NCSS Online Teachers' Library

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 First Act of Congress (Teaching with Documents)


--Lee Ann Potter
In the early days of this nation, Congress considered numerous acts as it established the laws of the land. Yet the first ever act of Congress concerned an oath to support the Constitution.

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The Cherokee Response to Removal


--National Museum of the American Indian
This lesson plan offers insight into the Cherokee experience during the native group’s forced nineteenth-century relocation by the federal government in what became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

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The Purchase of the Louisiana Territory (Teaching with Documents)


—Lee Ann Potter, Karen Needles, and Marisa Wilairat
The purchase of the Louisiana territory provides teachers with a perfect launch of classroom discussion on how the government funded this acquisition.

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The Escape of the [em]Pearl[/em]


--Susan Hoffman Fishman
The attempted escape of more than seventy slaves aboard a ship called the Pearl spotlights issues of morality and law, slavery in a democratic society, and the inherent challenges in deciphering history.

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An Elusive Ideal: Judicial Selection and American Democracy (Looking at the Law)


--James H. Landman
This article compares state systems that elect judges with other systems for the appointment of judges, in the light of a recent Supreme Court decision that might lead to judicial elections becoming more political.

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OurDocuments.gov (Teaching with Documents)


—Lee Ann Potter
A newly launched project highlights one hundred landmark documents—such as the United States Constitution, Thomas Edison’s electric lamp patent, and the canceled check for Alaska—that have influenced the course of U.S. history. Here’s how to integrate these documents into classroom instruction.

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[em]Marbury v. Madison[/em]: Bicentennial of a Landmark Decision (Looking at the Law)


--James H. Landman
This article revisits the historic two-hundred-year-old verdict that affirmed the Supreme Court’s right to review, and overturn, congressional or executive acts it deems unconstitutional.

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Conflict Resolution in History: The War with Mexico as a Case Study


--Arlene L. Gardner and John Chambers
By applying conflict resolution strategies to such events as the Mexican-American War, students grapple with difficult historical disputes, learn mediation and negotiation skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the costs, complexities, and consequences of conflict.

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Conflict Resolution in History: The War with Mexico as a Case Study


--Arlene L. Gardner and John Chambers
By applying conflict resolution strategies to such events as the Mexican-American War, students grapple with difficult historical disputes, learn mediation and negotiation skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the costs, complexities, and consequences of conflict.

Related:

Displaced Children in U.S. History: Stories of Courage and Survival


--Brenda Betts
A brief survey of four major U.S. migrations of homeless children: the Cherokee Trail of Tears; the Underground Railroad; the Orphan Train Riders; and the One Thousand Children program (during the Holocaust). Includes brief accounts from four children.

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