|The exemplars in this packet are intended to model instruction (grades 6, 7 and 8)
and assessment (grade 8) for the Maryland Learning Outcomes in social studies. Rather than
examine only the exemplar for the grade you teach, it might be beneficial to examine all of
the materials in this packet. In doing so, you will note that these exemplars may focus on a
single content outcome -- Political Systems, Peoples of the Nation and World, Geography,
or Economics, or include more than one. All four tasks include Skills and Processes,
Valuing Self and Others and/or Understandings and Attitudes. They are intended to mirror
actual instruction and assessment practice. Since the outcomes were released in 1990, social
studies teachers have been encouraged to design lessons that focus on one or more content
outcomes (#1 - #4) and all process and perspective outcomes (#5 - #7). The same has been
true for MSPAP.
In perusing the exemplars, you should also note that the seventh grade task, A Sea
of Troubles, emphasizes social studies skills and processes. A teacher may need to spend
more time in preparing and facilitating learning of complex procedural knowledge such as
the use of criteria if students are to acquire skill in completing authentic social studies tasks.
Classroom lessons on chronology, making and interpreting maps, and reading and
interpreting primary sources may require similar approaches and strategies.
The "Outcome/Indicator Activity Match" at the beginning of each exemplar indicates
the relationship of specific activities, and/or steps within activities, to the grade 6-8 outcomes
and indicators. Note that part of an indicator may be used to design or create a specific step
or activity and to measure student achievement. Activities completed by students at an
earlier grade are building blocks toward mastery of the content or skill prescribed. For
instructional purposes, the indicators for each outcome are not definitive. You may use other
indicators of achievement for all or part of an outcome.
The format of the lesson exemplars may be different from any that you have used.
There is a Student Booklet that contains most of the activities that students will complete.
The intent of this booklet is to mirror MSPAP, not to provide a required format for teaching.
An exemplar, like a lesson plan, is only a beginning. It provides a model or guide for the
instructional decisions you must make based on your knowledge of the students you teach,
the school's policies, the content of the designated curriculum, and a variety of other factors.
Look at the contexts of the tasks with a critical eye. One tenet of performance-based
assessment and instruction is that students work within a context that establishes a realistic
and authentic purpose for the product or performance they are expected to complete. Those
provided in the exemplars may need to be modified depending on the location of your school
or any of the factors mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The teachers who wrote these exemplars were encouraged to use a variety of primary
and secondary sources and materials. No teacher should rely on a single type of source. This
has also been true of MSPAP.
These exemplars are the result of the best efforts of some of the best teachers in the
state of Maryland. They reflect high standards for both teachers and students. They will
probably engender much discussion of both content and process, and that is both appropriate
Peggy Altoff, Social Studies Supervisor, Carroll County Public Schools
Bob Jervis, Social Studies Supervisor, Anne Arundel County Public Schools