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Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/19/2016
This twelfth grade annotated inquiry leads students through an investigation of a hotly debated issue in the United States: the gender wage gap. The compelling question “What should we do about the gender wage gap?” asks students to grapple not only with how to quantify and interpret the gap but also to consider ways of addressing the problem. Throughout the inquiry, students consider the degree to which economic inequality reflects social, political, or economic injustices or whether it simply reflects individual choices and the role the government should play in decreasing income inequality. Although this inquiry is rooted in a question about economics, no social issue is fully understood without examining a range of economic, historical, geographic, and political concepts in order to craft a full-bodied, evidence-based argument. This inquiry looks at the complexity of the gender wage gap issue through all four social studies disciplines. Students examine the structural factors that influence women’s choices as well as historical (e.g., Equal Pay Act of 1963) and pending (e.g., Paycheck Fairness Act) legislative efforts. Ultimately, students must find a way to measure the gender wage gap, determine if it is an issue worth addressing, and, if so, how to best address it, including private and public sector solutions.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
3B: Consider multiple perspectives.
3C: Analyze cause-and-effect relationships.
3D: Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.
3E: Distinguish between unsupported expressions of opinion and informed hypotheses grounded in historical evidence.
3I: Evaluate major debates among historians.
Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 (Text Types and Purposes): Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 (Text Types and Purposes): Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 (Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas): Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Common Core State Standards (Grades 9-10)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6 (Craft and Structure): Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.7 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Common Core State Standards (Grades 11-12)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6 (Craft and Structure): Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 9-12)
D2.Civ.14.9-12. (Civics): Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
D2.Eco.1.9-12. (Economics): Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
D2.Eco.6.9-12. (Economics): Generate possible explanations for a government role in markets when market inefficiencies exist.
D2.Eco.7.9-12. (Economics): Use benefits and costs to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies to improve market outcomes.
D2.Eco.8.9-12. (Economics): Describe the possible consequences, both intended and unintended, of government policies to improve market outcomes.
D2.Geo.8.9-12. (Geography): Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.
D2.His.14.9-12. (History): Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
D3.3.9-12. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Identify evidence that draws information directly and substantively from multiple sources to detect inconsistencies in evidence in order to revise or strengthen claims.
D3.4.9-12. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Refine claims and counterclaims attending to precision, significance, and knowledge conveyed through the claim while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
D4.2.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Construct explanations using sound reasoning, correct sequence (linear or non-linear), examples, and details with significant and pertinent information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanation given its purpose (e.g., cause and effect, chronological, procedural, technical).
D4.3.9-12. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Present adaptations of arguments and explanations that feature evocative ideas and perspectives on issues and topics to reach a range of audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet, social media, and digital documentary).