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 Constitution by Cell (Teaching with Documents)


--Stephanie Greenhut and Megan Jones
A pilot program at the National Archives challenges students to determine how certain documents illustrate the Constitution “in action,” then create digital stories using cellular phones and web tools.

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Remember The Alamo? Learning History with Monuments and Memorials


--Alan S. Marcus and Thomas H. Levine
Studying monuments and the political, ideological, or social perspectives they represent advances students’ historical thinking skills while highlighting for them the subjective nature of history.

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A Living History Classroom: Using Re-Enactment to Enhance Learning


--Mark L. Daniels
Teachers and students can bring history to life by donning period clothing or carrying objects common in past eras to engage students and enhance classroom presentations.

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A Living History Classroom: Using Re-Enactment to Enhance Learning


--Mark L. Daniels
Teachers and students can bring history to life by donning period clothing or carrying objects common in past eras to engage students and enhance classroom presentations.

Related:

A Living History Classroom: Using Re-Enactment to Enhance Learning


--Mark L. Daniels
Teachers and students can bring history to life by donning period clothing or carrying objects common in past eras to engage students and enhance classroom presentations.

Related:

Primary Source of the Day: A Warm Up Activity


--Amy Trenkle

"Almost every class period, I begin with a primary source." The teacher uses a short quote; a photocopy of a photograph, newspaper illustration or cartoon; or an actual object to spark interest. Such a primary source can serve as a review of yesterday's lesson, a transition to today's lesson, or an overture to a whole new topic. Examples are given of sources and how they are used.

The following URL will download the entire issue of MLL, which is about 2.52 MB.

Related:

Primary Source of the Day: A Warm Up Activity


--Amy Trenkle

"Almost every class period, I begin with a primary source." The teacher uses a short quote; a photocopy of a photograph, newspaper illustration or cartoon; or an actual object to spark interest. Such a primary source can serve as a review of yesterday's lesson, a transition to today's lesson, or an overture to a whole new topic. Examples are given of sources and how they are used.

The following URL will download the entire issue of MLL, which is about 2.52 MB.

Related:

Highlights in History: Teaching with Differentiated Instruction


--Kay A. Chick

The author describes three examples, illustrating how teachers can differentiate classroom activities by
(a) students’ readiness, (b) student interests, and (c) learning preferences. These books are used in the teaching examples -- "1968" by Michael Kaufman; "I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War" by Anita Silvey; and "Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World" by Ken Beller and Heather Chase (the latter includes chapters on M.L. King Jr., H. D. Thoreau, and several other Americans).

The URL below will download an entire issue of MLL that is about 5.6 MB in size.

Related:

Supreme Court Review (Looking at the Law)


--Charles F. Williams and Catherine Hawke
Recent Supreme Court decisions generated surprising controversy, from gun control to First Amendment issues. In 2011, the Court will weigh in on cases dealing with the hiring of illegal immigrants, protests at soldiers’ funerals, and selling violent video games.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7405/7405243.pdf

Related:

The Bystander’s Dilemma: How Can We Turn our Students into Upstanders?


--Lauren Woglom and Kim Pennington
By studying moments in history where bystanders made a difference, teachers can motivate students to think critically in the face of social dilemmas.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7405/7405254.pdf

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