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Social Education May/June 2015


Connecting Students to Local Communities through the Work of the Federal Writers' Project and Zora Neale Hurston
Rebecca Newland

The featured documents from a WPA project that employed authors to write state travel guides will spark student interest in local history and can help launch a lesson on the Great Depression and New Deal programs.


Teaching with Documents

Freedom of Speech in Times of War: The Sedition Act of 1918
Annie Davis

The records of an immigrant accused of sedition during World War I can spark a classroom debate about national security and freedom of speech.



Carter G. Woodson Book Awards

The 2014 and 2015 Carter G. Woodson Award winners include books about a Charleston jazz band of African American orphans; a Navy disaster that exposed the injustices of military segregation; and Sylvia Mendez and Barbara Johns, who waged desegregation battles on separate coasts.    


More than Superheroes and Villains: Graphic Novels and Multimodal Literacy in Social Studies Education
Caroline C. Sheffield, James S. Chisholm, and Penny B. Howell

The visual and textual techniques combined in graphic novels make these books ideal for teaching multimodal literacy, social studies content, and the process of crafting a historical narrative.



What Are They Thinking? Student Interviews Inspire Strong Social Studies Curriculum
Katy M. Swalwell

Finding out students' thoughts and feelings about class topics should be an essential part of any curriculum planning process.


Surfing the Net

Effective Integration of the Arts into the Social Studies
C. Frederick Risinger

The selected websites offer resources and ideas for incorporating the arts with traditional social studies content.


Lessons on the Law

Monkeying around with Selfies and U.S. Copyright Law
Anderson Duff

The story of an Indonesian macaque who snapped selfies with a photographer's camera can serve as a jumping off point into an engaging lesson on intellectual property and the concept of copyright.


Special Section on Human Rights


Background and Introduction: Lesson Plans on Children's Rights
William R. Fernekes and Noel Baxter

Studying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child will engage students developing questions and planning inquiries about the situation of children worldwide.



What are Human Rights and How Can We Ensure Them?
Daniel Valentine

This high school lesson plan introduces two essential UN human rights documents and challenges students to reflect on the causes of child exploitation and ways to reduce violations of children's rights.



Child Labor and Consumerism
Sacha Batra

In this lesson, middle school students consider the links between consumer decisions and child labor.



Becoming Ethical Consumers and Making Wise Economic Choices
Tracy Schottanes

Elementary students learn to distinguish between a need and a want and contemplate how their decisions as consumers affect other children.