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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The Great Communicator Files


By Mira Cohen
Students will learn a great deal about the process of presidential speechwriting when they study primary documents related to well-known speeches such as President Reagan’s “Omaha Beach Memorial Remarks.”

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Researching the Viet Nam War Inside Viet Nam: U.S. Student Teachers Explore War Myths


By Robert E. Vadas
Aiming to correct myths about the Viet Nam War, this author regularly leads groups of students to learn about the country firsthand.

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The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Teaching with Documents)


By Kahlil Chism
The Freedmen’s Bureau was one of few agencies established to improve the lives of former slaves. Four documents highlight for students the bureau’s efforts to help African Americans acquire land, secure jobs, legalize marriages, and pursue education.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7001/700119.pdf

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The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Teaching with Documents)


By Kahlil Chism
The Freedmen’s Bureau was one of few agencies established to improve the lives of former slaves. Four documents highlight for students the bureau’s efforts to help African Americans acquire land, secure jobs, legalize marriages, and pursue education.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7001/700119.pdf

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Money Panics and the Establishment of the Federal Reserve System (Lesson Plan)


—National Council on Economic Education, New York
An unregulated banking system in the nineteenth century contributed to a string of severe money panics. A short play in this lesson plan helps students understand why this happened and how today’s Federal Reserve System protects against panics.

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Executive Power in an Age of Terror (Looking at the Law)


—James H. Landman
In today’s era of terrorism, marked by a non-traditional enemy, should the executive branch have greater authority? This article looks at the extent of the president’s power and the role of Congress and the judiciary in checking and balancing that power.

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From the Classroom to the Battlefield: A National Guardsman Talks about His Experience in Iraq


—Toni Fuss Kirkwood-Tucker
Many struggling youth see military service and the benefits it provides as a way to pursue dreams like a college education. One young man who joined the National Guard spoke with his former teacher about fighting in Iraq and how it changed him.

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1906 Letter to the San Francisco Health Department (Teaching with Documents)


—Kristin Schmachtenberg
The 1906 earthquake that shattered San Franciscon exposed the city and nation's lack of disaster preparedness. The featured document highlights the dismal state of rations provided to those left homeless.

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"In the Midst of Strange and Terrible Times": The New York City Draft Riots of 1863


Bárbara C. Cruz and Jennifer Marques Patterson
The riots that shook New York City more than a century ago can provide contemporary students a useful framework for studying such complex issues as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration.

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Population Estimates Used by Congress During the Constitutional Convention (Teaching with Documents)


—Lee Ann Potter
The featured document enables students to consider the role population estimates played in determining the structure of the U.S. Congress.

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