Regional Social Studies Network


Our Commitment

  • Our work will have integrity, both in terms of aligning with New York State’s Social Studies Learning Standards and in terms of aligning with our own collective beliefs about inclusive, affirming, relevant, and meaningful learning that leads to informed action.
  • We will include students, families, and community in this work from the outset, so that we increase the likelihood that we will create units that are inclusive, affirming, and relevant to us all, and that will promote meaningful civic engagement.

Students, families, community members, and educators representing every district in our region and representing diverse demographic backgrounds, including areas of economic security, race and ethnicity, place of residence, disability, sexual orientation, genders, etc. are invited to join the network at any time.  Interested, send Barry an email (

Concrete Examples to Inspire This Work

To view a video by the Chicago Grassroots Curriculm Task Force (CGCT) regarding reversing the learning crisis, please click here.

The DCI Youth leadership development program:

  • Educates young people about their rights as human beings and their responsibilities as global citizens
  • Provides opportunities for young people to participate in the global human rights movement and much more.

For more information, please visit their website.

As part of the process of establishing the National Native Youth Network, we invite Native youth and all young people across the country to take part in the Gen-I Challenge. For visit the Gen-I Native Youth Network website, please click here.

The Human Rights Resource Center is an integral part of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and works in partnership with theUniversity of Minnesota Human Rights Library.

For more information, please click here.

Twenty-one rural schools across the U.S. are collaborating to implement a multi-layered, rural-specific approach to improving early literacy, especially for at-risk children in high-poverty communities. To learn more regarding Increasing Early Literacy in Rural Communities, please click here.

Colleagues: These lesson plans and the PowerPoint are a set of resources that can support shifting our work to align with the new Common Core Social Studies Standards & C3 Framework. The standards and framework together call for us to embed civic engagement/citizenship in ways that are relevant to our students and that promote student action.

To learn more, please click here.

Promise of Place enriches lives through the power of placed-based learning. For more information, please visit their website.

Speak Truth to Power is a human rights education program that strives to create a global citizenry dedicated to the highest standards of justice and equality. This program is affliated with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

For more information, please click here.

New York State Resources

The New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework is designed to prepare students for college, careers, and civic life with courses that are rigorous and aligned to New York State Learning Standards, both Common Core and Social Studies.

For more information, please click here.

The Field Guide is another step in the process of equipping districts and teachers to make local curriculum decisions in Social Studies. For more information, please click here.

The Toolkit is designed to put instructional and curriculum design tools into the hands of teachers and leaders in local districts. The Toolkit resources focus on implementation of the Inquiry Arc, as presented in The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, including the four dimensions: (1) Developing questions and planning inquiries, (2) Applying disciplinary concepts and tools, (3) Evaluating sources and using evidence and (4) Communicating conclusions and taking informed action.

For more information, please click here.

In the college, career and civic life (C3) Framework for social studies standards, the call for students to become more prepared for the challenges of college and career is united with a third critical element: preparation for civic life.  For more information, please click here.

Key Excerpt that provides a a clear overview of the key shifts (i.e. exciting possibilities) that serve as the foundation of the new Social Studies Frameworks.

To listen to audio versions of pages 17-19 in the the C3 Framework, please see below:


C3 Hubs are the place to find resources and people who are putting the C3 Framework into action. For more information, please visit here.


The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs.

For more information, please click here.

Primary Sources & Websites

The lending library is an online educational outreach resource housed in, which provides images, descriptive text, and searchable keywords to aid the teacher-user in finding the materials they need. The library encompasses all of the regional programs within the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, including the Southeast Asia Program. Please email with any questions or to register as a library patron.

Search the world’s historical newspaper archives with Elephind.

  • Echoes and Reflections  Our mission is to prepare US secondary educators to effectively engage students in Holocaust education through a multimedia program that is meaningful, comprehensive, accessible, and integrated.
  • Local Holocaust Resources (Including local speakers) Ithaca Area United Jewish Community Holocaust Education Committee (IAUJC)
  • We Don’t Say Goodbye  Produced by WSKG TV’s Bill Jaker, a documentary with stories from residents near Binghamton, NY and Ithaca, NY about living through the Holocaust.
  • Yad Vashem  The World Holocaust Remembrance Center


Search archives from the following propaganda regimes:

The Advertising Archives was established in 1990 by Larry and Suzanne Viner and is the largest and most comprehensive resource of its kind in Europe. To visit their website, please click here.

Related Resources

  • Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing

    The City of Ithaca contracted with the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights to complete an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) for the City. For more information about this analysis, please visit their website.

  • Burlington Geographic

    In Burlington, Vermont, a place-based landscape analysis & community engagement (PLACE) program aims to educate and showcase the natural and cultural history of the city. Schools are a major component of the PLACE Program, and teachers have utilized the project as a learning tool in which students explore their community  “through the lenses of cultural and natural history, and make meaningful contributions to a range of planning efforts.” For more information, visit their website.

  • Cornell Center for International Studies

    This focuses on collaboration, research, teaching, and outreach efforts that promote intercultural and understanding. Its mission is to educate students to become well-rounded global citizens. For more information, visit their website.

  • Culture-Generated Resources

    These links are intended for all folks to use, but are organized by affinity for quick reference. For more information, visit this wiki.

  • EconEdLink

    This provides “a premier source of classroom-tested, Internet-based economic and personal finance lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students. With over 435 lessons to choose from, teachers can use as many of the lessons as they would like and as often as they would like.” For more information, visit their website.

  • Facing History

    Facing History “is used by teachers to meet core standards, learn new teaching methodologies and make a difference in the lives of students.”  Visit their website.

  • History for Us All

    This is a educational collaboration among teachers, administrators, and school technology specialists whose focus is to provide an innovative curriculum model for teaching social studies to middle and high school students. The website contains a wealthy of resources ranging from teaching unites to lesson plans. For more information, visit their website.

  • History Unbound 

    History Unbound will “facilitate teachers’ ability to locate and review documents that conform to the Social Studies New York State Common Core standards and improve student preparation for the NYS Regents Examinations by pointing to the Library of Congress Primary Sets, New York Heritage collections and secondary literature including lesson plans and web-based and regional face-to-face workshops on inquiry based learning.” For more information, visit their website.

  • The Indiana Council for Economic Education

    This is an academic outreach center that focuses on leadership in economic education. It is based in  the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Its mission is to educate students and provide them with the tools required to make sound economic decisions. For more information, visit their website.

  • The Kids Econ Posters

    The website boasts that it, “gives teachers the tools needed to help their students understand the exciting economic world around them – making them more effective producers, consumers, savers, investors, and voting citizens.” For more information and to access these tools, visit their website.

  • Newseum

    The Newseum’s website provides a stockpile of information about stories that made headlines — past and present. Its historical collection and daily newspaper front pages offer a glimpse into the events that help shape our world.

  • S.S. Matters

    For more information about social studies topics, or for ideas and lessons from other educators, visit their website.

  • Stanford History Education Group

    Resources to support Inquiry Unit Planning and Teaching

  • TeachUNICEF

    TeachUNICEF focuses on student engagement in global humanitarian issues. It provides tools for educators to encourage student awareness of issues spanning the globe. For more information, visit their website.

  • Teaching about Resistance and Enslavement

    Teaching for Change works to educate students on a variety of social issues and injustices. Early childhood and elementary educators can explore this website for helpful tips to teach students about slavery and resistance. For more information, visit their website.

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Resource Collection

    This website provides a wealth of resources regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The collection includes audio and visual resources that delve into the history of human rights.

Inquiry Planning Sessions

  • Adapted Inquiry Design Planning Template
    • Adapted Inquiry Design Model Unit Plan Template:  This Inquiry Design Model Blueprint, adapted by Barry Derfel, is a template you can use to guide your planning process.  Access the template here.
  • CAST – Universal Design for Learning

    Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Watch the video below to get an overview of UDL.

    Three Principles of Universal Design for Learning

  • Civic Engagement/Taking Informed Action

    Click here to view local organizations and agencies that promote civic engagement.

  • Culture-Generated Books, DVDs

    This thorough list, compiled by Barry Derfel, contains links to six pages of resources. View the list by visiting this link.

  • Culture-Generated Resources

    These links are intended for all folks to use, but are organized by affinity for quick reference. For more information, visit this wiki.

  • Culture Generated Resources Link Charts.

    Culture Generated Resources Links Chart (word version)  or (Google Doc)

  • Culture Generated Resources Via Twitter

    This document is constantly evolving. For more information, visit this link.

  • Differentiation Supports

    Dare to differentiate with the great resources found on this website.

  • Empire State Information Fluency Continuum

    Click here to check out this great resource for New York State educators.

  • Generic Unit Planning Template

    This generic unit planning template (word version)  (google doc version) provides educators with all of the elements needed in a complete unit plan.

  • How Do You Plan?

    This post by Grant Wiggins provides insights and resources for planning, based on the notion that “An instructional planning template can save intellectual lives.”

  • Human Rights Education Declaration

    This document provides the text from the Human Rights Education Declaration. For more information, click here.

  • Human Rights Powerpoint

    To access a Powerpoint about human rights, click here.


    Check out some great instructional technology resources provided by the Ithaca Central School District. For more information, visit their website.

  • Immigration Explorer

    This interactive map allows you to see how different immigrant groups settled across the United States over time.

  • Inquiry Design Model Unit Plan Template

    Explore the Inquiry Design Model and use a unit plan template provided on this website.

  • Stripling Inquiry Model

    Learn more about the Stripling Model of Inquiry by visiting their website.

  • Unit Plan Self-Assessment Rubric

    Use this rubric to assess your own unit plan and help you think about areas to continue working on.

  • United Way of Tompkins County

    United Way prides itself on its commitment to student engagement. Its initiatives are designed to promote leadership and community involvement. For more information about the Tompkins County United Way, visit their website.

  • What Happens When We Include and Affirm All Students?

    This handout proposes outcomes we should look for to assess the degree to which we are robustly including and affirming all students.

Contact Us

Barry Derfel
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
607-257-1551, ext. 1004
T: @barry_derfel