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Teaching and Advocacy About Human Rights

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) offers the following resources to educators and the general public to foster a national conversation on teaching about human rights. Since 2015, NCSS has issued articles, a position statement, and resolutions on teaching human rights, including the protection of the rights of all children and the dignity and humanity of every person. We welcome additional suggested resources to facilitate teaching and learning about human rights as a core foundation of social studies instruction.

Rock the Vote's Democracy Class is a one-period, civics education lesson plan that teaches high school students about the importance of voting, the history behind it, and registers them to vote. The program uses popular culture, video, a mock election, and classroom discussion to excite students about participating in our democracy and enable them to recognize the power that comes with voting.

Educators can download the materials needed to teach Democracy Class for free from

Subject Area: 

MLK Jr. Day/Black History Month

A collection of lesson plans and useful links are here. A photo shows Taylor Branch, Andrew Aydin, and U.S. Representative John Lewis at the NCSS Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, November 2013. Branch is author of "The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement." Aydin is the co-author of Lewis's illustrated autobiography, "March (Books I-III)." High school lessons include

Asian Pacific History

San Francisco is the location of the 97th NCSS Annual Conference, November 17-19, 2017. The conference will include sessions and tours focused on the rich and varied history of the Asian American experience along the West Coast.  Moreover, the city is "resource central" on this subject, as home of the Asian Art Museum, the Chinese Historical Society of America, and the Center for Asian Pacific Studies (USF). Plan to join us in San Francisco this fall.

High School Lesson (article PDF) from Social Education
Free article: “Confucianism on the Comeback”

Middle Level Lesson (whole-issue PDF) from Middle Level Learning
Free article: “Leaders of Recent Nonviolent Revolutions (Corazon Aquino, etc.)”

Elementary Lesson (article PDF) from Social Studies and the Young Learner
Free article: "Learning Beyond the School Walls: Fieldwork in Singapore, Grades 1-6"

High School Lessons (article PDF)


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