The National Humanity Center has been supporting the humanities for over 40 years. That’s a good thing. Because they’ve had plenty of time to develop a ton of tools that can help make you a better teacher and your students a whole lot smarter.
Start with the NHC’s suite of lesson plans. All of their America in Class lessons have Read more
I first met Tim Bailey several years ago when he was the Gilder Lehrman master teacher during our Century of Progress TAH project. And he was awesome. Our teachers loved his ideas and resources. During today’s afternoon #NSSSA17 session, I got the chance to learn more from Tim.
Tim highlighted several different ideas from the Gilder Lehrman Teaching Literacy Through History lesson plan database – all immediately useable.
I love a couple of his quotes:
- Be a guide, not an interpreter.
- Primary sources are the closest thing to time travel.
Tim started by sharing What we as social studies teachers should be doing: Read more
This week, Geography Awareness Week celebrates 30 years of geo goodness. Established in 1987, the week is designed to promote geography and highlight the relevance of a geographic education in preparing citizens to understand and debate pressing social and environmental issues and problems.
This year’s theme focuses on the Geography of Civil Rights Movements. A recent American Association of Geographers press release suggests that a “civil rights-themed Geography Awareness Week can be an important moment, especially during these turbulent political times, to come to terms with the nation’s unreconciled legacies of oppression and domination.”
The AAG goes on: Read more
I still remember the week of The Civil War by Ken Burns. It was early in my first teaching position as an 8th grade US history teacher in Derby, America. And it was amazing. So Ken and I have continued to hang out over the last few decades.
Jazz. Baseball. World War II. The Roosevelts.
And now . . . Vietnam.
But this one feels different somehow. Still mesmerizing. Still great production values. Still engaging. Still solid history. But maybe it just feels too recent to be comfortable history.
Vox writer Read more
It’s always fun having my kids around during the summer. We chat about books, take short trips, discuss politics, argue about gardening techniques, and they make fun of my love for the Kansas City Royals.
The youngest one heads back to school in Minnesota in a few weeks. She’s been busy this summer selling snow cones and working in the local library. And . . . wait for it . . .
. . . she’s also spent two days a week as an National Archives unpaid intern at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene. How cool is that? The other day, she got the one on one backstage pass tour of stored artifacts. She knows I love the golf so she made sure to share how, among other things, she held Dwight’s Augusta National member’s green jacket. And his favorite golf hat.
You know. Just rubbing my nose in it.
But she’s also come home excited about Read more
The Kansas state social studies standards are designed to “prepare students to be informed, thoughtful, engaged citizens as they enrich their communities, state, nation, world, and themselves.” Different benchmarks under each of the standards require that students make connections between the past and contemporary issues.
The recent Kansans Can Vision developed by the Department of Ed is pushing schools throughout the state to focus on authentic civic engagement and integrate it across grades and content areas.
I’m sure that you have similar sorts of standards and expectations where you teach.
It’s pretty simple really. When kids are informed and thoughtful, when they understand the necessity for being civically engaged, and when they actually put into practice the ideas outlined in the founding documents, our communities and our country are a better place.
And now . . . we have the recent events in Charlottesville.
Your task as a social studies teacher has never been easy. Connecting past to present can make it harder. Conversations about race and violence harder still. It can be easy to just wait for things to blow over. But if we truly believe that what we do makes a difference, those conversations need to happen.
What can that sort of conversation look like?
The words of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are a good place to start: Read more