Imagine you have been designated as a mentor for a first-year teacher on your campus. This teacher is overwhelmed with how to integrate content standards. What are the first steps to consider when planning cross-curricular instruction? How would you suggest incorporating the arts into social studies, while still being mindful of content standards and the extent of planning required for a new teacher?




Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Title: Integrating Content Standards and Arts into Social Studies for First-Year Teachers


As a mentor to a first-year teacher struggling with integrating content standards, especially in the realm of social studies, it is essential to provide guidance on how to approach cross-curricular instruction effectively. This essay will outline the first steps to consider when planning cross-curricular instruction and provide suggestions on incorporating the arts into social studies while being mindful of content standards and the workload of a new teacher.

First Steps for Planning Cross-Curricular Instruction

1. Understand the Content Standards: The first step is to thoroughly understand the content standards for both the subject areas you are integrating. This will help in identifying overlapping themes and concepts that can be connected in the lesson plans.

2. Identify Common Themes and Concepts: Look for common themes, topics, or skills that can be integrated across subjects. For example, in social studies and art, concepts like culture, history, and symbolism can be explored together.

3. Collaborate with Colleagues: Reach out to other teachers in different subject areas to collaborate on cross-curricular projects. They may have insights or resources that can enhance the integration process.

4. Design Engaging Activities: Plan activities that actively engage students in both subjects. This could include projects, presentations, or hands-on activities that connect the content standards of both subjects.

Incorporating Arts into Social Studies

– Visual Arts: Encourage students to create visual representations of historical events, cultures, or figures studied in social studies. This could involve creating timelines, maps, or artistic interpretations of primary sources.

– Performing Arts: Incorporate drama or role-playing activities to bring historical events to life. Students can act out scenes from history or create skits based on social studies concepts.

– Music and Dance: Explore how music and dance have been used throughout history to express culture and identity. Students can create songs or dances that reflect the themes studied in social studies.

Being Mindful of Content Standards and Workload

– Focus on Depth Over Breadth: Rather than trying to cover a wide range of topics superficially, focus on a few key concepts deeply to ensure thorough understanding and alignment with content standards.

– Utilize Existing Resources: Look for pre-existing lesson plans, activities, or resources that integrate arts and social studies. This can help reduce planning time for a new teacher while still meeting content standards.

– Start Small: Begin with simple integration activities and gradually increase the complexity as you become more comfortable with cross-curricular instruction. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself or your students with overly ambitious projects.


Integrating content standards and the arts into social studies can enrich students’ learning experiences and make lessons more engaging and memorable. By following the outlined steps and suggestions, first-year teachers can successfully plan cross-curricular instruction that aligns with content standards while incorporating creative elements from the arts. Remember, collaboration with colleagues and a focus on student engagement are key to effective integration across subjects.


This question has been answered.

Get Answer