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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Eugenics Past and Present: Remembering [em]Buck v. Bell[/em]

--Michael J. Berson and Bárbara C. Cruz
The seventy-fifth anniversary of the Buck v. Bell case is an appropriate time for students to explore the ethical questions underlying eugenics principles, policies, and practices—from Nazi Germany’s sterilization laws to the Human Genome Project.


Third Grade at Simmons Elementary School, ca. 1900

by Ronald V. Evans
Third grade students in Hope, Indiana, spend a day in a brick, one-room schoolhouse where they learn about life 100+ years ago.


Propeller Toys and the Industrial Revolution

by Andrew McClary
Do students enjoy making a propeller toy by hand? What is the advantage of using a mass-produced propeller toy?


The Wright Stuff: Examining the Centennial of Flight

--Robin D. Groce, Eric C. Groce, and Lisa M. Stooksberry
Books for youth about the lives and accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright are coupled with activities in social studies and language arts.


Pullout: Speaking in the First Person: Notable Women in History

--Tracy Rock and Barbara Levin
Each student selects a notable woman, researches her biography, tells her story in the first person, then answers questions from classmates. Short bios given for Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Sojourner Truth; Harriet Tubman; and Mary Walker, M.D.


Symbols of Democracy: An Introduction to Icons and Ideals

--Jackie Kofsky and Barb Morris
Lessons introduce K-3 students to key symbols of our country. (And see following Pullout.)

Pullout, "Four U.S. Symbol of Democracy," by the same authors, gives a brief history of -- and activities to learn about -- the Stars and Stripes, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Liberty Bell, and The Statue of Liberty.


DeKalb Couty, Illinois: A Local History Project for Second Graders

--Danielle Bell and Mary Beth Henning
Second grade students use primary and secondary sources to learn about local history. Students "grapple with" tough-to-read historical texts and open questions, and then prepare a presentation on what they've learned.


Fourth Grade Historians: A Thematic Approach to Immigration

--Elizabeth Egan Henry
A thematic approach to the topic of immigration challenges fourth grade students to develop their skills as historians.


The Klondike Gold Rush: Using Technology to Learn about History

--Edith G. Mayers
A unit of study "taught to fifth graders that infuses technology into student-centered activities." Students create a story map, time line, a "newspaper article," and an oral presentation.


Artifacts Bring Grover Cleveland’s Presidency to Life in the First Grade

--Carol Macken
Children's literature is combined with "historical artifacts" to help children identify the roles and responsibilities of the president, and of G. Cleveland in particular, who was born in this town--Caldwell, Jew Jersey.

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