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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--William E. White
Field trips to historic sites, such as to the house in Colonial Williamsburg of Revolution-era scholar George Wythe, offer students a tangible and physical connection to the past.
--Mark L. Daniels
Teachers and students can bring history to life by donning period clothing or carrying objects common in past eras to engage students and enhance classroom presentations.
"Almost every class period, I begin with a primary source." The teacher uses a short quote; a photocopy of a photograph, newspaper illustration or cartoon; or an actual object to spark interest. Such a primary source can serve as a review of yesterday's lesson, a transition to today's lesson, or an overture to a whole new topic. Examples are given of sources and how they are used.
The following URL will download the entire issue of MLL, which is about 2.52 MB.
A U.S. history timeline is available at www.census.gov if you click on the “History & Pop Culture” icon. Colorful, illustrated webpages appear with all sorts of facts and figures about a time period, from 1790 to the present. Interestingly, this wonderful resource--of interest to all students in grade levels K-college--is not easily found with a Google search on the key words “census” and “timeline.”
Other U.S. Census resources are described in this and other articles to be found in the March/April 2010 issue of SOCIAL STUDIES AND THE YOUNG LEARNER, available in the NCSS Journal Archives.
--Erica M. Christie and Sarah E. Montgomery
The authors share four strategies to help teachers reinvigorate their Thanksgiving lessons with rich social studies content aimed at promoting citizenship and activism.
--Robert A. Waterson and Mary E. Haas
The present from the Maasai people to the American people described in a picture book offers an ideal opportunity for teaching young students about 9/11 in a manner that highlights global citizenship and compassion.
The NCSS Publications archives and a number of educational websites offer excellent lesson plans that can help teachers prepare for Constitution Day.
--Carol C. Warren
Students learn about ancient people who lived in their area, the Hohokam, and then help to preserve the archaeological evidence.
Students learn about a farm workers' union, its current struggles, and then write letters to Mr. Chavez.
Years later, their hand-written letters appear in lesson plans at the website of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.
NPR's StoryCorps can be a opportunity for students to conduct an oral history project, or interview people about their daily experiences, or survey opinions regarding a current event. This project involved team teaching.