US History

A Pocketful of History

--Sherry L. Field and Linda D. Labbo
Read a biography. Then examine "pocket contents." In Lincoln's vest pocket? A draft for a speech, theater tickets, and a photograph of his family, among other items. "Artifacts" are suggested for the pockets of Benito Juarez (president of Mexico), Grandma Moses (artist), Mary McLeod Bethune (black educator), and others.   --> read more »


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.


The C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Implications for History Education

The goal of social studies education is to develop responsible, informed, and engaged citizens to foster civic, global, historical, geographic, and economic literacy. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, released by the National Council for the Social Studies in 2013 was purposefully designed to meet this goal by providing guidance to states and local school districts to enhance the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history.   --> read more »


American Indian Culture & History from SSYL

Lessons about Thanksgiving can reinforce many stereotypes about American Indians. From the Social Studies and the Young Learner_archives, this special issue on American Indian Culture & History offers articles that challenge teachers to examine long-held misconceptions and others that offer detailed lesson plans that can be put to effective use.   --> read more »


PASST (Performance Assessments of Social Studies Thinking) Project

The PASST Project is a new approach to social studies assessment. Developed by teachers and leaders of social studies curriculum in the State of Michigan, each PASST item has been designed using a blended approach to assess both the knowledge and skills essential for student mastery of standards in social studies. The integration of Michigan's content expectations along with the C3 Framework and where appropriate, literacy standards from the CCSS assess comprehensive skill sets in social studies thinking.

Web Link to Resource:

PASST Development Team
David Johnson or Rebecca Bush--Project Co-Directors
Contact email:
Assessment Resource Type: Levels: Subjects:

Gideon v. Wainwright at Fifty: Lessons for Democracy and Civics (Looking at the Law)

--Kevin Scruggs
The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can serve as a point of entry into a classroom discussion of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.


Slavery and Free Markets: Relationships between Economic Institutions

--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.


Searching for the Seventies: Photographs from the Environmental Protection Agency’s DOCUMERICA Project (Teaching with Documents)

--Bruce Bustard and Lee Ann Potter
Examining key photos from a 1970s federal project can serve as a point of departure for an exploration of the national issues and environmental crises of that decade.


The Making of Campaign 2012: Collision 2012 and Double Down (Review)

--David Wolfford
Two recently published books offer behind-the-scenes insight into the 2012 presidential campaign and can help teachers illustrate important electoral concepts.

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