Geographic Inquiry and New Temporal Sequencing in Social Studies

Taught by Dr. Phil Gersmehl, former University of Minnesota geography professor, current researcher for the Michigan Geography Alliance, and Co-director of the New York Center for Geographic Learning at Hunter College, this 6-part series examines the connections between spatial thinking skills and increased student achievement in reading. Curricular units, as the foundation for the 6th grade course, include instructional strategies unique for teaching spatial thinking skills through the Arc of Inquiry, hands-on activities, literacy strategies, and best practices in both formative and summative assessment and will be modeled at each session.


Because of the recent updates to the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, the focus on world geography at the 6th grade level and ancient world history at the 7th grade level is a monumental shift with regard to scope and sequence in some districts. Combined with more rigorous demands in temporal and spatial thinking, the curriculum and accompanying professional development network are the best tools to assist 6th and 7th grade Social Studies teachers.