General US History

The Makah: Exploring Public Issues during a Structured Classroom Discussion


--Bruce E. Larson
Students have to think on two levels: they must deliberate about a current issue (Native rights to small-scale whaling) and develop reasons to defend their thinking; and they must reflect on the discussion process itself.

  • publications.socialstudies.org/yl/1001/100102.html
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Buttoning Up a Hands-On History Lesson


--Audrey C. Rule and Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
How can you tell that something is old? A historical collection of everyday items (buttons, carpenter nails, magazines, fabric, food containers, etc.) "can provide concrete examples to help students construct a concept of change."

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Exploring the Past with 21st-Century Tools


--Kelly Schrum and Lynne Schrum
The Internet "is a tool for helping students engage with history and bring their understanding of the past to the present in new, exciting ways.

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Teaching About Elections During a Presidential Election Year


--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.

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The Bear is Still Singing: Creating Lyrics with Social Studies


--Thomas Turner
This article focuses on teachers or students "creating their own lyrics" as a method of teaching about history--or any social studies topic.

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Fourth Grade Historians: A Thematic Approach to Immigration


--Elizabeth Egan Henry
A thematic approach to the topic of immigration challenges fourth grade students to develop their skills as historians.

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DeKalb Couty, Illinois: A Local History Project for Second Graders


--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.

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Symbols of Democracy: An Introduction to Icons and Ideals


--Jackie Kofsky and Barb Morris
Lessons introduce K-3 students to key symbols of our country. (And see following Pullout.)

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Resources from National Museum of the American Indian


A brief, illustrated introduction to the exhibits and website of this great, national collection and learning center.

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Pocahontas: Comparing the Disney Image with Historical Evidence


--Margaret Golden
Fourth grade students critically compare the fictionalized account with various historical sources. In the 1615 English engraving, that Elizabethan collar on Pocahontas "probably hid tattooing."

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