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Department of Social Studies

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Social Studies

"For the young generation to grow up to become humane, it is important that the generation is exposed to different societies. It is necessary to show them differences in the lifestyles that people around the world have. Children need to be exposed to various social aspects of mankind and made to understand the different aspects of social behavior. It is necessary to make these children realize their duty towards society. Teaching them Social Studies serves this purpose.

Social Studies aims at creating educated individuals who can grow up to be responsible citizens of their nation. The study of Social Studies intends to build creative, caring and courteous human beings out of children. Teaching our children Social Studies increases the possibility of their becoming knowledgeable individuals. Teaching them Social Studies increases chances that they will adhere to ethical and moral values in their life. The study of Social Studies is necessary, if we want a brighter future for our society."

– Manali Oak





Curriculum Resources

ABC-CLIO Databases (Grades 6-12)

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ABC-CLIO Solutions is an online resource that can be used for both Language Arts and Social Studies.  The Solutions provides a complete standards aligned e-textbook, varied points-of-view presented by experts and scholars from the field, and an extensive research library that enables deeper and broader exploration of key topics of study. Furthermore, our subscription includes access to the Support Center which contains lesson plans, videos, interactive wizards, and more! 
When accessed in district, teachers and students can log on without a username and password. To access the teacher and student versions outside of the district computers, please contact the Social Studies Department for that information.

ABC-CLIO Curriculum Alignment

Grade 6

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Grade 7

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Grade 8

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United States History I

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United States History II

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World History

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Additional Web Sites for Social Studies Classroom use:

web page Social Studies Primary Source Document Correlations

web page National Archives

web page Digital Public library of America

web page Library of Congress

web page Teaching Tools

web page Activity /Lesson Resource

web page Primary Sources/Lessons/etc.

web page Lesson Plans/Activities/Resources

web page NEWSELA

web pageThinkCERCA

web page ReadWriteThink

web page Reading and Writing Project

web page US Constitution

web page NJ Amistad

National History Day

This annual competition has consistently delivered excitement and pride for Paterson every year.  For the past two decades, Paterson has secured its reputation as a district that performs exceptionally well at National History Day competitions.  We want to express how proud we are of our students’ outstanding achievement!


National History Day 2020-2021
Communication in History: The Key to Understanding


National History Day Important Documents

pdf 2021 Theme Book

pdf 2021 Contest Rule Book


National History Day External Links

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Holocaust Commission

Background: In 1994 the legislature voted unanimously in favor of an act requiring education on the Holocaust and genocide in elementary and secondary education and it subsequently signed into law by Governor Whitman.  The law indicates that issues of bias, prejudice and bigotry, including bullying through the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide, shall be included for all children from K-12th grade.  Because this is a law and in Statute any changes in standards would not impact the requirement of education on this topic in all New Jersey public schools.

Purpose:  The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, recognizing the importance of ongoing discussion, debate and reexamination of its purposes, programs and activities, reaffirms the significance of Holocaust and genocide studies as an integral aspect of public education in the state of New Jersey utilizing content drawn from a broad range of academic disciplines, interdisciplinary fields of study and the state standards. To that end, the Commission adopts the following as a foundation for its ongoing work.
Study of the Holocaust and genocides in the public schools of the State of New Jersey is designed to:

  • a. contribute to student attainment of the goals of general education based upon the academic standards established by the N.J. State Board of Education,
  • b. improve understanding of the significance of the Holocaust as a unique historical tragedy of the 20th century, and as one of a series of genocides that challenge humankind’s commitments to tolerance, peace and the preservation of human life,
  • c. provide opportunities for the analysis of patterns of human behavior by perpetrators, bystanders, victims of genocidal acts, individuals and groups who resisted, and others who acted to support and rescue members of targeted victim groups,
  • d. stimulate reflection on the fragility of democratic institutions and the roles and responsibilities of citizens in democratic societies to combat prejudice, hate, intolerance and discrimination,
  • e. develop recognition and respect for cultural diversity, as well as for the protection of international human rights for all members of society, and
  • f. preserve and examine the legacy of the Holocaust and genocides as a form of public remembrance in an effort to combat efforts to deny historical truths and to honor the memory of survivors and their cultural legacies.

New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education

The core mission of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education is to promote Holocaust education in the State of New Jersey. On a continual basis, the Commission shall survey the status of Holocaust Education; design, encourage and promote the implementation of Holocaust and genocide education and awareness; provide programs in New Jersey; and coordinate designated events that will provide appropriate memorialization of the Holocaust on a regular basis throughout the state. The Commission will provide assistance and advice to the public and private schools and will meet with county and local school officials, and other interested public and private organizations, to assist with planning courses of study on the Holocaust.

Holocaust Curriculum and Lessons

The Holocaust Commission has created lessons for all grade levels that center around Holocaust/Genocide, prejudice and bullying using the Universal Design for Learning approach.  Resources and links to videos are referenced within the lesson plans they created.  In addition to the lessons created using the Universal Design for Learning, additional curriculum resources can be found on their website:

Elementary School Lessons and Resources:

Middle School Lessons and Resources:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

High School Lessons and Resources:
Part 1:
Part 2:

Holocaust Classroom Resources

The Holocaust Commission has provided links to various resources that can be used in the classroom, consisting of videos, primary source materials, songs, poems and readings related to Holocaust education and genocide.

Amistad Connection


Under legislation sponsored by Assemblymen William D. Payne and Craig A. Stanley, schools in the Garden State are moving to recognize the integral part African-Americans have played at every turn in this nation’s history. The Amistad Bill (A1301), which became law in 2002, calls on New Jersey schools to incorporate African-American history into their social studies curriculum. This legislation also created the Amistad Commission, a 23-member body charged with ensuring that African-American history, contributions and experiences are adequately taught in the state’s classrooms.


The Amistad Commission ensures that the Department of Education and public schools of New Jersey implement materials and texts which integrate the history and contributions of African-Americans and the descendants of the African Diaspora.


1) To infuse the history of Africans and African-Americans into the social studies curriculum in order to provide an accurate, complete and inclusive history.

2) To ensure that New Jersey teachers are equipped to effectively teach the revised social studies core curriculum content standards.

3) To create and coordinate workshops, seminars, institutes, memorials and events which raise public awareness about the importance of the history of African-Americans to the growth and development of American society in global context.

New Jersey Amistad Commission

In 2002 the Amistad Bill (A1301) became law in New Jersey. The Amistad Bill calls on New Jersey schools to incorporate African-American History into their curriculum. The Amistad Commission ensures the implementation of materials and text that integrate the history and contributions of African-Americans and the descendants of the African Diaspora.

Amistad Web-based Curriculum

The Amistad Web-based curriculum provides an interactive textbook infusing the vast contributions and experiences of African Americans for all teachers and students. The Amistad Web-Based curriculum can be access by using the website link below.

Amistad Literacy for Primary Grades

The Amistad commission has created a list of book titles that reflect African and African-American characters in positive, authentic ways. The book list attached will assist you enrich your home and classroom libraries in the primary grades. The Amistad Web-Based curriculum can be access by using the website link below.

NJ Rising Scholars Program

Attention all Seniors! Don't miss the opportunity to apply for the NJ Rising Scholars program.  Student’s chosen for the Rising Scholars Program will receive an award certificate, a comprehensive guide of available HBCU scholarships, the opportunity to meet recruiters and receive on-site admissions with the opportunity to have fees waved. For more information and registration please review the attached flyer or use the link below.

Amistad in Paterson Public Schools 2018-2019


Mayflower Compact

Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact was the first agreement for self-government to be created and enforced in America. Below are some resources to assist with using this primary source document for instruction within the classroom.

Information on the Mayflower Compact along with video clips related to the voyage aboard the Mayflower as well as the signing of the Mayflower Compact:


Information on the Mayflower Compact, along with video clips and a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation:


A series of three lessons designed for grades 4-6 utilizing two primary source documents, along with one primary source in order to analyze the sources about the voyage of the Pilgrims to America aboard the Mayflower, the writing of the Mayflower Compact, and the origin of Thanksgiving:





Teaching about Race, Systemic Racism, and Social Justice


Superintendent Shafer's Letter to Parents


2020 Curriculum Resource Guide

Link to a Google Drive with the 2020 curriculum resources from Black Lives Matter with a plethora of articles, videos, lessons, books, etc. for all ages


Early Childhood/Elementary Resources - Grades Pre K-5

This link provides parents with 60+ resources to talk to their children about racism, some of which are books, but others use household items like eggs and crayons. - Grades Pre-K- 5

This website has a multitude of resources, videos and articles to help early childhood and elementary school educators and parents with the topic of social justice.


NEA - Grades Pre-K - 5

Article for educators “Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your School” with links to additional resources provided by the NEA. - Grades Pre-K-5

20 Minute recording on Talking Race with Young Children - Grades K-5

Distance learning activities to help you talk about Black Lives Matter as a family or classroom for students in Grades K-8



Middle/High School Resources - Grades 6-8

Distance learning activities to help you talk about Black Lives Matter as a family or classroom for students in Grades K-8 - Grades 6-8

This link provides free resources to educators ... Discussing the George Floyd Demonstrations and Riots: Focus on "Black vs. Brown" 


PBS NewsHour Extra - Grades 6-12

PBS NewsHour Extra released a lesson plan for grades 6-12 about the death of George Floyd. The plan includes a news video (that omits the footage of Floyd's death) and discussion questions about the protests, police brutality, and media literacy.


New York Times - Grades 6-12

The New York Times' Learning Network shared an article about the protests, along with discussion questions, and opened comments for students to share their opinion.


The Pulitzer Center - Grades 6-12

The Pulitzer Center partnered with the New York Times to turn the 1619 Project, a collection of essays and literary works observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery, into a curriculum for teachers of all grade levels. The curriculum includes reading guides, activities, and other resources about the history of race in America.



Resources for all grade levels - Grades K-12

This article provides parents with advice on how to help their children to learn to accept one another specific to different age bands. - Grades K-12

This link provides parents and educators with titles and summaries of books that explore the topics of race, racism and resistance that parents might want to consider reading with their children. - Pre K-12

This article provides advice and a short video on how to talk to kids about race, police, and protests. - Grades K-12

Eductors are provided with lesson plans on teaching about racism, violence, and inequality: Anti-Defamation League - K-12

Teaching About Race, Racism, and Police Violence:

Has embedded articles, PD, & classroom resources

“Related external resources” linked


Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture - K-12

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture launched an online portal called Talking About Race that's designed to help steer conversations about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape every aspect of society.



Grades K-12 (Spanish Translation on site)


How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism

There’s no question: talking about race can be sensitive, and yes, even a bit messy. - Grades K-12

31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance       



Self Education


Five points of discussion for conversations about racial injustice
By Amanda L. Giordano

This article by Amanda L. Giordano delves into five points of discussion for conversations about racial injustice.  We all must acknowledge the pain, grief, and oppression that the Black community faces and come together to address the impacts of racism.


Race and Equity Resources

The American School Counseling Association has compiled the following resources for addressing issues of systemic and institutional racism with students.


NowThis Politics

Video on Systemic Racism


September 11th Resources

The New Jersey Department of Education has not mandated the implementation of a 9/11 curriculum for their districts, however, a curricula has been developed. Through the work of teachers within the state, in collaboration with Holocaust Education, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, teachers have created a list of resources, curriculum, and standard alignment for all to use.
The following links will provide you with curriculum information, standard alignment, and lesson plans for K-12:

K-12 Curriculum

9/11 NJ Standards Alignment

Lesson Plans
For additional resources and information please be sure to visit
the New Jersey Department of Education Website.




DBQ/ Research Projects


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Unit 3

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Unit 5

Research Projects








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Contact Us

Nicole Brown

Acting Associate Chief Academic Officer
Phone: (973)321-0714

Kelly Charles

Interim Supervisor of Humanities

Maribel Franco








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