The author wrote this new edition of the most popular elementary social studies methods text on the market with the following three goals in mind: to present the most powerful social studies content and pedagogy for children in elementary school, to offer the material in simple and accessible ways, and to write in a first person active voice. The purpose of this book is to introduce new teachers to the world of social studies teaching and learning in elementary and middle schools. Geography, history, government and the other social sciences are delivered into the palm of the new teacher’s hand along with a suite of tools for bringing social studies to life in the classroom. The book is organized into three sections—the first orients the reader to the mission of social studies education to the increasingly diverse children we teach, the second concentrates on the curriculum, and the third deals with instruction, how we plan and teach this curriculum. Three central themes continue to pervade the book—democratic citizenship, diversity, and the social sciences—to ultimately encourage teachers to excite their students about closing the gap between social realities and democratic ideals. An exceptionally strong chapter on multicultural issues (Chapter 2) helps future teachers truly understand the changing demographics of the American classroom. Abridged NCSS standards and their classroom applications are found at www.myeducationlab.com.