Students in SFUSD engage in daily social studies instruction (through both integrated and stand-alone units). As our department develops curriculum, eventually there will be three, 5-week stand alone units for each grade level that can alternate with Science units during the year. We're currently in the process of establishing evaluation criteria and a partner to support us in the process. Before moving to adoption we would need to evaluate and pilot potential options, so in terms of timeline, it would not be feasible to get to adoption this school year. Social Studies instruction prioritizes building a strong foundation in community and the understanding that every community member (citizen) has a voice in the ways our communities function and are built. We explore history/social studies as windows to the past and present while working together to intentionally build a classroom community rooted in the SFUSD Humanizing Values (knowledge of self, solidarity, and self-determination) and core concepts of Ethnic Studies.
Land Acknowledgement Video
As a district we acknowledge our place as guests on Raymutash Ohlone land. This is the district elementary level land acknowledgement that you can share with students and families at the beginning of meetings, class or any other function when a land acknowledgement would be appropriate. You can also click the button underneath for a 4 minute video of the Land Acknowledgement and a Grandmother's Song done in Yelamu by Kanyon COYOTEWOMAN Sayers-Roods
Links to SFUSD Cultural Resource Guides (scroll left to right)
SFUSD Inclusion Resource Guide
SFUSD Black History Resource Guide
SFUSD Elementary Pride Resource Page
SFUSD Asian American & Pacific Islander Resource Guide
SFUSD Latinx Heritage Month Resource Guide
SFUSD Filipinx History Resource Guide
SFUSD American Indian Resource Guide
This guide has beed updated and presented by our Indian Education Program to provide resources for educators to use throughout the year
Social Studies Instructional Priorities (scroll left to right)
Community Responsive Teaching
Adapt lessons, units, etc to reflect and honor the experiences and community of your students. Making humanizing connections to personal/community/cultural experiences
Students engage in authentic cycles of inquiry: developing questions & planning inquiry, applying disciplinary tools & concepts, evaluating sources & using evidence, and communicating conclusions & taking informed action.
Historically Responsive Literacy
Create lessons that use various resources (visual, oral, and written) that represent a wide range of diverse people that contribute to our communities
Taking Informed Action
Students take action in their community based on the information they have gathered throughout their inquiry. (Check out the next two and a half minutes of this video for an explanation.)
Field Trip Sites (Virtual and In-Person) (scroll left to right)
San Francisco Fine Arts Museums
We are currently accepting requests for the Get Smart with Art fall program (October 2023 to January 2024). Please submit an application using this form. The fall booking period closes on September 11.
On September 25, applications will open for the Get Smart with Art spring program (February 2024 to May 2024). Please submit an application using this form. The spring booking period will close on November 6.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
We are currently scheduling guided and self-guided visits through January 2024. Guided tours at the museum are available for grades 3-12. Self-guided visits are available for grades K-12.
Please note: due to capacity limitations in Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love, we are unable to schedule school groups for this exhibition. All tickets for this exhibition, including for students and teachers, can be booked through tickets.sfmoma.org starting September 12, 2023.
Be sure to check our Teacher Resources page for art projects, artist-designed activities, videos, animations, and discussion questions.
Oakland Museum of California
OMCA is excited for the 2023–24 school year. We look forward to greeting you and your students with onsite programs that help students reflect, connect, and contribute to their communities.
Come explore the many stories of California and its people, learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state, and investigate your own role in both its history and its future.
Whether in OMCA’s Galleries of California Art, History, or Natural Sciences, or one of our special exhibitions, all of our cross-disciplinary programs are rooted in inquiry, dialogue, and creative expression
Museum of the African Diaspora
MoAD celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. Lesson Plans, Museum Tours, MoAD in the Classroom, Education Resources,
Original Programs, Workshops, Talks, and Engaging Events.
Angel Island Grade (4/5th grades, maybe 3rd with a direct call)
Tongva Experience (4th grade)
The Hermosa Beach Historical Society & Museum presents their virtual Tongva Experience Field Trip. Julia Bogany, a Tribal Council Member and the Cultural Consultant for the Tongva-Gabrielino, the native people of the Hermosa Beach South Bay shares the history, stories, and culture of the Tongva Tribe with our students to help fulfill their California History educational requirement.
California Indian Museum and Cultural Center Virtual Tours (4th grade)
Here you can access virtual tours of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center exhibits, video lessons and curriculum for their popular Native STEM Makers Program. You will also find curriculum, handouts, and flyers.
Chinese Historical Society of America
The Chinese Historical Society of America offers educators classroom resources that they can use before, during, or after their visit to the museum.
The curriculum guide attached contains resources related to Chinese American Exclusion/Inclusion or Towards Equality: California’s Chinese American Women
Chumash Indian Museum
Some educational resources and activities for you to learn about the expansive Chumash culture.
Recommendation: Click on everything. There are lessons that integrate Social Studies and Science (5th Grade Lesson Plan: Shadows of the Sun and a Chumash Calendar), There are current stories of Chumash people today (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Navajo Wedding) and stories about how the next generation is keeping traditions and customs alive today through paddling and tomols.
Partnership and Community Resources (scroll left to right)
Sesame Workshop: Coming Together
Lots of videos with songs and stories along with deeper discussions that explore race, identity, ethnicity and self-love.
From Sesame Workshop:
Coming Together is a Sesame-wide initiative that helps children grow up with a healthy self-identity and sense of belonging. We’re working to create a world where all children can reach their full potential—and do so in celebration of our diverse world. Our research-based, child-centered resources include the whole family, inviting parents and caregivers, educators, and providers to help children celebrate their own race, ethnicity, and ethnicity and become upstanders for themselves and one another.
Seesaw Lessons K-2 Community Builders
Here is a link to some Community Builders made by Seesaw for TK-2 Students
Newsela Essentials is available to all SFUSD teachers 2-12. You will have to sign-in via Google or Clever.
This link will take to a page where you can find videos about how you can get started using newsela in your classroom to support Social Studies and ELA integrated learning and /or designated Social Studies instruction.
Additionally, here is a Getting Started Guide made specifically for SFUSD teachers
4th Grade California Indian Unit
This unit is written and provided by our partners in the Indian Education Program for 4th grade teachers. However, 3rd grade teachers may want to take a look at it as the focus addresses 3rd grade standards. Any questions regarding this unit should be sent to MaryHelen Sherman firstname.lastname@example.org
Born on the Water Educator Guide (DO NOT READ this book to students WITHOUT adequate preparation)
Guide provided by Library Department. Well before planning to use this book with students, read Born on the Water and study the companion Educator’s Guide. This book can be used K-5, but you will need preparation. Page 18 of the guide gives a good example of questions and reflections that may be presented in grades K-3 vs. 4-8.
Teaching LGBTQ+ History: Instructional Resources for California Educators, Students, & Families
Lessons that focus on LGBTQ+ history in California and aligned to the current CDE Framework. Most lessons are geared towards 4/5th grades, but there are are 2 lessons that could be used with 1st/2nd.
California History and Social Studies Project
This site has various lessons with varying degrees of success by grade level, but is a good site to pull primary sources and images.
American Indians in Children's Literature
Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books. Dr. Jean Mendoza joined AICL as a co-editor in 2016.
NPR: Which Indigenous Lands Are You On?
Article and link. As you talk about different places in our region, state, country in Social Studies, you can refer to this map to see the Indigenous Lands where landmarks, states, cities and countries occupy. This map is one way to continue the conversation of the sovereignty of Indigenous people throughout the world. For example, when teaching the symbol of the Liberty Bell, you can show students that it is located on Lenapehocking (Lenni-Lenape) lands that extend over parts of the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
National Museum of the American Indian
Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Most Americans have only been exposed to part of the story, as told from a single perspective through the lenses of popular media and textbooks. NK360° provides educational materials, virtual student programs, and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native peoples and offers a view that includes not only the past but also the vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today
**Remember, you should always preview the books in these libraries to make sure that they are appropriate for your grade level and students. These books often span PK-5 and should not be used in isolation, but as part of a larger set of lessons for the best impact.
Inclusion Library Bookshelf
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for SFUSD Inclusion Week, but could be used throughout the year. This bookshelf is based on the books recommended in the SFUSD Inclusion Resource Guide.
American Indian Heritage Bookshelf
Here is a library that can be used for Native American History month, but should be used throughout the year. These books have been recommended by the SFUSD American Indian Resource Guide and the American Indians in Children’s Literature List.
Dia de los Muertos Bookshelf
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for Día de los Muertos, but could be used anytime during the year to discuss holidays.
Diwali Bitmoji Classroom
Diwali Bitmoji Classroom submitted and compiled by Ekta Kumbhani (1st grade teacher @ Grattan)
Diwali Read Aloud Library
Here are some read alouds and links to help you teach about Diwali in your classrooms. They can be used now and throughout the year as we discuss holidays, traditions, cultures, and families.
Filipinx American Bookshelf
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for Filipinx Heritage Month, but could be used throughout the year. This bookshelf is based on the books recommended in the SFUSD Filipinx Heritage Guide.
Latiné American Bookshelf
A virtual library that features Latiné authors and characters that can be used throughout the year
Latinx Virtual Library
Titles taken from the Latinx Heritage Guide to use for read-alouds throughout the year.
Back to School Virtual Library
Here is a collection of books to use at the beginning of the year or anytime you want to do some community and identity building in class.
Black History Month Virtual Library K-2 compiled by Tamara Fields
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for Black History Month by Tamara Fields from Sherman Elementary, but can be used throughout the school year
Lunar New Year Library
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for Lunar New Year, but could be used throughout the year. We have tried to attach bilingual versions when available. Please feel free to email me if you know of other bilingual books or video read alouds to include at email@example.com
Holi Bitmoji Classroom
Holi Bitmoji Classroom submitted and compiled by Ekta Kumbhani (1st grade teacher @ Grattan)
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Virtual Library
This is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for AAPI Month, but could be used throughout the year.
LQBTQ+ Pride Bookshelf
Here is a collection of read alouds that have been compiled for LGBTQIA+ Month, but could be used throughout the year.
Videos for use in the classroom
In the Land of My Ancestors (California Indians 3-5)
In the Land of My Ancestors celebrates the living legacy of Ann Marie Sayers, an indigenous Ohlone elder. Ohlone people are not federally recognized as indigenous nations in the San Francisco Bay Area. This documentary short reveals the resilience and tenacity of Ann Marie as she reclaims her ancestral land, culture and spirituality in the face of a dehumanization narrative that erases the stories and histories of the First Peoples of the San Francisco Bay Area. This film is produced by photojournalist, Rucha Chitnis, with the brilliant cinematography of Jason Taylor of the Source Project.
Standards and Frameworks (scroll left to right)
California History-Social Science Framework
This is the latest and most up-to date version of the California Department of Education History-Social Science Framework K-12
College, Career, & Civic Life for Social Studies State Standards
California History/Social Science Content Standards
L4J Social Justice Standards
The Social Justice Standards are a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action (IDJA). The standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The standards are leveled for every stage of K–12 education and include school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom.
Educators can use the Social Justice Standards as the basis for building custom learning plans on tolerance.org. Free registration is required.
Past Professional Development
This section will link you to past professional development agendas, slideshows, and/or recordings
PD Opportunity: ‘Teaching Hard History’ Podcast Dr. Debbie Reese 2019
Use Prop G hours as Dr. Debbie Reese explains what to look for and avoid (or teach with a critical lens) when selecting children’s books by and about Indigenous people. She also recommends specific books to counter common misconceptions in your classroom.
Native 360 Teacher Workshop Giving Thanks
A 2 part webinar that addresses ways to tell a more complete narrative in the classroom around Thanksgiving
San Francisco Cultural Districts
The SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District is a celebration of the love, pride and people power of generations of Filipinos in San Francisco and beyond.
(This information is taken from their website
Japantown Cultural District
Japantown Cultural District works to preserve a culturally-regenerative, economically-vibrant, and authentic neighborhood who welcomes all, and aims to serve Japanese and Japanese American communities for many future generations to come.
(This information is pulled from their website)
Calle 24 Latino Cultural District
Calle 24 is in the center of San Francisco’s Historic Mission District. It runs along a tree-lined street known as “El Corazón de la Misión”, or “The Heart of the Mission.” The stretch of 24th Street running from Mission Street to Potrero Avenue boasts a vast number of colorful and unique specialty stores, restaurants, taquerias, Mexican bakeries, fresh produce grocers, butchers, cafes, and art galleries, as well as the greatest concentration of murals and Latino Businesses in the city. We are the birthplace of Latin Rock and the birthplace of the San Francisco mural movement We host Carnaval, Dia De Los Muertos, Baile en La Calle, The Cesar Chavez Parade and Festival, and Fiesta de las Américas.
(This information pulled from their website)
African American Arts & Culture District
The vision of the San Francisco African American Arts & Cultural District (SFAAACD) is a robust, economically vibrant Black community that adds to the rich cultural tapestry of San Francisco. Our mission is to advance, cultivate, enrich and advocate for African-American equity, cultural stability, vibrancy, and economic vitality in San Francisco’s African-American Arts & Cultural District.
(This information is provided by their website)
American Indian Cultural District
Founded on March 31st, 2020, the American Indian Cultural District (AICD) is the first established Cultural District of its size in the United States dedicated to recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the American Indian legacy, culture, people, and contributions.
(This information is provided by their website)
This page was last updated on December 7, 2023