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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The study unit on the Great Depression described here makes use of recent findings about how children develop historical understandings. The unit includes a simulation on the stock market crash of 1929, a letter-writing activity based on study of letters real children wrote to Mrs. Roosevelt, and the creation and performance of historical scenarios involving Depression-era characters.
--Keith C. Barton
Elementary teachers can use historical photographs in the classroom to engage young students in authentic historical inquiry. Students’ critical skills develop beyond mere observation as they consider what life was like when the photographs were taken.
by Ronald V. Evans
Third grade students in Hope, Indiana, spend a day in a brick, one-room schoolhouse where they learn about life 100+ years ago.
by Andrew McClary
Do students enjoy making a propeller toy by hand? What is the advantage of using a mass-produced propeller toy?
by Josephine Barry Davis
Students and teachers construct a timeline of U.S. history, on which they insert entries for events in the lives of students' families.
--Hillary Landorf and Ethan Lowenstein
Have the authors of trade books and textbooks brushed over essential aspects of Rosa Parks and her story? She had a long background of service and commitment to promoting the rights of African-Americans. She was not an "anonymous" seamstress, as sometimes portrayed.
--Loraine Moses Stewart
An overview of a historic Supreme Court case in narrative, A through Z format. "L" is for Linda Brown, "N" is for NAACP, and "Z" is for zebra crossing.
--Robin D. Groce, Eric C. Groce, and Lisa M. Stooksberry
Books for youth about the lives and accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright are coupled with activities in social studies and language arts.
This pullout details the planning, teaching, and assessing of oral history projects in grades K-3 and grades 4-6. Includes ten steps on how students can conduct an interview, and explains why such projects are so valuable and memorable.
--James Sheehan and James M. Shiveley
Recommended websites, organized by topic, for upper level elementary students who are learning about this Supreme Court case.