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Social Education September 2011


Congress Investigates: Pearl Harbor and 9/11 Congressional Hearing Exhibits
Christine Blackerby

The study of the two featured documents will illustrate for students the importance of Congress’s power to investigate as part of a system of checks and balances established by the Founders.     US History


Commemorating 9/11 in the Classroom 
Social Education Staff

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum provides educational resources that explore the ongoing impact of the September 11th attacks and the ways that volunteerism and art aid in healing, recovery, and rebuilding.     US History


Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden: The Background to September 11
The Choices Program, Brown University

Ten years after 9/11, the United States is still fighting a war in Afghanistan against the Taliban. This article details key issues and events including the rise of the Taliban and the emergence of Osama bin Laden as a global terrorist figure.     US History


A Gift to America after 9/11: A Lesson for Young Learners
Robert A. Waterson; Mary E. Haas

The present from the Maasai people to the American people described in a picture book offers an ideal opportunity for teaching young students about 9/11 in a manner that highlights global citizenship and compassion.     US History


From the Civil War to 9/11: Democracy and the Right to a Fair Trial
Alan S. Marcus

The author examines The Conspirator—a film about the trial of Mary Surratt and the plot to murder President Lincoln—and outlines four key questions to guide teachers when using historical film in the classroom.     US History

Looking at the Law

Video Games and the First Amendment: Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association 
Steven D. Schwinn

Students will explore the nuances of the First Amendment through a recent Supreme Court ruling that reversed a California court’s ban on the sale of violent video games to minors.     Civics/Government


Bridging the Information Gap: American Youth Perceptions on Torture and Civilian Protection
Emily Rose

Teaching students about the rules of international humanitarian law and the principle of respect for human dignity will prepare them to become responsible global citizens and leaders.     Global Studies

Surfing the Net

Saving Social Studies/Citizenship Education and Your Job Using the Internet
C. Frederick Risinger

The websites highlighted here will provide social studies educators with resources to promote and safeguard social studies/citizenship education.     US History


In Defense of Memorization: The Role of Periodization in Historical Inquiry
Dave Neumann

Though periodization requires the memorization of dates, it is an indispensable tool of historical inquiry.     US History


The Birth of a New Nation: The Republic of South Sudan
Samuel Totten

The author traveled to the area of South Sudan just months before that country’s independence from the North. In this article, he outlines crisis points that continue to threaten the region’s stability.     US History

Research and Practice

Teaching Intellectually Challenging Social Studies in the Middle School: Problems and Possibilities
Hilary G. Conklin

How ready are middle schoolers for intellectual challenge?    


Constitution Day Lesson Plans

The NCSS Publications archives and a number of educational websites offer excellent lesson plans that can help teachers prepare for Constitution Day.