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Social Education May/June 2003


Letters to the Editor



Editor's Notebook



Iraq:Answering Student Questions

An Information Section Prepared by the Staff of Social Education
Social studies teachers across the country share their approaches to addressing the Iraq War.



The Role of the United Nations in Postwar Iraq: A Lesson Plan

PBS NewsHour Extra
This lesson plan provides students with an opportunity to debate the pros and cons of UN involvement in present-day Iraq.


Teaching with Documents

Letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson to John Steinbeck

Lee Ann Potter
The letter featured in this article offers insight into the mutual respect shared between author John Steinbeck and former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although Steinbeck’s opinion on the Vietnam War varied, he was a strong supporter of Johnson’s position on the war at the time the letter was written.



Incorporating Effective Writing Strategies

Maria M. McCoy
The author explores how to address the issue of writing skills when assigning social studies papers.



Poetry for Social Studies: Poems, Standards, and Strategies

Sylvia M. Vardell
The brevity, conceptual focus, and rich vocabulary of poetry make it a natural teaching tool for social studies.

Pull Out Section


Historical Fiction to Historical Fact: Gangs of New York and the Whitewashing of History

Benjamin Justice
Martin Scorsese’s movie joins a long list of films that have attempted to cater to the public’s fascination with history. Although promises of historical accuracy may woo movie goers to the theater, the author argues that big budget films should not pass fiction off as fact.



Writing Women into the Curriculum

Paula Sincero and Christine Woyshner
The authors offer an innovative blueprint for integrating women’s history into elementary and middle level curricula.



Silence on Gays and Lesbians in Social Studies Curriculum

Stephen J. Thornton
Despite the striking growth in the social, political, legal, and media presence of gays in American life, few social studies materials treat gay history or issues substantively.



Educational Democracy in the Czech Republic

Anna Vysoka
This article highlights the unique challenges faced by educational reformers in the post-communist Czech Republic.