NCSS Online Teachers' Library

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


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--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


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--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:

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History Mystery Lessons: Powhatan Culture / Lewis & CLark


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--Jana Kirchner and Carla Judd

The Pullout of the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of SSYL comprised two History Mystery Lessons: The first was about Powhatan culture, and included a clue sheet about life in a Native American village.

The second (by Allison Helm, Kristin Pierce, and Michele Galloway) suggested placing 12 clues (each accompanied by a reading from Lewis's journal, 1803-1806) throughout the room, then inviting students to examine, record, and hypothesize about what they observe and read.

The learning environment in this method is described in detail in the article "History + Mystery = Inquiring Young Historians" by Jana Kirchner, Allison Helm, Kristin Pierce, and Michelle Galloway.

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Beyond La Niña, La Pinta, and La Santa María: The Invention and Mental Mapping of the New World


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--Luis Martínez Fernández
Approaching the encounter between Europe and the Americas as an intellectual rather than a physical discovery enables students to go beyond memorization to gain an understanding of Medieval and Renaissance ways of acquiring knowledge.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011307.pdf

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Charting the Land of Flowers: Exploration and Mapmaking in Spanish Florida


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--Rodney Kite-Powell
Two key maps that show the “known world” from the European perspective before Christopher Columbus’s voyages illustrate the knowledge of intellectuals of that period and reveal tales of exploration, conflict, and change.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011314.pdf

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Borderlands of the Southwest: An Exercise in Geographical History


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--Stephen J. Thornton
Standard accounts of U.S. history present a chronology of events that begins in the East and moves west. An alternative approach traces Spanish exploration and settlement in what is now the American Southwest.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011319.pdf

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500 Years of Spanish Exploration and Settlement: Children’s Literature


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--Jason L. O’Brien and Wolfram Verlaan
Literature provides an ideal vehicle for guiding students beyond conventional accounts for a more profound exploration of Spanish influence in the Americas.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7701/77011328.pdf

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Piquing Student Curiosity with Title Pages from Works by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau (Sources and Strategies)


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--Lee Ann Potter
The title pages of three books from the Enlightenment provide excellent points of entry for student research into the origins of ideas in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7704/7704168.pdf

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Slavery and Free Markets: Relationships between Economic Institutions


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--Mark C. Schug
This look at the contradictions between economic freedom and slavery provides a comprehensive view of the institution of slavery in world and American history.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7702/77021382.pdf

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


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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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