Middle Level

What are some strategies to increase student interest and motivation in middle school history?


Joan Brodsky Schur

One strategy for engaging middle school students is to help them identify with a person who lived in the past -- someone who affected the course of events and/or was affected by them. Research assignments through which students assume the identity of historical individuals can help middle school students surpass their age-appropriate egocentricity, while allowing them to have "big egos" as someone of historical importance.   --> read more »

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Performance-Based Assessment Clearinghouse


This NCSS Social Studies Performance-Based Assessment Clearinghouse has been created to provide    --> read more »

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500 Years of Spanish Exploration and Settlement: Children’s Literature


--Jason L. O’Brien and Wolfram Verlaan
Literature provides an ideal vehicle for guiding students beyond conventional accounts for a more profound exploration of Spanish influence in the Americas.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011328.pdf

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Rising Again: Recovering the Story of Louis Sockalexis


--J. Allen Bryant
Civil Rights Pioneers came from various ethnic groups, rose up in many settings, and fought over many decades. One of the greatest baseball players of all time was a Native American who lived from to 1871 to 1913. Historical context -- Keep in mind that the massacre at Wounded Knee occurred in 1890.

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National Day of Listening Comes to Midland, Michigan: A StoryCorps Project


--Ann Burke

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.

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Dear César Chávez: Writing Persuasive Letters in the Sixth Grade


--Maggie Beddow
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.

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Raise Up Your Cloth! The Woman Suffrage Movement's Second Generation


--Catherine M. Carter
This lesson plan with handouts focuses on Alice Paul's nonviolent protests. More classroom handouts follow in "Winning the Vote for Women: OBJECTION and ANSWER" by Jenny Wei (NMAH) and "Game Changer: Women's Basketball and Equal Opportunity" by Tedd Levy. Download the 16-page PDF (which is about 3 megabytes) at this URL:   --> read more »

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The Lower East Side Tenement Museum: A Window on Immigrant Life


--Adam Steinberg and Michael J. Berson

Students can learn about immigrant life ca. 1900 from the words and photographs at this museum's online collection.

This PDF downloads a 16-page issue of MLL, about 3 megabytes.

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Lights, Camera, . . . Reenaction! Creating Video as We Study the Civil War


--Angela Stokes
A video project challenges students to read, research, and interpret historical sources, then create a short drama that reflects their understanding of events. Journey through Hallowed Ground sponsored this project, but you can do a low-budget version at your school.

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