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

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
2.

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
3.

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
4.

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
5.

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
6.

Public Opinion and the Vietnam War [electronic resource]

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Liz Morrison, a Ninth Grade American History teacher at Parkway South High School in suburban St. Louis, explores how public opinion was shaped by key events in the Vietnam War. Students create a timeline and work in groups to discover how public opinion changed from approval to disapproval over the course of the war. The students view television footage from this period and listen to popular music that reflects both sides of public opinion. Ms. Morrison helps her students make connections from the Vietnam War to political attitudes in their world today.
Online
2003
7.

Gender-Based Distinctions [electronic resource]

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In Tim Rockey's 10th Grade World History class at Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Rockey reviews the concept of civil rights, with a focus on women's rights. Students evaluate the "reasonableness" standard as set by the court and come to understand where the court has drawn the line for gender-based decisions. They explore the following questions: Can public taverns cater only to men? Can females be excluded from contact sports? Can a state military college exclude women? After examining Supreme Court cases, students render a judgment of the validity of the standard of equal rights.
Online
2003