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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Piecing It Together: America’s Story in Quilts


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Judith R. Marrou
Like the United States, a quilt could be described by the words "e pluribus unum" -- out of the many, one.

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Teaching about the Electoral College


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--David Dulio and the staff of the National Student/Parent Mock Election
When citizens step into the voting booth on election day, they are not actually voting for their candidate, but rather choosing a group of electors. This set of classroom activities explains one distinctively American institution--the Electoral College.

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Supreme Court Roundup (Looking at the Law)


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--Charles F. Williams
In its most recent term, the Supreme Court considered a range of important cases relating to the “War on Terror,” federalism, and sentencing guidelines. The author reviews some of the Court’s most significant rulings.

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War With Iraq (In Focus)


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--An Information Section Prepared by the Staff of Social Education
This special section provides resources and teaching tips for addressing the war and helping students deal with unfolding events.

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War Powers: A New Chapter in a Continuing Debate (Looking at the Law)


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--Charles F. Williams
The Constitution gives Congress—not the president—the power to declare war, but Congress has used that power only five times.

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Letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson to John Steinbeck (Teaching with Documents)


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--Lee Ann Potter
The letter featured in this article offers insight into the mutual respect shared between author John Steinbeck and former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although Steinbeck’s opinion on the Vietnam War varied, he was a strong supporter of Johnson’s position on the war at the time the letter was written.

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Bioterror


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--Ruth Levy Guyer and Jonathan D. Moreno
Since September 11, the fear of a bioterrorist attack has become widespread. The authors look at the roots of bioterrorism, as well as the recent anthrax scare, and suggest ways that teachers can address bioterrorism with their students.

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In the Wake of September 11: Civil Liberties and Terrorism (Looking at the Law)


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--Bruce G. Peabody
The conflict between civil liberties and the “war on terrorism” involves three specific issues: the government’s right to eavesdrop on conversations between alleged terrorists and their attorneys, deportation and the “right to be silent,” and military tribunals.

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What Patriotism Means Today in the Wake of 9/11/2001


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--Roger Wilkins
This university professor, who served as assistant attorney general in the Johnson administration, points out that dissent can be a form of patriotism, especially in times like these “when the blood is hot.”

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The Lessons of Vietnam


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--Toni Fuss Kirkwood-Tucker and Janet E. Benton
The authors explore using literature to teach controversial topics—like the Vietnam War—from a global perspective.

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