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Social Education January/February 2009

NCSS Notebook

Embracing the Future through Social Studies
Michael M. Yell

Today's educators must deliver instruction that is forward-looking to equip our students with the skills and perspectives needed in this fast-changing world. Secondary/High School    

Teaching with Documents

Child's Letter to President John F. Kennedy about Physical Fitness
Missy McNatt

The featured letter from a nine-year-old boy to JFK will highlight the need to promote physical fitness in our schools, and can ignite class discussions of issues such as federalism, Title IX, and the overall health of Americans. Secondary/High School     US History


The Baghdad That Was: Using Primary Sources to Teach World History
Joan Brodsky Schur

The documents presented here will help students imagine Baghdad at its height as a hub of civilization under the Abbasid Empire. Secondary/High School     World History

Looking at the Law

Abraham Lincoln: American Lawyer-President
Brian Dirck

Teaching Activity by Tiffany Willey Secondary/High School     US History

Surfing the Net

Apocalypse When? How to Teach about Human Survival Using the Internet
C. Frederick Risinger

The selected websites provide information and lesson plans for educating students about the looming food crisis, soil degradation, and other natural forces threatening humankind. Secondary/High School     Social Sciences


Get in the Groove, Let's Make a Move!: Students in Israel Confront a Transition with Service Learning
Abigail S. Chill

Faced with the challenge of a school move, eleventh-grade students take on the roles of photographers, mapmakers, researchers, artists and public speakers to help prepare their school community for the transition. Secondary/High School    


The Civil War Battle That Helped Create a State
Kay A. Chick

What makes an event worthy of the history textbooks? In this lesson, students study a little-known Civil War battle to broaden their understanding of historical significance. Secondary/High School     US History

Point of View

Teaching Social Studies as a Subversive Activity
Charles L. Mitsakos, Ann T. Ackerman

The constraints created by NCLB and under-performing textbooks mean that teachers have to devise new ways to advance education for democracy. Secondary/High School    

Research and Practice

Authentic Intellectual Work: Common Standards for Teaching Social Studies
M. Bruce King, Fred M. Newmann, Dana L. Carmichael

Students who have the opportunity to construct knowledge, rather than simply reproduce what they have been given, experience far greater learning, engagement, and achievement. Secondary/High School