NCSS has selected a collection of classroom activities, teaching ideas, and articles from Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Browse the collection, or search by historical period and grade level using the search function below.
(Collections on other disciplines are under development.)
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--Mary Beth Henning, Jennifer L. Snow-Gerono, Diane Reed, and Amy Warner
Two fourth grade teachers strive to create lessons that are developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and historically accurate in teaching about Columbus's encounter with Native Americans.
--Jackie Kofsky and Barb Morris
Lessons introduce K-3 students to key symbols of our country. (And see following Pullout.)
Pullout, "Four U.S. Symbol of Democracy," by the same authors, gives a brief history of -- and activities to learn about -- the Stars and Stripes, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Liberty Bell, and The Statue of Liberty.
--Danielle Bell and Mary Beth Henning
Second grade students use primary and secondary sources to learn about local history. Students "grapple with" tough-to-read historical texts and open questions, and then prepare a presentation on what they've learned.
Students in grades 4-8 can get a feeling for what the colonial frontier was like when the lesson includes physical activity, paintings, artifacts, diaries, and discussions. (Includes 2-page color poster by Robert Griffing.)
--Rahima Wade, Diane Gardner, Paul Doro, and Sandy Arendt
Children often lack meaningful connections with the elderly. This article describes ideas for developing intergenerational activities to enrich the social studies curriculum.
--Elizabeth Egan Henry
A thematic approach to the topic of immigration challenges fourth grade students to develop their skills as historians.
--Edith G. Mayers
A unit of study "taught to fifth graders that infuses technology into student-centered activities." Students create a story map, time line, a "newspaper article," and an oral presentation.
This article focuses on teachers or students "creating their own lyrics" as a method of teaching about history--or any social studies topic.
--Mary E. Haas, Barbara Hatcher, and Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
Introducing young students to some of the main facets of a national election (past and present): What is an opinion survey? What is democracy? How do we learn about the candidates? Is the election fair? How are Votes cast and counted? What happens at a national debate? etc.
Students in third and fourth grade use historical fiction and primary source materials to create their own classroom newspaper about a historical era.