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Social Education March/April 2014

Sources and Strategies

Prompting Students to Contemplate Effective Communication with a Visible Speech Chart from the 1870s
Lee Ann Potter

The featured document publicizing a nineteenth-century phonetic writing system can spark classroom research and exploration of communication tools from Visible Speech to Twitter and Google Translate. Secondary/High School    

Teaching with Documents

Is Baseball Essential?: World War I and the National Pastime
Kris Maldre Jarosik, Jenny McMillen Sweeney

Documents related to baseball players and the military draft can launch a lesson on the American home front during World War I, as the 100th anniversary approaches. Secondary/High School     US History

Looking at the Law

Apartheid on Trial: Mandela’s Rivonia Speech from the Dock, Half a Century Later
Howard Kaplan

Nelson Mandela’s words 50 years ago praising the ideal of a democratic society can serve as a jumping off point into a study of the anti-apartheid struggle. Secondary/High School    


Action Civics in the Classroom
Meira Levinson

Direct civic engagement enables students to learn through citizenship rather than simply about citizenship and empowers them to take effective action in the future.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Undoing Quantitative Easing: Janet Yellen's Tiger Ride
M. Scott Niederjohn, Mark C. Schug, William C. Wood

The change in leadership at the Federal Reserve offers an opportunity for an exploration of economic policies such as quantitative easing and philosophies such as the Keynesian school of thought. Secondary/High School     Economics


College Councils for the Social Studies: How to Support Our Newest Colleagues
Tina M. Ellsworth, Joe O'Brien, John Moore

Councils for the social studies on university campuses offer unique services and activities and can be a great support to preservice teachers as they launch their teaching careers. Secondary/High School    

Surfing the Net

A Website Buffet: Social Studies Sites that Encourage Higher-level Thinking
C. Frederick Risinger

These websites, gleaned from readers, personal research, and exhibits at NCSS, offer useful resources for teachers to encourage higher-level thinking and skills. Secondary/High School    

Special Section on Instructional Technology


Democratic Twittering: Microblogging for a More Participatory Social Studies
Daniel G. Krutka

Social media services such as Twitter can be used to promote engaging, student-centered activities that facilitate a deeper understanding of content. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


From Freedom Riders to the Children's March: Civil Rights Documentaries as Catalysts for Historical Empathy
Lisa Brown Buchanan

These four documentary films can engage students in historical thinking, expand their capacity for empathy, and hone discussion and writing skills. Secondary/High School     US History


Bringing the Cybersecurity Challenge to the Social Studies Classroom
Michael J. Berson, Ilene R. Berson

Engaging students in inquiries that explore the historical, ethical, and legal aspects of cybersecurity will increase their ability to address this pressing global issue. Secondary/High School