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Middle Level

A Pocketful of History

--Sherry L. Field and Linda D. Labbo
Read a biography. Then examine "pocket contents." In Lincoln's vest pocket? A draft for a speech, theater tickets, and a photograph of his family, among other items. "Artifacts" are suggested for the pockets of Benito Juarez (president of Mexico), Grandma Moses (artist), Mary McLeod Bethune (black educator), and others.

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Play Like a Pirate: Engage Students with Toys, Games, and Comics

Here’s an informal book review, excerpts from a blog posting  (, by NCSS member Kaye Rizzuto (who teaches  8th and 9th grade U.S. History as well as AP Human Geography at Elk Ridge Middle School in South Jordan, Utah:

Puritan Day: A Social Science Simulation

Eighth-grade students gain a greater understanding of social control and tyranny when they participate in a Puritan Day simulation.
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Middle Level Learning May/June 2016

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Memorials, and Americans with Disabilities

Eric Waples

The Erie Canal: An Early Public Works Project

S. Kay Gandy

Social Education March/April 2012

The Keys to the White House: Prediction for 2012
page: 57
This election prediction system, which looks at the most consequential events of a presidency to predict the candidate who will win the popular vote, points to success for Obama in 2012 regardless of how well the Republicans campaign. Secondary/High School Civics/Government
Teaching with Documents
Public Service Announcement about the 1940 Census
page: 62
A brief film created by the Census Bureau to encourage participation in the 1940 Census will enrich a lesson on the Constitution and fuel discussion on why the Framers saw fit to require a population count. Secondary/High School US History, Civics/Government
Looking at the Law
Perspectives: Are Voter Photo Identification Laws a Good Idea?
page: 66
The views of several experts on new, stricter voter identification laws can spark a lively student debate on whether such laws are necessary. Secondary/High School Civics/Government

The Fed and the U. S. Constitution: Too Much Independence?
page: 72
An examination of the history, structure, and function of the Federal Reserve System, will enlighten students about the historical debate on the constitutionality of a central bank. Secondary/High School Economics, Civics/Government

Interviewing the “Lost Generation” from Prince Edward County’s Closed School Era
page: 77
An oral history project by students in Southside, Virginia, exposes a neglected aspect of the civil rights movement—a generation of young people who were deprived of an education by segregationists. Secondary/High School US History
Surfing the Net
What I Learned At NCSS 2011
page: 82
The NCSS annual meeting offers a cornucopia of information on using the Internet and Web 2.0 resources to teach social studies. The author describes his top website choices. Secondary/High School

Teaching the Social Studies through Your Local Community
page: 85
This list of key resources for teaching about local government and public policy will enrich any lesson on civic education. Secondary/High School
Research and Practice
Around the World with Geospatial Technologies
page: 105
Geospatial technology is gaining global momentum. The authors highlight five case studies that showcase how educators are mobilizing GIS and GPS around the world. Secondary/High School Geography, Global Connections

Instructional Technology

Touch, Type, and Transform: iPads in the Social Studies Classroom
page: 88
These strategies for integrating iPads and other multi-touch technologies in the classroom will enable teachers to raise the level of student interaction and engagement during social studies lessons. Secondary/High School

Digital Reenactments: Using Green Screen Technology to Recreate the Past
page: 92
Web 2.0 tools and video technology have reshaped the way students carry out historical reenactments. Secondary/High School

Building Community through Shared Aesthetic Experience: A Multimedia Family History Project
page: 96
Advances in digital technology enable students to combine sight, sound, and text to create family projects that make history more personal. Secondary/High School

Democratic Use of Blogs and Online Discussion Boards in Social Studies Education
page: 100
Promoting online discussions via a dedicated blog promotes new interactions among students and engages them in meaningful democratic discussions. Secondary/High School

Middle Level Learning September 2009

Using Cartograms to Explore the Electoral College: Comparing 1908 with 2008

Peter William Moran, Kimberly Dawn Miller and Kurk Aegerter

Maps, Representations of the Earth, and Biases

Peter C. Cormas

How Politicians Gerrymander

Steven S. Lapham

The Carter G. Woodson Book Awards

The 2009 award winners include books about a pioneer of Native American rights, the challenges faced by migrant families, the Jim Crow era, and the involvement of children in the civil rights movement.

The New York State Toolkit and the Inquiry Design Model: Anatomy of an Inquiry

--Kathy Swan, John Lee, and S.G. Grant The Uncle Tom’s Cabin inquiry illustrates the Inquiry Design Model structure as students examine Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel to explore how words can affect public opinion.
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College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History

C3 Framework Cover
The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs. Its objectives are to: a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines; b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens; and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

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