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Social Education November/December 2011


Teaching Difficult Topics with Primary Sources
Lee Ann Potter

The featured documents illustrate the value of primary sources as points of entry into challenging subjects. Secondary/High School    


I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier: Ideas and Strategies for Using Music from the National Jukebox to Teach Difficult Topics in History
Stacie Moats and Stephanie Poxon

As a favored outlet for self-expression, music is a valuable classroom resource for addressing complex topics such as different perspectives on war. Secondary/High School     US History


Memory of a Nation: Effectively Using Artworks to Teach about the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Elizabeth K. Eder

Artwork, such as the featured pieces related to the Kennedy assassination, can teach students both content and core historical thinking skills. Secondary/High School    


Hear My Voice! Teaching Difficult Subjects with Graphic Organizers
Kim E. Barbieri

A well-designed graphic organizer combined with original documents can help students tackle issues of racism, segregation, and civil unrest. Secondary/High School    


Confronting Stereotypes
Carol Buswell

Primary-source documents can provide students with fresh perspectives on topics often laden with stereotypes—such as the issue of Native Americans and treaty rights. Secondary/High School    


Dealing with Disaster through Compassionate Giving: San Francisco Earthquake Survivors Write to President Theodore Roosevelt, January 3, 1909
Michael Hussey

The featured letter from a San Francisco couple seeking to help earthquake victims in Italy can serve as a jumping off point into the study of natural disasters and emergency relief efforts. Secondary/High School    


Evaluating Perspectives on Westward Expansion: Weighing the Evidence
Stephanie Greenhut

A unique online tool helps students analyze documents from opposing perspectives, weigh each source's significance, and come to evidence-based conclusions. Secondary/High School    


Letter to President Harry Truman about the Murder of Harry T. Moore
Megan Jones

The featured letter to President Truman about the murder of an NAACP official can be used as a springboard into the exploration of the civil rights struggle and violence, as well as the issue of presidential powers. Secondary/High School    


Encountering the Complicated Legacy of Andersonville
James A. Percoco

Teaching about the Civil War through the study of historic sites, such as the Confederate prison at Andersonville, challenges students to wrestle with tough interpretations of American history. Secondary/High School    

Looking at the Law

Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With: Teaching Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board
Tiffany Middleton

A painting inspired by the 1960 court-ordered escort of Ruby Bridges into a New Orleans school offers an entry point into the study of the civil rights movement and a significant event in American legal history. Secondary/High School     Law-Related

Surfing the Net

Teaching about Bullying and Cyberbullying with the Internet
C. Frederick Risinger

These recommended sites provide teachers with lesson plans and other resources for combating bullying. Secondary/High School    

Book Review

Research, Theory and the K-12 Classroom Teacher
Michael M. Yell

Noteworthy research and theory, of the kind highlighted in Walter Parker's Social Studies Today, should be part of the personal journey of classroom teachers. Secondary/High School