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Social Education January/February 2013

NCSS Notebook

Facing the Issues
John A. Moore

Secondary/High School    

Looking at the Law

How to Read a U.S. Supreme Court Opinion
Tiffany Middleton

This detailed guide will help students understand how to decipher and analyze any U.S. Supreme Court opinion. Secondary/High School     Law-Related


Teaching Geography through Chinatowns: Global Connections and Local Spaces
Li-Ching Ho and Tricia Seow

A comparison of the history and geography of different Chinatowns will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of stereotyping, migration, cultural diversity, and governance. Secondary/High School    

Surfing the Net

The Amazing Nellie Bly: Teaching about Women in United States History
C. Frederick Risinger

These recommended websites will help teachers find excellent resources and lesson plans for teaching about women in history during Women's History Month and the entire year. Secondary/High School    


Spielberg's Lincoln Defines the President's Emancipation Legacy
David Wolfford

The film Lincoln spotlights Abraham Lincoln's character and leadership and raises questions about the legislative process that enabled politicians to pass the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery. Secondary/High School    

The Hispanic Heritage of North America: Commemorating 500 Years


Introduction to the Special Section
Guest Editor: Barbara C. Cruz

Secondary/High School    


Beyond La Niña, La Pinta, and La Santa María: The Invention and Mental Mapping of the New World
Luis Martinez Fernandez

Approaching the encounter between Europe and the Americas as an intellectual rather than a physical discovery enables students to go beyond memorization to gain an understanding of Medieval and Renaissance ways of acquiring knowledge.

Secondary/High School    


Charting the Land of Flowers: Exploration and Mapmaking in Spanish Florida
Rodney Kite-Powell

Two key maps that show the known world from the European perspective before Christopher Columbus's voyages illustrate the knowledge of intellectuals of that period and reveal tales of exploration, conflict, and change. Secondary/High School    


Borderlands of the Southwest: An Exercise in Geographical History
Stephen J. Thornton

Standard accounts of U.S. history present a chronology of events that begins in the East and moves west. An alternative approach traces Spanish exploration and settlement in what is now the American Southwest.. Secondary/High School    


Operation Pedro Pan: The Flight to Neverland for 14,000 Cuban Children
Barbara C. Cruz

Learning about the 1960s exodus of Cuban children to the United States can engage K-12 students in the study of immigration and U.S.-Cuba issues. A sidebar by Mario Minichino offers mapping activities, guided imagery, and other teaching suggestions.

Secondary/High School    


500 Years of Spanish Exploration and Settlement: Children's Literature
Jason L. O'Brien and Wolfram Verlaan

Literature provides an ideal vehicle for guiding students beyond conventional accounts for a more profound exploration of Spanish influence in the Americas. Secondary/High School