Social Education

Population Estimates Used by Congress During the Constitutional Convention (Teaching with Documents)


—Lee Ann Potter
The featured document enables students to consider the role population estimates played in determining the structure of the U.S. Congress.

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"In the Midst of Strange and Terrible Times": The New York City Draft Riots of 1863


Bárbara C. Cruz and Jennifer Marques Patterson
The riots that shook New York City more than a century ago can provide contemporary students a useful framework for studying such complex issues as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration.

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1906 Letter to the San Francisco Health Department (Teaching with Documents)


—Kristin Schmachtenberg
The 1906 earthquake that shattered San Franciscon exposed the city and nation's lack of disaster preparedness. The featured document highlights the dismal state of rations provided to those left homeless.

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Executive Power in an Age of Terror (Looking at the Law)


—James H. Landman
In today’s era of terrorism, marked by a non-traditional enemy, should the executive branch have greater authority? This article looks at the extent of the president’s power and the role of Congress and the judiciary in checking and balancing that power.

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The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Teaching with Documents)


By Kahlil Chism
The Freedmen’s Bureau was one of few agencies established to improve the lives of former slaves. Four documents highlight for students the bureau’s efforts to help African Americans acquire land, secure jobs, legalize marriages, and pursue education.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7001/700119.pdf

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Researching the Viet Nam War Inside Viet Nam: U.S. Student Teachers Explore War Myths


By Robert E. Vadas
Aiming to correct myths about the Viet Nam War, this author regularly leads groups of students to learn about the country firsthand.

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The Great Communicator Files


By Mira Cohen
Students will learn a great deal about the process of presidential speechwriting when they study primary documents related to well-known speeches such as President Reagan’s “Omaha Beach Memorial Remarks.”

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Chew Heong v. United States: Chinese Exclusion and the Federal Courts (Looking at the Law)


_ By Edited by James H. Landman_
A close look at the case of Chew Heong, a Chinese immigrant who challenged the nineteenth-century Chinese exclusion laws, provides important insight into early U.S. efforts to control immigration.

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Puritan Day: A Social Science Simulation


By Joan Brodsky Schur
Eighth-grade students gain a greater understanding of social control and tyranny when they participate in a Puritan Day simulation.

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October 1957 Memorandum Related to Sputnik (Teaching with Documents)


By Missy McNatt and David Traill
This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Soviet launch of Sputnik, which fueled American panic that the Soviet Union could fire intercontinental ballistic missiles. The featured document highlights President Eisenhower’s reaction and the government’s response.

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