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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Asking Students to Compare the Value of Information in Different Sources about the Same Event (Sources and Strategies)


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--Scott M. Waring
A close look at the spy map that helped George Washington win the Battle of Princeton can place students in the role of historians as they analyze the map and other sources to shed light on this historic event.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7901/79011506.pdf

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George Washington’s Printed Draft of the Constitution and Mike Wilkins’s [em]Preamble[/em] (Teaching with Documents)


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By Lee Ann Potter and Elizabeth K. Eder
A work of modern art humorously highlights the 52 words of the Preamble to the Constitution. A historical document shows, however, that these well known words underwent many changes before reaching their final form.

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Letter to, and Paintings by, George Catlin (Teaching with Documents)


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By David Rosenbaum, Lee Ann Potter, and Elizabeth K. Eder
A letter from the Secretary of War to painter George Catlin in the 1830s and Catlin’s subsequent paintings of Native Americans in the West help students explore the encounter of two cultures.

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History Matters: An Institutional Approach Examination of the U.S. Constitution


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By Tawni Hunt Ferrarini and Mark C. Schug
Studying the evolution of the Constitution can help young people appreciate how choices made by their ancestors continue to impact our economy today.

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The Founding Entrepreneurs: America’s Prosperity


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Gerald Gunderson
The entrepreneurs who spurred America’s exceptional development offer students a model of what can be accomplished when individuals identify problems and seek productive solutions.

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


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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)


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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)


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


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—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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Constitution Day: Start the School Year with Civics (Lesson Plan)


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—Eli J. Lesser
This Constitution Day lesson plan looks at the influence of specific thinkers and their writings on the Constitution.

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