NCSS Online Teachers' Library

The [em]Brown v. Board of Education[/em] Decision: Resources for Grades 4 and 5

--James Sheehan and James M. Shiveley
Recommended websites, organized by topic, for upper level elementary students who are learning about this Supreme Court case.


Historical Letters: Integrating History and Language Arts

--Kay A. Chick
A lesson using a historical letter (included as a handout) from 1948 (about Truman's election) integrates history and language arts.
Also includes a review by James M. Duran of free, online collections of historical political cartoons.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.2 MB:


The Chicago 8 Trial, 40 Years Later: A Case Study in Teaching [em]U.S. v. Dellinger[/em], 1969 (Looking at the Law )

Jeanne Polk Barr
A class reenactment of the Chicago 8 trial offers students a close look at the rights and restrictions of free speech and dissent in America.


The Other September 11: Teaching about the 1973 Overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende

--Katy Benedetto, Alexandra Lamb, and Robert Cohen
With the help of primary sources, teachers can give students the opportunity to reflect on the complexity and contradictions of U.S foreign policy by introducing them to Chile’s September 11.


The Meaning of Memory: Establishing the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday

--Mira Cohen
Some memorable days in our nation’s history are declared holidays, while others are considered days of remembrance. This article explores the process of establishing a holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Greensboro Sit-In: When Students Took Charge

--Eric Groce, Tina Heafner, and Katie O’Connor

Three college students, who read about and discussed recent civil rights protests, decided to try a sit-in at a local lunch counter on February 1, 1960. The idea caught on with young people. Why did this nonviolent method work at this time and in this place? Five teaching activities are outlined; on-site photos included.

The link below downloads one issue of Middle Level Learning, about 3 megabytes.


Memorandum about the First Nixon-Kennedy Debate (Teaching with Documents)

--David L. Rosenbaum
A memo from John Kennedy’s press secretary to Richard Nixon’s press secretary prior to the first televised presidential debate in history serves as a jumping off point for studying the major issues of the 1960 election.


The Bystander’s Dilemma: How Can We Turn our Students into Upstanders?

--Lauren Woglom and Kim Pennington
By studying moments in history where bystanders made a difference, teachers can motivate students to think critically in the face of social dilemmas.


A Bus Ride Across the Mason-Dixon Line in the Era of Jim Crow

--John A. Stokes with Steven S. Lapham
Students gain a deeper understanding of the segregation period through this classroom simulation, in which randomly-assigned cards determine whether volunteers sit or stand during a long, interstate bus trip.


Cloture Motion to Cease Debate on 1964 Civil Rights Bill (Teaching with Documents)

--Lee Ann Potter
Students will gain a deeper understanding of legislative tactics like the filibuster when they study the featured document—the Senate motion that broke a 55-day filibuster against the Civil Rights Act.


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