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Cold War, Civil Rights

Why Do We Focus on Firsts? Problems and Possibilities for Black History Teaching

Focusing on barrier-breaking individuals in teaching about history not only fosters hero-worshipping, but ignores the power of groups in initiating broad social change.

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Pleading the Fifth: Lillian Hellman and the HUAC Investigation of Hollywood

Playwright Lillian Hellman's featured letter to the House Un-American Activities Committee as it investigated Hollywood during the Cold War can launch an interesting lesson on the protections of the Fifth Amendment.
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A Bus Ride Across the Mason-Dixon Line in the Era of Jim Crow

Students gain a deeper understanding of the segregation period through this classroom simulation, in which randomly-assigned cards determine whether volunteers sit or stand during a long, interstate bus trip.
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We Shall Overcome! Two Films about Selma

--David Wolfford Two recent films present powerful portrayals of the struggle for voting rights in America. http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7906/79...
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Voting Rights Act of 1965: In Whose Interest?

--Jane Bolgatz and Ryan Crowley In this lesson, students consider important factors that converged to help civil rights activists win a decades-long struggle for voting rights. http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7905/79...
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Education Equality: What Happens to a Dream Deferred? (Teaching with Documents)

--Annie Davis and Kimberlee Ried
The highlighted documents from Boston´s desegregation case can serve as a jumping off point into an engaging classroom study of education equality and civil rights.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7806/78...

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Analyzing the Messages of the State of the Union Address

--Mark T. Kissling and Christopher C. Martell
The president´s annual speech to Congress on the condition of the nation offers students an opportunity to examine key domestic issues as well as the president´s proposals.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7806/78...

A Street Named for a King: A Lesson in the Politics of Place-Naming

--Jerry T. Mitchell and Derek H. Alderman
As students use geospatial technology to discover streets named for Martin Luther King, Jr., they learn about politics and social power as well as geography.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7803/78...

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From Freedom Riders to the Children’s March: Civil Rights Documentaries as Catalysts for Historical Empathy

--Lisa Brown Buchanan
These four documentary films can engage students in historical thinking, expand their capacity for empathy, and hone discussion and writing skills.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7802/78...

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Gideon v. Wainwright at Fifty: Lessons for Democracy and Civics (Looking at the Law)

--Kevin Scruggs
The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can serve as a point of entry into a classroom discussion of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/7702/77...

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