Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students, 4th Edition

  • Jere Brophy
  • Janet Alleman
  • Anne-Lise Halvorsen
  • ISBN-10: 1305960548
  • ISBN-13: 9781305960541
  • 360 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2007, 1996
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

POWERFUL SOCIAL STUDIES FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS examines the nature and purpose of social studies as it outlines ways to select content and teach history, geography, and social sciences meaningfully. The book's respected and experienced authors present principles and illustrative examples to help pre-service and in-service teachers plan well-organized, rigorous, and creative social studies instruction that produces positive student outcomes. The fourth edition emphasizes the importance of using developmentally appropriate content and methods when helping students to develop social understanding and prepare for civic life. It also includes a solid research base, uses additional visuals to display content, provides examples of curriculum and design, and reflects principles emphasized in the new College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards.


  • The interweaving of theory and research with examples from classroom practice helps students apply sound principles to their teaching.

  • The authors address strategies for promoting family involvement and home-school connections into the teaching of social studies.

  • Topics covered include creating instructional units; planning and conducting field trips; assessment; and instructional methods and strategies to stimulate critical thinking, problem solving, and other twenty-first century skills.

  • Chapters end with a Your Turn section that invites readers to apply the chapter's key understandings to scenarios involving planning for teaching a particular topic.

  • Instructional units developed by the authors are woven throughout the chapters.

  • Each chapter begins with a Teacher Voice: comments by novice and experienced teachers who communicate their views on the content of chapters and talk about how they implement the principles.

  • Technology Tips give practical suggestions for using technology to develop and deliver social studies units and lessons.

  • Research Base boxes in each chapter highlight one or more of the principles of effective teaching to explain how they serve to make social studies, as well as other content areas, powerful and memorable.


"This text goes beyond exploration of effective social studies instruction to examine good pedagogy that transfers to other content areas. It is helpful for teachers just beginning their careers in classrooms, as well as being useful for teacher education students who are eager to step into their own social studies classrooms."
— Jacqueline LaRose, Eastern Michigan University

About the Author

Jere Brophy

Jere Brophy was a leading researcher and scholar in education. He was a University Distinguished Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, where he taught from 1976 until his death in 2009.

Janet Alleman

Janet Alleman is Professor Emeritus of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, where she focused on curriculum content and instruction methods as well as issues in teaching social studies. She has co-authored a host of books, including an award winning one with Jere Brophy entitled CHILDREN'S THINKING ABOUT CULTURAL UNIVERSALS. Other books co-authored with Jere Brophy and Barbara Knighton include INSIDE THE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM and A LEARNING COMMUNITY WITHIN A PRIMARY CLASSROOM. Currently, she serves as a consultant and teacher coach in K–12 schools.

Anne-Lise Halvorsen

Anne-Lise Halvorsen is an associate professor of teacher education, specializing in social studies education, at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching interests are elementary social studies education, project-based learning, the history of education, the integration of social studies and literacy, and teacher preparation in the social studies. She is a former kindergarten teacher and a former curriculum writer for the State of Michigan.

Table of Contents

1. Elementary Social Studies: What Is It? What Might It Become?
2. How Can I Build a Learning Community that Supports and Engages All Children?
3. What Social Studies Planning Tools Will Help Me Teach Social Studies Powerfully?
4. What Social Studies Planning Tools Are Available?
5. How Can I Teach History Powerfully?
6. How Can I Teach Culture, Geography, Sociology, and Anthropology Powerfully?
7. How Can I Teach I Teach Economics, Civics and Government, and Psychology Powerfully?
8. How Can I Engage Students in Substantive Discourse?
9. How Can I Assess Student Learning?
10. What Strategies Can Help Me Teach Social Studies Powerfully?
11. How Can I Design, Implement, and Evaluate Instructional Activities?
12. How Can Social Studies Education Be Made More Powerful through Curricular Integration?
13. How Can Social Studies Be Extended to the World Beyond School?
14. What Is the Research Base That Informs Ideas about Powerful Social Studies Teaching?

New to this edition

  • A new four-color interior design, along with a greater Number of photos and illustrations, helps students visualize topics while making the material more appealing and accessible.
  • New numbered learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter outline what students are expected to know after reading each chapter. To reinforce students' grasp of the material, the objectives are correlated with main sections throughout the chapter and with the chapter-ending summary.
  • National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) standards that correlate with the content covered are listed at the beginning of every chapter.
  • Updated Teacher Voice vignettes continue or expand upon the personal stories from instructors presented in the previous edition.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1337115541 | ISBN-13: 9781337115544)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as teaching suggestions, solutions, blooper explanations, midterm review, final exam review, chapter test banks, unit tests, chapter quizzes, and many other classroom support materials. This time-saving resource also includes a Test Bank that offers 50 questions per chapter including true/false, multiple choice, short answer, and essay type questions.

Online PowerPoint® Slides  (ISBN-10: 1337115525 | ISBN-13: 9781337115520)

Helping you make your lectures more engaging while effectively reaching your visually oriented students, these handy Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides outline the chapters of the main text in a classroom-ready presentation. The PowerPoint® slides are updated to reflect the content and organization of the new edition of the text.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1337276499 | ISBN-13: 9781337276498)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Brophy/Alleman/Halvorsen’s Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students  (ISBN-10: 1337103403 | ISBN-13: 9781337103404)

MindTap for Education, 1 term (6 months) Brophy/Alleman/Halvorsen's Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students 4th Edition a first-of-its kind digital solution with an integrated e-portfolio. MindTap prepares teachers by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and competencies they must demonstrate to earn an education degree and state licensure, and to begin a successful career. Through activities based on real-life teaching situations, MindTap elevates students' thinking by giving them experiences in applying concepts, practicing skills, and evaluating decisions, guiding them to become reflective educators.

Student Supplements

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Brophy/Alleman/Halvorsen’s Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students  (ISBN-10: 1337103403 | ISBN-13: 9781337103404)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Education for Brophy/Alleman/Halvorsen's Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students, 4th Edition you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Need to see concepts in action? Watch videos featuring real teachers and students to see how key topics from the text look in real-life classrooms. Want problem-solving practice before stepping into a classroom? Real-world scenarios offer the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to realistic teaching and learning scenarios. Artifacts you create to address the scenario are automatically saved to a free eportfolio so you can showcase your work to future employers.