Graduate Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Thesis Director

John H. Bickford III

Thesis Committee Member

Robin L. Murray

Thesis Committee Member

Alexis Jones


Social studies education has been on the decline for many years. With a big part of the blame on standardized testing, it’s important to find ways to utilize the growing reading instructional time to make connections to history. This research utilized a variety of primary sources in social studies lessons. This allowed for the teacher to be able to meet many different standards across content areas in one lesson. Student motivation and engagement was heightened through cross-curricular lessons. The research conducted was completed in a small, rural school; one limitation being there were only 15 students included in the research. Future research should include a larger sample with more variety in student backgrounds. This research proved that, while students might have limited knowledge of historical content prior to lessons, it’s important to utilize many different resources in order to engage students and create a successful learning environment. While a social studies overlap with English Language Arts is encouraged in many classrooms, this research shows the outcomes of such and how it can positively impact student growth.