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Social Education October 2015

Sources and Strategies

Events in History Do Not Happen in Isolation: Studying a Letter Written by Thomas Jefferson in 1815
Lee Ann Potter

After the British torched the Capitol and its library in 1814, Congress purchased Thomas Jefferson’s renowned book collection. The featured letter by Jefferson, written at the conclusion of the transfer, can serve as an introduction to the global context of the War of 1812. Secondary/High School     US History

Lessons on the Law

Supreme Court Term Review: Same–Sex Marriage, Healthcare, and Redistricting.
Catherine E. Hawke

The recent Supreme Court term was marked by historic rulings, and the upcoming term also promises to address many contentious cases. Secondary/High School     Law-Related, Civics/Government


Student Protest, Historical Thinking and Anti-Historians: Some Context on the Jeffco APUSH Debate
Fritz Fischer

The recent uproar over a Colorado school board’s efforts to infuse the AP U.S. History framework with ideologically motivated revisions highlights the importance of keeping inquiry as the focus of the history classroom. Secondary/High School     US History


Voting Rights Act of 1965: In Whose Interest?
Jane Bolgatz and Ryan Crowley

In this lesson, students consider important factors that converged to help civil rights activists win a decades-long struggle for voting rights. Secondary/High School     US History


The 1915 U.S. Invasion of Haiti: Examining a Treaty of Occupation
Jennifer Bauduy

A close look at the U.S.-Haiti treaty signed 100 years ago can launch an engaging lesson on U.S. involvement in Haiti and the commercial interests that fueled American interventions throughout Latin America.

Secondary/High School     US History


Dead Bodies and Live Minds: How Investigating a Real Murder Can Inspire Curiosity in the High School Classroom
Seán Arthurs

Real-life mysteries can involve students in rigorous problem solving, promote engagement, and provide students with a deep understanding of the criminal justice system. Secondary/High School     Law-Related, Civics/Government


Just Google It?: Supporting Historical Reasoning and Engagement during Online Research
Ashley N. Woodson

Three important strategies help students evaluate sources they encounter online and encourage active and evidence-based reconstruction of the past. Secondary/High School    


Using Classroom Discussions: Great Risks Yield Great Rewards
Brian C. Gibbs

A discussion activity centered on a topic of interest to students helped teach seventh graders the rules of civic dialogue while engaging students with a range of academic abilities. Secondary/High School    


Take the Journey: Historic Place-Based Service Learning Projects
James A. Percoco

Place-based service-learning projects connect young people with the past in ways that can range from producing mini movies of a historic site to planting a tree geo-tagged with a Civil War soldier’s life story. Secondary/High School    

Research and Practice

Challenges and Opportunities for Discussion of Controversial Issues in Racially Pluralistic Schools
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Peter Levine

Providing students with opportunities for discussing contentious topics in the classroom can help bridge the civic opportunity and knowledge gap. Secondary/High School    

Surfing the Net

Teaching about International Issues and Foreign Policy with the Internet
C. Frederick Risinger

These outstanding websites include lesson plans and resources for teaching about major global issues. Secondary/High School     Global Studies