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Review how these units align with the National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards. The problem with most social studies textbooks is that they lack the content K-3 students need to develop basic social understandings-despite the fact that this is one of the goals of most state and district curriculum guides. With Social Studies Excursions, K-3 , Janet Alleman and Jere Brophy offer a better alternative. They provide units structured around powerful ideas, developed in depth with applications to outisde life, creating a far more substantive program than any major textbook can support. This is the first in a three-volume series in which the authors present instructional units on cultural universals for the primary grades. In this, the first volume, the focus is on food, clothing, and shelter. Although similar units are found in other textbooks, Alleman and Brophy's are more powerful. They focus on content that is elementary and familiar in that it addresses fundamental aspects of the human condition and connects with experience-based tacit knowledge that students already possess. But in addition to reaffirming what students already know, they help students construct knowledge about the cultural universals that they may be unfamiliar with. Students will also discover a great deal of new information, develop connections to help them transform scattered items of knowledge into a network of integrated knowledge, and apply this knowledge to their lives outside of school.