Middle Level

Researching Our School’s History


--Amy Trenkle
Challenging eighth grade students to "investigate a bit of history that they interact with every day--the history of their own school" leads to critical thinking . . . and interesting discoveries. This issue includes a brief description of an oral history project, "Our School as Living History" by Candyce Sweda.   --> read more »

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Frederick Douglass, the Constitution, and Slavery: A Classroom Debate


--Vanessa Rodriguez
Students debate Douglass versus . . . Douglass! Before 1851, he argued that the U.S. Constitution abetted slavery. But then he proclaimed, "Let the North now make that instrument [i.e., the Constitution] bend to the cause of freedom and justice." Handouts provide eight passages from the Constitution and Douglass's statements about them.   --> read more »

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What Having Students “Write the Constitution” Taught Me


--Thomas Ladenburg
Students learn the historical setting background of an event, but then must debate and "decide upon" the outcome before they discover what actually happened. This issue also includes "Teaching and Learning with Timelines" by Linda Tripp, Cindy Basye, Kathy Jones, and Vicki Tripp.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.0 MB:   --> read more »

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Historical Letters: Integrating History and Language Arts


--Kay A. Chick
A lesson using a historical letter (included as a handout) from 1948 (about Truman's election) integrates history and language arts.
Also includes a review by James M. Duran of free, online collections of historical political cartoons.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.2 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/29/MLL29.pdf

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King Coal: A Piece of Eastern Pennsylvania History


--Jill M. Beccaris and Christine Woyshner
A variety of activities help students learn about the coal miners and steels workers (many of them new immigrants) during the Industrial Age. A handout is based on an oral interview, and provides a photo of child coal miners, 1911.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.2 MB:   --> read more »

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Venture Smith’s Autobiography and Runaway Ad: Enslavement in Early New York


--Alan J. Singer
Students compare primary sources (included as handouts) to validate historical information. The ad is from the "New York Gazette," April 1, 1754, published in the slave-holding colony of New York.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.2 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/28/MLL28.pdf

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Dramatic Narratives: Capturing the Human Side of World War II


--Anita Perna Bohn and Penny Britton Kolloff

Students research first-person accounts and give performances in this unit of study. A handout to guide research and 3 pages of online resources. This issue of MLL Includes "Ernie Pyle:The Foot Soldier’s Reporter" by Sandra B. Oldendorf and "Teenage Witnesses to the Holocaust (Book Review)" by Tom Kolbe.   --> read more »

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Linking Civics and Current Events


--Melissa J. Marks
Students link clauses in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution with current events as reported in the news media. Does "promoting general welfare" include health care?

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.6 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/26/MLL26.pdf

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American Revolution:Three Lesson Plans for Critical Thinking


--Stephanie Wasta
Three lessons that bring good resource material into the classroom and engage students in thinking critically about history and historical sources. Includes handouts and instructions for playing the Colonial Era children's game "Skin the Snake."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.0 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/25/MLL25.pdf

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