I have been teaching high school sociology at Stevenson High School since 1999. I now teach a one-semester dual credit intro to sociology class for Loyola University and Stevenson High School. I have also been working with the American Sociological Association as a member of their High School Advisory Board (more info about the ASA below). Additionally, I have been working with a group of high school teachers called the Chicago Area Sociology Teachers (CAST). I did my undergrad at Loyola University and then I earned an M.A. there in Chicago Studies, an interdisciplinary urban studies program with a focus on Chicago. It was mostly a sociology masters with some history mixed in.
About this blog (http://sociologysal.blogspot.com)
This blog is basically what I do in class each day. You can go backwards down the blog and it will be like looking through my lesson plan book from back to front. There are also links on the right side menu bar that will take you to my posts by unit and by topic.
Chicago Area Sociology Teachers (CAST)
Hayley Lotspeich from Wheaton North High School and I run a listserve for sociology teachers through google groups. You can login to the Chicago Area Sociology Teachers listserve (if you created an account) here:
There is a searchable archive there with lots of discussions about lesson ideas.
Also for over ten years, Hayley and I have facilitated an annual lesson plan sharing event for sociology teachers. It is usually during February at her high school in Wheaton.
Around 2009, Hayley Lotspeich from Wheaton North High School and I approach the American Sociological Association and said we would like to work with them to create more resources for high school sociology teachers and promote high school sociology. The ASA has since created a high school group. Check here for details:
The ASA also has a listserve for high school teachers that has archives of discussions. Go to You will see a log in page that asks for your email and password. If you’ve never logged in before, click “get a new LISTSERV password” to set up a password. Once you have your password and log in, you will see a page with all the ASA listservs. Our list (ASA_high_school) isthe 8th one down the list. Click on it. You will come to a page that has a search box on the upper right corner. Type in the topic you want (for example, “socialization”), and voila! – you can see the 19 posts on this topic over the past two years.
If you join the ASA, you get access to a web-based bank of lessons called Trails. Without membership, you can search the Trails resources, but you will not be able to view or download them.
AP Sociology - Introsocsite
Here is a compilation of resources originally designed by an ASA taskforce to move AP sociology forward. There are copious resources here including lesson plans, unit outlines, simulations and readings.
--> If your library has a JSTOR account you can digitally access archives of the journal Teaching Sociology. It is full of lesson ideas. Here is the journal page: http://www.asanet.org/journals/ts/
Other helpful sites include:
Socimages is a great site that uses visual images to illustrate sociological concepts.
They even organized a syllabus for an intro class, it is on their instructor page here:
Here are sample lesson plans from Soc Images:
Here is a blog about teaching sociology:
This website run by Todd Baer from Lake Forest College is hosted on the Society Pages
Nathan Palmer's Website about teaching sociology:
Here is a website with movies for sociology:
Common Core Civic Life Standards for Sociology:
The C3 framework for social studies contains an appendix with sociology standards that I co-authored. Click here to download the whole framework.
Sociology Lessons with data from the US Census Bureau
HS Teachers of Sociology
Teaching With A Sociological Lens
Twitter hashtag for teaching sociology:
Sociology In Focus Blog (http://www.sociologyinfocus.
Everyday Sociology Blog (http://www.
Sociology through Active Learning: Student Exercises. Kathleen McKinney and Barbara S. Heyl, editors. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. 2009. ISBN: 978-1-4129-5703-83 (Also has an Instructor's Manual with background on each student exercise and further suggestions for use.)
The Creative Sociology Classroom A set of curriculum materials—lesson plans, mostly—have been put together for high school sociology teachers by the Sociology Department at Appalachian State University. It is available for $15 from:
Dr. Jan Rienerth
Dept of Sociology and Social Work
Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina 28608