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Standards-Based Curriculum Resource Samples for Social Studies

This page contains supports designed to assist in the development of standards based curriculum resources for social studies. Supportive resources are separated in two section: Colorado's District Sample Curriculum Project:.  NOTE: The District Sample Curriculum Project occurred from 2012 - 2015; therefore, the samples are based on the 2009 Colorado Academic Standards.  However, the process by which the samples were developed is still relevant fro the 2020 CAS.  In addition, since the changes in most grade levels in social studies were minimal, the curriculum samples are still useful with a bit of fine-tuning.

The Project, whose origins and goals are firmly grounded in standards-support requests from Colorado educators, has three main phases:

Phase I – Curriculum Overview Samples (Fall 2012) Colorado educators worked with fellow educators and the Standards and Instructional Support team in grade level and content area teams to engage in process of translating Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) into curriculum overview samples.

Phase II – (Area) Refining Workshops (Spring 2013) Colorado educators, in area workshops across the state, provided feedback on the Project, the curriculum overview samples, and the future work of the Project (i.e., Phase III).

Phase III – Instructional Unit Samples (Fall 2013-Winter 2014) Colorado educators worked with fellow educators and the Standards and Instructional Support team to build units based on select curriculum overview samples. In three-day workshops, district-teams of general education, special education, ELL, and gifted and talented educators/specialists worked together to plan for the instruction of all students.

Phase IV | High Impact Instructional Strategies (Summer 2016 - Fall 2016) During a kick-off institute in the Summer and Fall of 2016, Colorado educators came together to discuss key instructional shifts within their disciplines and engaged in reflective lesson planning. Phase IV focuses on providing tools and resources developed by teachers for teachers that highlight the teaching and learning cycle:

  •  Planning for Instruction  
  •  Enacting Instruction
  •  Reflection on Instruction

Curriculum overviews, blank templates upon which they are based, instructional units, and other supports for the curriculum samples can be accessed on this website. Together, these voluntary-use resources were created by and for Colorado educators as a way to better understand and translate the Colorado Academic Standards into curriculum.

Users of the samples should feel free to copy, distribute, and transmit the samples and adapt them to fit their needs. Please honor the work of the Colorado educators that created these samples by providing them attribution. These samples are not intended for commercial purposes.


For website assistance in Social Studies, please contact Stephanie Hartman.