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University of Virginia

EDLF 589:  Teaching and Testing the Virginia Standards of Learning K-12

One (1) Graduate Credit

Instructor:   Dr. Cynthia Sparks

                        (757) 547-0153 ext. 199



In this course students will examine and unpack the History and Social Science Standards of Learning.  Methods for effectively teaching and testing the standards will be explored.  Participants will develop instructional and assessment strategies that will assist students to learn and teachers to evaluate student performance.  A key concept of the course will be the integration of the History and Social Science standards with other content areas.  Technology integration will also be a part of the course objectives.


Prerequisites:  No course work, however, at the beginning of this course participants should be:

·         Familiar with the scope and sequence of the History and Social Science Standards of Learning.

·         Able to analyze the standards to identify key concepts and generalizations.

·         Familiar with instructional strategies and resources that will facilitate the teaching of the standards.

·         Able to develop their own instructional and assessment strategies for use in classroom instruction.

·         Able to integrate the History and Social Science standards with other content areas.

·         Able to integrate History and Social Science standards with the technology standards.


Goal:  To assist teachers to effectively address the Virginia Standards of Knowledge as detailed in the Curriculum Framework in order to enhance the preparation of students for success on the Virginia Standards of Learning tests.




·        To explore the Virginia SOL Curriculum Frameworks for a detailed understanding of the standards and how they will be embedded into classroom instruction

·        To gain an understanding of strategies and activities that will help in the instruction of the standards

·        To research the current information on the brain and learning and to discuss and explore some of the research-based methods to enhance retention

·        Use a specific template to design a multimedia lesson that will engage students and encourage collaboration and higher order thinking.

Course Requirements:

1.      Attend all sessions, read assignments, and participate in activities,

2.      Unpack one standard and correlate it to another area of content.

3.      Create a final product lesson plan that identifies an instructional objective in history/social science, analyzes a task associated with this objective, selects a specific instructional strategy designed to promote student learning, designs a product or performance assessment task, identifies, performance criteria, and present a written copy with a short oral explanation to the class.


Successful completion of this course includes

·        Participation in course discussion

·        Completion of the final lesson project

·        Attendance in class sessions

University of Virginia Honor Code

All work should be pledged in the spirit of the Honor System of the University of Virginia.  The instructor will indicate which assignments and activities are to be done individually and which permit collaboration.  Students signed the pledge when filing their course materials.  Students can refer to the University Graduate Record (pages 36 & 37) for more information concerning the Honor Code.

Special Needs

If you are a student with special needs you should let the instructor and the Staff Development Office know as soon as possible prior to the beginning of class.


This course carries the grades of S--Satisfactory or U—Unsatisfactory.  To receive a satisfactory grade, students must earn a minimum of 85 points.

·        Attendance and participation (30 points)

·        Lesson Plan (40 points)

·        Instructional Relevance/organization and design (30 points)

Web Resources Used in the Class (Recommended Text):

The Virginia Standards of Learning (2001 revision). Virginia Department of Education.  Richmond, Virginia.

History and Science Scope and Sequence (2001 revision)
Documents of American History


The National Standards of History.  National Center for History in the Schools.

Graphic Organizers

Course Sequence


Session 1   



Virginia SOL (2001 revision)




Unpacking the SOL--what's there, what's not!


Bloom and Social Studies

Session 2       

Strategies that Work:  Hands-on Active Learning


Integration:  Technology and Social Studies


The Brain and Learning:  What, When, and How?


Assignment:  Think of one piece of literature and how you could connect  (use) it in your class

Session 3

Visual Imaging:  How Memory Works


Graphic Organizers


Interactive Notebook & Interactive Slide Lectures


Primary Resources


Assignment:  Create a Graphic Organizer (Reminder:  Lesson Plan Due next session)

Session 4

Assessment:  How to Align


Designing Assessment


Sharing and discussion of Lesson Plans


Lesson Plan Due


Final Course Assignment (Lesson Plan) Requirements:

1.      Must be a useful original instructional application of the material studied.

2.      Must be written to be replicable by other teachers.

3.      Turn in one printed copy.  If you do not want this material shared with other teachers, write confidential on the outside pages. If you would like a copy returned to you with comments, turn in two copies and a self-addressed envelope.

4.      Put you name, school, and school division on the bottom of each page (footer).

Resource Web site for the course