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Teaching Resources

African American History (NCSS journals)

Your NCSS journals are published and posted online: Social Education and/or Social Studies and the Young Learner. A few articles are "open access," free PDFs at The online magazine Middle Level Learning awaits there now—for NCSS members only. Here’s a peek at what’s new in these publications:

In our country, there is a widespread fascination with African American history, as has been demonstrated by the long daily lines and packed galleries at The National Museum of African American History and Culture ever since it opened on the Mall in Washington, DC last September. The upcoming January-February special issue of Social Education will focus on African American history. Its guest editors are LaGarrett J. King and Terrie Epstein. The authors offer lessons and recommend resources for the classroom, seek ways of combining theory and practice in the study of African American history, and share fascinating and original insights into effective ways of engaging young people in studying this history.

Rock the Vote's Democracy Class is a one-period, civics education lesson plan that teaches high school students about the importance of voting, the history behind it, and registers them to vote. The program uses popular culture, video, a mock election, and classroom discussion to excite students about participating in our democracy and enable them to recognize the power that comes with voting.

Educators can download the materials needed to teach Democracy Class for free from

Subject Area: 

Teaching Controversial Current Events (Nat'l Constitution Center)

The National Constitution Center (NCC) can help you and your students explore current events in a nonpartisan way. Visit
• President Trump has announced his nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Interactive Constitution highlights the appointment process as outlined in Article II and explores Article III and the judicial branch of government.

Immigration and Human Rights

As questions arise in the classroom about immigration policy (treatment of asylum seekers, fate of refugees fill both the news and "fake news" in every medium from print of cyber tweet), human rights educators can help their students explore these contentious issues using materials from the Advocates for Human Rights -- online for free.

Suggested on NCSS Connected by Rosemary Blanchard

Commentary Today: The U.S. Constitution (NCC & iCivics)

The National Constitution Center (NCC) and iCivics launched a new digital site called - where Americans can share their thoughts about the U.S. Constitution and what they value most about the document.
  Videos at this website feature, among many others,

* Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI);

Civil Rights Lesson Plan (

Looking for a lesson plan that will launch young people into imagining themselves as agents of change? "Kids in Birmingham 1963" shares its second ready-to-go lesson, "What would YOU do?: The 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade." Students read brief interview statemets from four people, black and white, who were youth in Birmingham at the time of the march. Today's students reflect on whether they would have joined -- or not.

Resistance 101 (Teaching for Change)

"Resistance 101 " is a free introductory lesson, allowing students to “meet” people from throughout U.S. history who have used a range of social change strategies. The lesson features activists from the 1800s-present, including Dave Archambault II, Ella Baker, Anne Braden, Fannie Lou Hamer, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Fred Korematsu, Linda Sarsour, Emma Tenayuca, and many more.
View this resource at

In the Mix (Discount for NCSS Members)

In the Mix is the Emmy-Award-winning PBS documentary series for school classrooms, middle grades through college. Several programs deal with diversity and dispel stereotypes, topics that are so important now in American society.
  In the Mix is glad to offer NCSS members a discount on any DVD title ($40 instead of $70) + $8 shipping per order) in a package that includes performance rights and discussion guides. Some relevant program topics include: “dealing with differences”; racism”; “teen Immigrants”; and “media literacy.”  

Teaching the Middle East: Resource Guide

Teaching the Middle East: A Resource Guide for American Educators is now available at on Comprehensive background essays give essential context and information on key issues that teachers and students should be familiar with to better understand the Middle East. This teaching guide is free.


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