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PreK-Elementary

Sports Reporter Mary Garber: Expanding the Trailblazer Approach to Women’s History

While guest teaching in a third-grade classroom as part of her doctoral studies, the author became interested in how students think about female pioneers and what it means to be first in a historical sense. This article explores the potential of interactive read-aloud books to teach women’s history with young students.
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“Even If She Fell Down, She Kept Getting Up!”: Teaching Women’s History through the Olympics

Sports can be a unique platform to teach third-grade students about women’s history and civic values. This lesson addresses two social studies practices for the third grade in the New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework (Gathering, Interpreting, and Using Evidence; and Chronological Reasoning and Causation) and three themes from the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (TIME, CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE; PEOPLE, PLACES, AND ENVIRONMENTS; and INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY).

Reading, Analyzing, and Creating Informational Graphics in the Elementary Classroom

From maps, graphs, and tables to photographs and political cartoons, social studies is replete with potentially rich visual images for students to analyze. Yet, elementary students often struggle to understand the information within such graphics. In this article, we first provide an overview of some commonly used graphics, and then suggest a way to approach an upper elementary lesson that incorporates the use of a graphical analysis strategy aligned with the C3 Framework to help prepare students to be effective, critical consumers and producers of such visuals.
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Inspiring Young Girls' Civic Engagement with Biographies of Women

A troubling observation is that—outside of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, during which students are acquiring some knowledge about noteworthy women and minorities—teachers in every grade level often teach about the same figures rather than expanding their lessons to include less-conventional or less-well-known individuals. To address these gender equity gaps related to social studies instruction, the authors established “Little Leaders,” a group consisting of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten girls.

Reflective Discussion Circles: A Method for Promoting Civic Engagement

The abilities to listen reflectively and speak respectfully con- cerning another person’s opinion, as well as to think critically about that opinion and one’s own, are essential to a functioning democracy. The teaching and learning of these abilities is well incorporated into the social studies and English language arts standards that are used to inform state and local curricular guidelines throughout most of the United States. This article describes a method of teaching civic discussion and offers a step-by-step guide for classroom implementation.
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Behind the Lens: Sourcing Historical Photos with KidCitizen

Discerning the intent of the author of a historical document is critical as we seek to interpret it. Disciplinary literacy uses specialized skills that seek to maximize student engagement and achievement within specified subject areas.1 In social stud- ies, one of these critical skills is “sourcing.” Sourcing involves exploring who produced a document to better understand that person’s motivations for choosing an event to focus on and how to represent it.
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The Library of Congress for Teachers: “Layer Upon Layer of Awesome”

Explore what the Library of Congress has for teachers, including primary source sets and lesson plans for teaching with primary sources, and professional development opportunities. Take a quick tour of ways to connect with experts from the Library and tap into the Library’s vast collections to find even more resources for your classroom. Find out why one Summer Institute participant described the Library as having “layer upon layer of awesome.”

A Different Kind of Superhero: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Two accounts of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, published in the last two years and named as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young Readers, are welcome additions to biography shelves in school classrooms and libraries. Both books reviewed here, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R. B. G. vs. Inequality and I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, are inspirational and tell a story that is both typical and exceptional–the striving of the children of immigrants and their conviction that the law could be an instrument of societal change.

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