Author Biography

Lauren Clark is a graduate of the elementary education program at USF and is currently a teacher for Orange County Public Schools. Angela Hooser is a faculty member in the Department of Teaching and Learning at USF. She served as Ms. Clark's instructor for the teacher as researcher course and supervisor for four semesters.


This paper documents my journey as a preservice teacher engaging in practitioner inquiry to make social studies more meaningful for my first grade students. I begin by briefly introducing my background with social studies as an elementary student and my growing interest in making improvements to my own social studies instruction. Next, I provide information on the data I collected and the social studies lessons that I designed and taught. Then, I discuss three themes identified from the data that encapsulate the most important learning related to planning and engaging students in meaningful social studies lessons. Finally, I share reflections on next steps for the future and new ideas for my instruction.