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Social Education September 2004


A Guide to the Presidential Debates

Social Education staff
Televised debates offer students a rare opportunity to see candidates discuss issues face-to-face. This guide outlines handy teaching tips for incorporating the debates into the classroom.    


Turning Out the Youthful Vote

Social Education staff
Voter turnout in the United States is somewhat below turnout in other industrialized nations. Our younger voters have the lowest rate of all. In this information section, several NCSS teachers share strategies for making students informed and active voters.    


The Role of American Values in the 2004 Election

C. Frederick Risinger
The battle over values may be a determining issue in the race for the White House. The author identifies various websites to help teachers examine this topic.    


Teaching the Election Process in Ten Days

S. Kay Gandy
These creative lessons teach younger students about political parties and campaigns, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the powers of local, state, and national governments.    


The Presidency and Presidential Elections in the Elementary Classroom

Mary E. Haas
Learning about such things as voting procedures, the secret ballot, polling, the president's duties, and the Electoral College can teach primary and upper elementary students about their own roles as citizens in a democracy.    


Beyond Guest Speakers

Diana E. Hess
Inviting politicians, lawyers, police officers or other outside resource people to participate in interactive classroom lessons engages students more deeply and helps them focus their attention on important issues.    


The Politics of Pronouns

Douglas Selwyn
When the world is divided into "us" and "them," there may be no more important lesson for our students to learn than that to the other person "we" are the "other."    


How Are Teachers Responding to Globalization?

Merry M. Merryfield and Masataka Kasai
Educators can successfully prepare students to be effective citizens by using strategies that promote multiple perspectives, global interconnectedness, and cross-cultural experiences.    


The Anticipation Guide: Motivating Students to Find Out about History

Michael M. Yell and Geoffrey Scheurman with Keith Reynolds
In this lesson, the authors use a unit on the Black Death to demonstrate a strategy that helps students read the textbook by activating their prior knowledge.    





Robert E. Lee's Demand for the Surrender of John Brown

Daniel F. Rulli
John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry--considered treasonous by some and heroic by others--helped strengthen the anti-slavery movement. Students can gain a deeper understanding of this event by studying General Lee’s demand for Brown’s surrender.    


The Teachable Moment: Election 2004

Syd Golston
A presidential election year presents the ideal moment for promoting an informed electorate and forming thoughtful young citizens with these activities for K-12 students.    


Teaching about the Electoral College

David Dulio and the staff of the National Student/Parent Mock Election
When citizens step into the voting booth on election day, they are not actually voting for their candidate, but rather choosing a group of electors. This set of classroom activities explains one distinctively American institution--the Electoral College.