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Posts tagged ‘government’

50th Anniversary. Voting Rights Act. Awesome!

This is why we do what we do. Isn’t it?

Isn’t this a major part of our task? Create students that are informed and thoughtful citizens as they enrich their communities, state, nation, world, and themselves? Develop active engaged citizens 
that collaborate, contribute, compromise, and participate as an active member of a community?

Voting is essential piece of participatory democracy. Without this sort of input from actual citizens, seriously . . . what’s the point? And the various founding documents and historical interpretations of those documents define what the voting / election process looks like. One ugly piece of American history is that many times, those interpretations excluded huge swaths of citizens from that process.

That is why Voting Rights Act of 1965 was so powerful. Important. Necessary.

Why was it needed?
Read more

Tip of the Week: Fantasy GeoPolitics

I got the chance yesterday to spend time with some of the middle / high school teachers from Manhattan. We chatted about primary sources and DBQs and historical thinking and Sam Wineburg and all sorts of social studies stuff.

Doing tech integration stuff is fun. But spending a whole day with other history and social studies nerds is good for the soul. These are my people. And I always walk away from those types of conversations smarter than when I walked in – teachers share ideas, resources, web sites, strategies, all sorts of goodies.

I, of course . . . steal all of those great ideas, resources, web sites, and strategies and pass them on to you.

Yesterday was no different. Shane and Alex, a couple of world history guys, shared how they use what looks like a very sweet tool for geography, world history, and current events teachers. Called Read more

#NCSS14: Session Two – Connecting Your Government Class and the Real World

Presented by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, my #NCSS14 session two focused on ways to engage students directly with actual issues in their communities through direct civic action.

They suggest that you can turn your government classroom into a hands-on civics lab to teach the workings of government by empowering students.

They shared about their Civics Action Project, a  Read more

I Voted: Voting Information Project

If you haven’t already figured it out, I can be a bit of a cynic. And becoming more so as the last ads of the campaign cycle through. (I’m looking at you Kansas Governor Brownback. Seriously? You’re running this ad?)

But I’m a firm believer that one of the most important duties we have as US citizens is to vote. In every election. Dogcatcher to president. So next Tuesday is already on my calendar. The sad thing is that many of us won’t be voting next week. Typical turnout for midterm elections is around 40%. And I thing that at least some of that has to do with a lack of information.

Where do I vote? When are voting hours? Sad to say but I still hear questions such Who’s running?

To help solve some of the confusion the Voting Information Project (VIP), developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and election officials nationwide, is offering tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day.

The widget below comes from the VIP. Get your own embed code here. Get the WordPress code here.

And help get people to where they belong next Tuesday.

(Need a few more election tools? Head here for a quick list.)

2014 Mid-Term election resources

Many of you have asked for specific resources that focus on the upcoming mid-term elections. Hopefully this quick list of tools will help:

Democratic Party
Republican Party

Politifact
“Sorting out the truth in politics”
Access. Analyze. Act
Discover the power of social media while promoting your students’ civic engagement
CNN Election Center
FactCheck

Monitoring the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players
FactCheckED
FactCheck’s educator’s page
OpenSecrets
Who’s buying your politician?
FiveThirtyEight
Originally designed for the 2008 election, this site does a great job breaking down election data
Electoral Vote
T
racks political polls for U.S. federal elections
Yahoo Political Dashboard
Same thing, just from Yahoo
HuffPost Election Center
HuffPost Pollster
Great charts and graphs
Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker
All Sides Election Center
Sweet site that provides news / commentary from left, center, right perspectives
RealClearPolitics

VoteSmart / VoteEasy
How to vote and who you should vote for

C-Span’s Election Classroom
Center for Action Civics
Student News Daily

Things that suck and your social studies classroom

It’s not what you think. Though I suppose that it is possible that a social studies class could, well . . . be not very good. I’m not talking about history classrooms where learning goes to die. I’m talking about a class that encourages high levels of thinking, connects emotion with content, allows for physical movement, and forces kids to make choices.

I’m talking about Things That Suck. Read more

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