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Protest and Civic Participation

In the first article in this issue, “Why are People Marching? Discussing Justice- Oriented Citizenship using Picture Books,” Jessica Ferreras-Stone and Sara B. Demoiny outline how teachers, in accordance with NCSS guidelines, can use picture books to spur discussions about justice-oriented citizenship, including protest marches, as a means to understand the past and present.

Mindfulness: Promoting Peace in a Kindergarten Classroom

This article describes the month-long social studies unit on mindfulness that the kindergarten teacher co-taught in her classroom with Sarah, an elementary social studies professor, and Maya, then a teacher candidate. After exploring the intersections between mindfulness and social studies education, examples of activities and resources from the unit will be provided, including breathing techniques and children’s literature.

Teaching the Civic Rights Movement through the Eyes of Young Participants

Teaching about the civil rights movement in the elementary grades has, in many schools, focused exclusively on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Many students are well versed in the content of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and they know well that Rosa did not give up her seat on the bus.

Culture Calle: Celebrating Heritage, Diversity, and Dreams in Bilingual Classrooms

Former President Barack Obama has touched hearts by sharing his inspiring book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, with the children of the world. Together, with the breathtaking illustrations of Loren Long, Obama presents 13 historical figures that have each had a profound impact on America. In a very different book, Calling the Doves/ El Canto de las Palomas, award-winning Mexican American poet Juan Felipe Herrera beautifully illustrates his childhood as the son of Mexican migrant farmworkers.

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Localizing Civics: A Collaboratively Designed Second Grad Unit of Study

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly divided, particularly in the United States. In fact, people tend to interact almost exclusively with individuals who hold their shared world views and beliefs. Because of these trends, teaching students from a young age how to engage with others on issues that they may disagree about is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, this type of social studies learning rarely happens in public schools, particularly in lower elementary school classrooms.

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Why are People Marching? Discussing Justice-Oriented Citizenship Using Picture Books

“Why are people marching?” Given today’s level of activism, this is a plausible question many students may have. Although only some students voice the questions, it is very likely that many more have pondered why people are protesting after seeing reports of events such as the Women’s March (equality for women), March for Our Lives (about gun control), Black Lives Matter (for racial justice), Janitors March (for fair pay), and Keep Families Together (demanding the Trump administration reunite immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border).
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