and encourages excellence in student writing with essay prize. Its Teaching Modules in American History cover more than twenty topics that correspond to major periods in American History. Each module includes: a succinct historical overview; learning tools including lesson plans, quizzes, and activities; and recommended documents, films and historic images. http://www.gilderlehrman.org/teachers/index.html
Journey Back in Time, at: http://www.journeybackintime.com, is an exceptionally well designed site which offers online access to a wide and rich array of primary American history resources, aligned to National Social Studies Standards, that correspond to thematic units based on major historical eras.
For an excellent collection of primary resources of Colonial Latin America go to Fordam University’s Internet Modern History Sources: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook08.html#Colonial%20Latin%20America
IX. Native American
Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute: For classroom material on the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute (and Puebloans) entitled American Indians of Colorado: Snapshots in Time, go the Denver Public School’s Indian Education department, at: http://indianeducation.dpsk12.org.
Native Village: A four star site for articles, essays and educational materials, links and an online newspaper concerning contemporary issues entitled “Native Village Youth and Education News.” Native Village offers updates on grants and other opportunities. Their Native Library is a wonderful resource broken down into topics such as: Animals Library; Arts and Crafts Library; Books, Literature, Storytelling; Clothes, Food, Shelter; Current Events; Earth and Environment; Elders, Leader and Heroes; European Invasion; Games and Sports; Health, History and Traditions; Media; Music and Dance; Plants; and its award winning Native Language Library. www.nativevillage.org.
Sovereignty – see above under American Indian History at the Department of Education in Minnesota.
Wyoming Native Americans: For Native American history in Wyoming go to http://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/history-of-native-americans/history-of-wyoming-indians.htm This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Wyoming.
For Field trips: The St. Stephens Mission’s Heritage Center across from the St. Stephen’s School offers historical displays, traditional crafts and beadwork, historical photographs, and a replica of dormitory life for Arapaho students during the early days of the mission. You can also make arrangements to see the historic St. Stephen’s Mission Church. Contact the St. Stephen’s Indian Mission & Heritage Center at 307-856-7806. The Mission’s hours are 9am-12pm, 1-4pm Monday-Wednesday & Friday
X. Social Justice Issues
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum promotes the responsible teaching of the Holocaust through a variety of resources and programs to help the nation’s educators increase their knowledge of Holocaust history and implement sound teaching strategies. Education outreach programs provide teachers with quality Holocaust education, incorporating accurate history, appropriate pedagogy, classroom strategies, and teaching resources. http://www.ushmm.org/
Teaching for Change, Multicultural Diversity and Anti-Bias: www.teachingforchange.org.