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 Civil War Battle That Helped Create a State


By Kay A. Chick
What makes an event worthy of the history textbooks? In this lesson, students study a little-known Civil War battle to broaden their understanding of historical significance.

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Habeas Corpus and “Enemy Combatants”


By Carolyn Pereira and Nisan Chavkin
The writ of habeas corpus has been a critical tool for balancing the rights of individuals with the government’s responsibility to protect the nation’s welfare. The featured elementary, middle, and high school lessons explore the significance of this right.

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Habeas Corpus and “Enemy Combatants”


By Carolyn Pereira and Nisan Chavkin
The writ of habeas corpus has been a critical tool for balancing the rights of individuals with the government’s responsibility to protect the nation’s welfare. The featured elementary, middle, and high school lessons explore the significance of this right.

Related:

Habeas Corpus and “Enemy Combatants”


By Carolyn Pereira and Nisan Chavkin
The writ of habeas corpus has been a critical tool for balancing the rights of individuals with the government’s responsibility to protect the nation’s welfare. The featured elementary, middle, and high school lessons explore the significance of this right.

Related:

Was the Constitution Pro-Slavery? The Changing View of Frederick Douglass


By Robert Cohen
Many have questioned whether the document on which our nation is based sanctioned slavery. But renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who originally condemned the Constitution, came to view it in a much different light.

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Frederick Douglass Changed My Mind about the Constitution


By James Oakes
Like Frederick Douglass, this historian had originally viewed the Constitution as pro-slavery. Yet a close look at Douglass’s writings revealed a Constitution that empowered the federal government to abolish slavery.

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Letters from George Washington and Samuel Cabble, and Speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy


By Lee Ann Potter
Students will grapple with what it means to “embrace the future” when they study primary documents related to four noteworthy individuals who embraced the future in distinct ways.

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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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"In the Midst of Strange and Terrible Times": The New York City Draft Riots of 1863


Bárbara C. Cruz and Jennifer Marques Patterson
The riots that shook New York City more than a century ago can provide contemporary students a useful framework for studying such complex issues as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and immigration.

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Learning about the Civil War through Soldiers’ Letters


—Joseph Hutchinson
Letters home from young soldiers give students a close-up view of the Civil War; their sense of empathy further deepens when they must use their imagination and write their own letters home.

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