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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Browse by Historical Period or Grade Level

Listen Up: Studying the American Labor Movement Through Oral Histories


Cheryl Mason Bolick, Lisa Norberg, and Dayna Durbin
A growing collection of digitized oral history interviews on topics such as labor, civil rights, and women’s issues, allows students to hear firsthand about the experiences of individuals during critical periods in American history.

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The Course of the Republic: American Responses to Technology in the Nineteenth Century


Meghan McGlinn Manfra
This overview with teaching activities on the Lowell textile mill and Ralph Waldo Emerson offers creative approaches to studying the political and technological changes of the nineteenth century.

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Letter by Stephen Decatur and Painting by Thomas Chambers Related to the War of 1812 (Teaching with Documents)


Lee Ann Potter and Elizabeth K. Eder
This article pairs a textual document with a painting of the related 1812 sea battle, underscoring the value of visual images in fostering new insights about historic events, people, and ideas.

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The Constitution In Action (Teaching with Documents)


By Lee Ann Potter
Students take on the roles of archivists and researchers when they study primary documents at the Constitution in Action Lab.
(Includes an 1847 credential certificate naming Sam Houston as an elected Senator from Texas.)

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9/11 and Terrorism: “The Ultimate Teachable Moment” in Textbooks and Supplemental Curricula


Diana Hess and Jeremy Stoddard
A survey of curricular materials developed to address 9/11, reveals there is great discrepancy on how the topic should be covered and what students should be learning.

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Learning Early Twentieth-Century History through First-Person Interviews


By Lisa A. Lark
Carrying out face-to-face interviews with American seniors can make U.S. history more relevant to students, and especially those who are first- and second-generation citizens.

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Promoting Historic Preservation in the Classroom


By Paul LaRue
High school students learn that there is much more to history than the textbook when they interview World War II veterans and transcribe the stories for the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project.

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October 1957 Memorandum Related to Sputnik (Teaching with Documents)


By Missy McNatt and David Traill
This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Soviet launch of Sputnik, which fueled American panic that the Soviet Union could fire intercontinental ballistic missiles. The featured document highlights President Eisenhower’s reaction and the government’s response.

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Puritan Day: A Social Science Simulation


By Joan Brodsky Schur
Eighth-grade students gain a greater understanding of social control and tyranny when they participate in a Puritan Day simulation.

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Chew Heong v. United States: Chinese Exclusion and the Federal Courts (Looking at the Law)


_ By Edited by James H. Landman_
A close look at the case of Chew Heong, a Chinese immigrant who challenged the nineteenth-century Chinese exclusion laws, provides important insight into early U.S. efforts to control immigration.

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