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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From the Civil War to 9/11: Democracy and the Right to a Fair Trial


--Alan S. Marcus
The author examines The Conspirator—a film about the trial of Mary Surratt and the plot to murder President Lincoln—and outlines four key questions to guide teachers when using historical film in the classroom.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7504/7504196.pdf

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Encountering the Complicated Legacy of Andersonville


--James A. Percoco
Teaching about the Civil War through the study of historic sites, such as the Confederate prison at Andersonville, challenges students to wrestle with tough interpretations of American history.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7506/7506326.pdf

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Lights, Camera, . . . Reenaction! Creating Video as We Study the Civil War


--Angela Stokes
A video project challenges students to read, research, and interpret historical sources, then create a short drama that reflects their understanding of events. Journey through Hallowed Ground sponsored this project, but you can do a low-budget version at your school.

This PDF downloads a 16-page issue of MLL, about 3 megabytes.

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Changing Faces: Your State Hero in the U.S. Capitol


--Dennis Denenberg
Each state has a statue of one of its notable citizens displayed in the U.S. Capitol. Learn about this collection, read your state hero's biography, and/or propose a new hero!

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An Annotated List of Census Resources for Educators


--Pat Watson
Census in Schools, www.census.gov/schools, is the official site of the Census Bureau’s K-12 program. The "History Timeline" is a great resource. Click on the "History and Pop Culture" icon to find it, as described in the accompanying article "Interdisciplinary Activities Using Census in Schools," by Janice Jefferson. Then see images and facts about Americans as they lived and worked over two centuries. Both brief articles are linked here:

Related:

An Annotated List of Census Resources for Educators


--Pat Watson
Census in Schools, www.census.gov/schools, is the official site of the Census Bureau’s K-12 program. The "History Timeline" is a great resource. Click on the "History and Pop Culture" icon to find it, as described in the accompanying article "Interdisciplinary Activities Using Census in Schools," by Janice Jefferson. Then see images and facts about Americans as they lived and worked over two centuries. Both brief articles are linked here:

Related:

Spielberg’s Lincoln Defines the President’s Emancipation Legacy


--David Wolfford
The film Lincoln spotlights Abraham Lincoln’s character and leadership and raises questions about the legislative process that enabled politicians to pass the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011344.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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A Bill to Relieve Certain Legal Disabilities of Women (Teaching with Documents)


--Lee Ann Potter
After a long struggle, Belva A. Lockwood became the first woman admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court.

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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.

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