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Teaching Resources

African American History (NCSS journals)

Your NCSS journals are published and posted online: Social Education and/or Social Studies and the Young Learner. A few articles are "open access," free PDFs at The online magazine Middle Level Learning awaits there now—for NCSS members only. Here’s a peek at what’s new in these publications:

In our country, there is a widespread fascination with African American history, as has been demonstrated by the long daily lines and packed galleries at The National Museum of African American History and Culture ever since it opened on the Mall in Washington, DC last September. The upcoming January-February special issue of Social Education will focus on African American history. Its guest editors are LaGarrett J. King and Terrie Epstein. The authors offer lessons and recommend resources for the classroom, seek ways of combining theory and practice in the study of African American history, and share fascinating and original insights into effective ways of engaging young people in studying this history.

Rock the Vote's Democracy Class is a one-period, civics education lesson plan that teaches high school students about the importance of voting, the history behind it, and registers them to vote. The program uses popular culture, video, a mock election, and classroom discussion to excite students about participating in our democracy and enable them to recognize the power that comes with voting.

Educators can download the materials needed to teach Democracy Class for free from

Subject Area: 

Exploring Vacation and Etiquette Themes in Social Studies (Book by NCSS Author)

Cynthia Williams Resor, Exploring Vacation and Etiquette Themes in Social Studies: Primary Source Inquiry for Middle and High School (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) 134 pages, hardcover $60; paperback and ebook $30.

Nuclear Weapons History and Policy Choices (Book)

Download this free book from the website of the author, Raymond G. Wilson, Emeritus Associate Professor of Physics, Illinois Wesleyan University. Visit
The book, titled Nuclear War: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and a Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace (AuthorHouse, 2014) is a PDF, 23 MB, 256 pages. It is also available at in print or as an ebook.

Power Play (Authors praise iCivics)

iCivics is featured in a new book exploring how video games are pioneering social change around the world.
POWER PLAY: How Video Games Can Save the World by Asi Burak and Laura Parker devotes a chapter to iCivics’ origin story to illustrate how video games can be a force for good in society.
The chapter narrated how Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was inspired to turn educational video games into the nation’s largest civic engagement project, which is now used by over 5 million students every year.

African Studies films and kits (Boston University)

The Boston University African Studies Center (ASC) Outreach Program ( promotes teaching Africa in U.S. schools.The Program encourages the incorporation of Africa and Africa-related studies in every classroom by developing interdisciplinary resources and professional development for teachers.

Teaching Controversial Current Events (Nat'l Constitution Center)

The National Constitution Center (NCC) can help you and your students explore current events in a nonpartisan way. Visit
• President Trump has announced his nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Interactive Constitution highlights the appointment process as outlined in Article II and explores Article III and the judicial branch of government.

Immigration and Human Rights

As questions arise in the classroom about immigration policy (treatment of asylum seekers, fate of refugees fill both the news and "fake news" in every medium from print of cyber tweet), human rights educators can help their students explore these contentious issues using materials from the Advocates for Human Rights -- online for free.

Suggested on NCSS Connected by Rosemary Blanchard

Commentary Today: The U.S. Constitution (NCC & iCivics)

The National Constitution Center (NCC) and iCivics launched a new digital site called - where Americans can share their thoughts about the U.S. Constitution and what they value most about the document.
  Videos at this website feature, among many others,

* Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI);

Civil Rights Lesson Plan (

Looking for a lesson plan that will launch young people into imagining themselves as agents of change? "Kids in Birmingham 1963" shares its second ready-to-go lesson, "What would YOU do?: The 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade." Students read brief interview statemets from four people, black and white, who were youth in Birmingham at the time of the march. Today's students reflect on whether they would have joined -- or not.


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