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Social Studies in Action : A Teaching Practices Library, K-12
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1.

Introduction to the Video Library [electronic resource]

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Introduces all the components of the library, explains the goals of NCSS, and presents examples of classroom lessons throughout the library. Also addresses a variety of ways the library can be used to enhance the curriculum, for teacher reflection, and for best practices for teaching.
Online
2003
2.

A Standards Overview, K-5 [electronic resource]

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Includes K-5 classroom examples from across the country that define and illustrate the 10 NCSS thematic strands and present a variety of ways that they can be integrated into the K-5 curriculum.Demonstrates that the primary grades lay the foundation and for the comprehension of social studies themes such as a sense of place, time, community, and justice.
Online
2003
3.

Historical Change [electronic resource]

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In David Kitts' First Grade class on the Santo Domingo Indian Reservation in New Mexico, Native American students study the history of farming through a lesson that compares farming in Eighteenth Century New England to current practices in the Midwest. The lesson uses literature and the study of various farming tools and products to illuminate the changes that have taken place in the industry over time and in different parts of the country. Includes group activities and discussions.
Online
2003
4.

China Through Mapping [electronic resource]

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In Mimi Norton's Second Grade classroom at Solano Elementary School in Phoenix, students learn about China's position on the globe and the location of important landmarks within the country. As a class, students create a giant map of China on the floor. Working in teams, they complete mapping tasks at classroom stations, focusing on the five themes of geography. As a culminating activity, students solve an interactive detective mystery created by Ms. Norton and work in small groups to solve problems based on their mastery of the map of China.
Online
2003
5.

Leaders, Community, and Citizens [electronic resource]

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In a First Grade class at the Rooftop Alternative School in San Francisco, Cynthia Vaughn helps her students differentiate between the titles and roles of elected officials at city, state, and country levels. After a class discussion outlining the various roles of these elected officials, students work in pairs to complete a chart, matching specific names with job titles and buildings. Each group reports its finding to the whole class. Finally, the students build their own fictitious community and explore and present the issues facing the town.
Online
2003
6.

Making Bread Together [electronic resource]

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In Meylin Gonzalez' Kindergarten class in Tampa, Florida, students are introduced to several economic concepts, including production and cooperation. Using a children's book as a guide, Ms. Gonzalez discusses how people work cooperatively on an assembly line to make a product. The students experience the concepts of production and distribution through an activity in which they create an assembly line in the classroom and prepare hand-made bread.
Online
2003
7.

Caring for the Community [electronic resource]

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Debbie Lerner teaches grades 1-3 at Red Bridge Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri where a personalized learning curriculum allows students to stay in the same classroom for all three grade levels. Ms. Lerner's lesson focuses on the concept of community and explores how her students can help make a difference in each other's lives. Students review the concept of resources and interview their superintendent to understand how decisions are made that affect the school budget. Then they work in groups to brainstorm and create flyers to help prepare for their school's upcoming remodeling.
Online
2003
8.

Celebrations of Light [electronic resource]

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Eileen Mesmer teaches a combined Kindergarten and First Grade class in Salem, Massachusetts, a diverse community outside Boston. Ms. Mesmer asks her students to explore the many ways the holidays are celebrated and to find commonalities among the various celebrations. She reads to the students from "The Winter Solstice," using it to help students understand the greater theme of community. Through math, writing, and drawing stations located throughout the classroom, students interact with the content in a variety of ways and through diverse learning styles flyers to help prepare for their school's upcoming remodeling.
Online
2003
9.

Explorers in North America [electronic resource]

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Rob Cuddi, a Fifth Grade teacher at Winthrop Middle School in Winthrop, Massachusetts, introduces the theme of exploration in North America, posing three essential questions: How have people in history affected our lives today?; How do the human and physical systems of the Earth interact?; and What role do economies play in the foundation of our history?
Online
2003
10.

California Missions [electronic resource]

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Osvaldo Rubio, a bilingual Fourth Grade Social Studies teacher at Sherman Oaks Community Charter School in San Jose, California. focuses his geography lesson on the location and movement of the California missions. In groups, students create artistic, oral, written, and other more sophisticated audiovisual presentations on the themes of the unit. Some students use the Internet to download images, while others use a digital camera and editing software to create their own video presentations.
Online
2003
11.

State Government and the Role of the Citizen [electronic resource]

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Diane Kerr, a Fourth Grade teacher at Butcher Greene Elementary School in the ethnically diverse community of Grandview, Missouri,presents a lesson on the state of Missouri and its three branches of government. Students work in groups to create posters that represent the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. They voice their concerns about what can be done to improve their lives and the life of the community. As a class, they work to understand the process of how a bill becomes a law.
Online
2003
12.

Using Primary Sources [electronic resource]

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In a unit on Colonial America, students in Kathleen Waffle's Fifth Grade class at John Muir Elementary School in San Bruno, California, examine the business of a successful silversmith who lived in Colonial Williamsburg. In small groups, the students use primary source documents (advertisements) and artifacts to identify the business strategies used by the silversmith. They translate a historic contract between a master and an apprentice and examine how colonial apprenticeships compare with present-day job pursuits.
Online
2003
13.

Making a Diference Through Giving [electronic resource]

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In Darlene Jones-Inge's Fourth Grade class at O'Hearn Elementary School in Boston's inner city students experience a complex lesson that focuses on the theme of giving. They work in teams to determine a meaningful service project addressing the needs within their school, community, country, or world. Through thoughtful voting and collaborative decision making, students determine the goal and scale of their project.
Online
2003
14.

Understanding Stereotypes [electronic resource]

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Libby Sinclair, a Fourth and Fifth Grade teacher at Alternative Elementary School #2 in Seattle, Washington asks her students to define the term "stereotype" from a variety of perspectives. At the beginning of the lesson, students brainstorm individually and in groups to understand how stereotypes have affected their lives and their learning. After recognizing that the contribution of Negro baseball leagues has been omitted from the history of baseball, students thoughtfully plan and execute a letter campaign to contact text publishers.
Online
2003
15.

A Standards Overview, 6-8 [electronic resource]

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Lessons from grade 6-8 classrooms illustrate how the NCSS standards and themes can be integrated into the middle school curriculum. Middle school teachers explore a number of expectations and outcomes in their lessons and build on the fundamentals established in the elementary grades. Themes of civics, political science, and history begin to take on more meaning as the content in these lessons connects to students' lives.
Online
2003
16.

Explorations in Archaeology and History [electronic resource]

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In her introductory lesson, Ms. Larsen, a Sixth Grade Social Studies' teacher at Harbor School in Boston, Massachusetts, guides students through an exploration of their family histories, with the objective of helping them understand their place in the larger human family and the development of civilizations in general. Ms. Larsen's students work in groups to differentiate between fossils and artifacts. The lesson concludes with student presentations of their own family heirlooms.
Online
2003
17.

Exploring Geography Through African History [electronic resource]

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Lisa Farrow, a Seventh Grade World Cultures teacher at Shiloh Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland, provides her students with an understanding of African history and geography. After creating a personal timeline, the students create a historical timeline of Africa, focusing on the Bantu migrations, the rise of Islam, the West African trading empires, the Turkish empire, the slave trade, and European colonialism. Students take an active role in group work as they create maps and captions that define each period. Ms. Farrow concentrates on the importance of the trading empires and their connection to Africa's history as a whole.
Online
2003
18.

The Amistad Case [electronic resource]

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Gary Fisher, a teacher at Timilty Middle School in the urban community of Roxbury, Massachusetts, has his Eighth Grade U.S. history class, examine the history of African American slavery through a dramatic mock trial based on the Amistad case in 1839. Serving as the defense, prosecution, judges, and other historical characters in the trial, students develop their cases and present them in a formal court setting created in their classroom. In his class, Mr. Fisher collaborates with the Spanish teacher who provides special support for second-language learners.
Online
2003
19.

Population and Resource Distribution [electronic resource]

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In Becky Forristal's Seventh Grade economics class at Rockwood Valley Middle School, outside St. Louis, Missouri, the lesson focuses on a population simulation that explores world economics amd demonstrates the inequalities in land, food, energy, and wealth distribution in the world today. Using a global map on the classroom floor, students are able to visualize how resources are distributed in both wealthy and developing nations of the world.
Online
2003
20.

Landmark Supreme Court Cases [electronic resource]

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In a civics lesson on landmark Supreme Court cases, Seventh and Eighth Grade students in Wendy Ewbank's class, focus on the tension between the rights of the individual and the good of society. Students work in groups presenting various cases to the class in the form of a press conference. Key issues include the right to privacy, equal protection, and the First Amendment. On day two, students hold a town meeting to discuss whether the burning of the American flag is protected under the right to freedom of speech. Ms. Ewbank provides clear rubrics, which help students understand the expectations and goals for the lesson.
Online
2003