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Posts from the ‘democracy’ Category

Tip of the Week: MLK 2017 Resources

Martin Luther King Day is next week and you’ve probably already finalized your lessons. Hopefully you’ve got multiple days built in to widen the discussion to US history, government, and current events. To help with your planning, take advantage of the different resources and ideas below. (Developed in part by the New York Times Learning Network.)

Start with a couple of Teaching Tolerance articles –  Do’s and Don’ts of MLK Day and Going the Extra Mile. Then head over to the LOC. Read more

Fake news is why you exist. And 12 tools that can help

Updated with new tools 2/7/2017. Find them at the bottom of the post.

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Okay. Basic question.

“If I asked you to describe what you do every day as a social studies teacher, what would I hear?”

Let me rephrase that a bit.

“If I asked you to describe what you should be doing every day as a social studies teacher, what would I hear?”

Here’s my point. I think that we can get so caught up in the everyday that we sometimes forget why we exist. Grading papers. Taking roll. Going to meetings. Calling parents. Trying to keep middle school kids from setting things on fire. That’s a typical day in your life. I get that.

But I’m going to suggest today that we need to keep our eyes on the prize.

What’s the prize? Why do we exist?

The National Council for the Social Studies College, Career, and Civic Life Standards does a pretty good job of summing it up: Read more

“America is a constant work in progress” so celebrate Bill of Rights Day!

Perhaps now more than ever, we all to need to better understand and appreciate the first ten amendments to the Constitution. So  . . . after taking a trip in the Wayback Machine, I found this earlier post in the History Tech archives. I think it still fits.

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Okay . . . admit it. How many of you didn’t know that today is Bill of Rights Day?

Come on, it’s okay.

Yes, I see those hands.

I first ran across Bill of Rights Day a few years ago. I consider myself a person who keeps up with this sort of thing but I had no idea. Back in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. So it’s been around a while.

And we probably need to make a bigger deal out of this than we are. Civic literacy and understanding of the nuance embedded in the first 10 Amendments seems a bit low right about now.

FDR observed in 1941 that Read more

1600 app: Experience the White House in Augmented Reality

I still have a ton of stuff to share from the #ncss16 History Nerdfest but I thought I’d share this post from the White House about a very cool augmented reality tool that I heard about over the weekend.

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What’s it like to attend a state dinner at the White House? Or see Marine One land on the South Lawn?

From hosting festivals on the South Lawn to allowing people to explore its rooms via Google Street View, President Obama has used traditional events and new technology to open up the doors of the White House to more Americans than ever before.

The White House is excited to share a new way for you to experience 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — and all you need is a smartphone and a dollar bill.

 

Check it out now: Download the app, point your smartphone camera at a dollar bill, and you’ll see an interactive, 3D video of White House pop up – with narration.

whitehousear2

As you experience a year at the White House – from the Easter Egg Roll to a State Arrival Ceremony – you’ll see that even as seasons and people change, the White House endures as an institution of American democracy. That’s why we teamed up with the White House Historical Association and Nexus Studios to create this augmented reality experience – to educate and inspire Americans to learn all about what the People’s House stands for.

Whether it’s seen on a teacher’s desk or around a dining room table, we hope you enjoy and share this new way of taking a peek inside the White House.

So, give it a try: If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download 1600 here. Or if you have an Android phone or Android tablet, you can get it here.

Good old Ben, Constitution Day 2016, and 17 teaching resources

It’s that time of year again. Constitution Day 2016. And I just haven’t gotten around to updating my C-Day list of resources. But I still feel pretty comfortable with my current list. So I hope you don’t mind but I’m recycling an old post that highlights some of my favorites:

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You know the story. A group of guys from different parts of the country with different ideas of how to govern got together and came up with a pretty amazing document. And we all have our favorite Founding Fathers. My fav?

Ben Franklin.

He’s kind of like the sleeper pick in your fantasy football league – everyone knows he’s out there but they ignore him because all the focus is on Jefferson or Madison or one of the other first rounders. But you draft him anyway cause you know he’s got the skills.

Ben was smart, irreverent, great with people, well-read, the ladies loved him, he had that whole kite / electricity / scientist thing working, and was by far the best part of 1776 and John Adams. What’s not to love?

And so it’s fun to go back and read some of what Ben had to say about the document he was preparing to sign: Read more

Happy America Day!

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress listened as Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a resolution declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.

“Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

It was a bold move. Several states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina were not yet ready to support this potentially fatal step. Failure to approve the resolution could lead to the collapse of the shaky alliance between the 13 colonies. An earlier Preamble proposed by John Adams on May 15 declaring that “it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed” barely passed. Four colonies voted against it and the delegation from Maryland stormed out of the room in protest.

Congress agreed to delay the vote on Lee’s Resolution until July 1. During that time, Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration of independence. Consisting of  John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson, the committee selected Jefferson to be the primary author of the document. The rough draft of the document was presented to Congress for review on June 28.

Debate followed. Read more