NCSS Online Teachers' Library

NCSS has selected a collection of classroom activities, teaching ideas, and articles from Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Browse the collection, or search by historical period and grade level using the search function below.
(Collections on other disciplines are under development.)

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Exploring the Past with 21st-Century Tools


--Kelly Schrum and Lynne Schrum
The Internet "is a tool for helping students engage with history and bring their understanding of the past to the present in new, exciting ways.

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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.

Related:

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.

Related:

Buttoning Up a Hands-On History Lesson


--Audrey C. Rule and Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
How can you tell that something is old? A historical collection of everyday items (buttons, carpenter nails, magazines, fabric, food containers, etc.) "can provide concrete examples to help students construct a concept of change."

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Using Children’s Diaries to Teach the Oregon Trail


--Richard M. Wyman, Jr.
Children traveling west with their families sometimes kept diaries. "precisely because they were trapped in the present moment," these young authors often viewed "their immediate world with a special clarity."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 3.5MB:
http://members.ncss.org/mll/01/mll01.pdf

Related:

“Did They Actually, Really Believe This?” Medical Documents as a Window on the Past


Students discuss how "ideas that a society mistakenly believes to be scientific can be used to promote social prejudice and discrimination." An etched image (ca. 1840) of an Irish immigrant's "broad, low head" clearly shows "exceedingly deficient moral organs -- especially benevolence."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.7 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/04/mll04.pdf

Related:

“Did They Actually, Really Believe This?” Medical Documents as a Window on the Past


Students discuss how "ideas that a society mistakenly believes to be scientific can be used to promote social prejudice and discrimination." An etched image (ca. 1840) of an Irish immigrant's "broad, low head" clearly shows "exceedingly deficient moral organs -- especially benevolence."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.7 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/04/mll04.pdf

Related:

“Did They Actually, Really Believe This?” Medical Documents as a Window on the Past


Students discuss how "ideas that a society mistakenly believes to be scientific can be used to promote social prejudice and discrimination." An etched image (ca. 1840) of an Irish immigrant's "broad, low head" clearly shows "exceedingly deficient moral organs -- especially benevolence."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.7 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/04/mll04.pdf

Related:

“Did They Actually, Really Believe This?” Medical Documents as a Window on the Past


Students discuss how "ideas that a society mistakenly believes to be scientific can be used to promote social prejudice and discrimination." An etched image (ca. 1840) of an Irish immigrant's "broad, low head" clearly shows "exceedingly deficient moral organs -- especially benevolence."

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.7 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/04/mll04.pdf

Related:

Modern Times: The Industrial Revolution and the Concept of Time


--Frans H. Doppen
Several approaches to increasing student understanding of how the Industrial Revolution changed our concept of time--and its lasting effects today.

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