Curriculum Components

Curriculum Maps

The curriculum map for each course lays out its scope and sequence, the course and unit wide questions, content taught, and suggested pacing for each unit. 

Pacing Calendars

The pacing calendar for each course provides a roadmap for the year that includes suggestions for when topics are taught and how much time should be spent investigating them. Our pacing calendars are aligned with the New York City Department of Education’s academic calendar, but we encourage educators to make a copy of the calendar for the course they are teaching and modify it to fit their district’s calendar. 

Unit Plans

Our units are developed through a backwards design process in which we start with the summative assessments and then create resources and formative assessments based on the content and skills students will need to be successful. [See Understanding by Design, 2005 by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe] As such, all unit plans in the curriculum start with the desired results and assessment evidence. Unit plans also include a list of vocabulary and texts relevant to the unit, a learning plan with suggested pacing and daily objectives, and resources for teaching content and scaffolding skills. Resources can be accessed through the website or unit plans.

Teacher-Facing Resources

Curricular resources are accompanied by teacher-facing resources meant to help teachers make instructional decisions about how to best use the provided resources to engage students in their classrooms. In the Global History and Geography curriculum, each curricular resource begins with a Teacher Overview that includes objectives, standards, and in some cases, lesson planning tools, and instructional suggestions. In the U.S. History and Government curriculum, each curricular resource has a separate teacher-facing guide complete with standards, instructional suggestions, and potential student answers to questions or prompts.

Student-Facing Resources

Our student-facing resources, which represent one way of meeting the Content Specifications in the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, provide teachers with materials they can modify and use directly with students. The resources include geographic reasoning map activities, videos, historical images, primary and secondary texts, and other materials that allow students to explore historical content through a variety of modalities.

Close Reads

Reading Like a Historian Close-Reads are inspired by the Stanford History Education Group. The close reading activities in the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum challenge students to analyze primary source documents by considering the context in which the source was created; the author’s perspective, bias, and purpose for creating the source; and the content of the document. 

Regents-Based Multiple Choice Assessments

Each unit culminates in an assessment that mirrors the content and format of the New York State Regents exams. The assessments will change as the state’s exams are revised.

Baseline Assessments

Each of the courses in the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum includes a pre-assessment at the start of the course. 

This diagnostic baseline provides teachers with valuable information about both the skills their students being to class and the skill areas where they continue to struggle. The student work from this assessment should be examined to provide baseline data on students and to establish which literacy skills need to be focused on in the upcoming units. Teachers should take this opportunity to set instructional/learning goals and to identify the evidence they will need to collect in service of those goals.