Building Active Citizenship Skills Through Community Relationships

June 10, 2020 By Sheree Turner, Ph.D.

Participatory citizenship is the act of citizens actively participating through community and political life to build a democracy that respects human rights. Currently, members and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement are partaking in their First Amendment right to protest, aiming to enact change for police reform and civil rights, which offers a unique teaching opportunity to encourage active citizenship. How can we find other ways to help our students understand the importance of becoming an active citizen today?

Black Voices Matter: A Personal Reflection

June 5, 2020 By Daelin Hayes

FEAR. That was the only emotion I felt when I first saw yet another viral video of an African American citizen being senselessly murdered in broad daylight. Fear that when people see me, they don't see someone's son, someone's brother, someone's teammate... they see a threat. I am stripped of my identity and instead reduced down to the color of my skin.

12 Contemporary Novels with Social Studies Themes

May 28, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

Contemporary literature gives readers a look at progressive writing styles that often reflect the world in which the works were written. Although often reserved for English or writing courses, recent novels can also be used in secondary social studies classrooms to teach about current events, political themes, economics, sociology, or even history.

Why the History of Words Matters in Social Studies

May 24, 2020 By Cynthia Resor

Etymology, the study of the origin of words and how the meanings of words change over time, is just as relevant in social studies as it is in English classes. When words appear in a language, how words evolve and change, and when words are discarded tell a wider social, political, economic, or cultural story. For students learning social studies, the benefits of learning these words can be immense, and serve to build essential skills. 

The Teacher's Guide to Helping Students Analyze Political Cartoons

May 18, 2020 By Melissa Knowles

Cartoons can sometimes make a serious point. Benjamin Franklin’s 1754 “Join or Die” began the use of political cartoons. These visuals have been important in history by informing illiterate citizens and conveying a point of view on a political issue.  Cartoonists, with a single picture, could insult enemies, celebrate allies, change people’s minds on important issues, and be humorous enough to make an impact on the public’s view. Political cartoons bring humor and exaggeration to past and current issues. I tell my students political cartoons are pictures with a point.  We can provide students with the tools and questions they can use to decode and understand political cartoons.

20 Educational Acronyms Every Educator (and Parent!) Should Know

May 13, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

 To quote one of my previous graduate school professors, "education is simply made up of alphabet soup."

Teaching Remotely: What I've Learned So Far

May 10, 2020 By Jessica Hayes

The times in which we are living are truly odd and unprecedented. Actually, there are a lot of words that people use to describe this time. I’ve heard scary, crazy, stressful, and boring, just to name a few. Some people have used this time to improve themselves by working out or trying new hobbies. Others are worried or stressed about their job security and family's wellbeing. But, one thing I think we can agree upon is that this is a time to come together and revel in comfort and support. 

A History of Quack Cures: Critical Analysis in the Classroom

May 7, 2020 By Cynthia Resor

Quacks love health crises, and the COVID-19 virus has become very lucrative for people who make claims about unscientific cures. In recent months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued warnings to several companies who are promoting fraudulent products. These companies deceptively claim their products can treat or cure the virus. Modern teas, oils, and other treatments are not scientifically proven to be effective, yet customers are desperate enough to fall for these “curative” products. This isn't to say holistic and alternative medicines do not have healing properties for some, but overall the efficacy of these products and practices is largely unproven by evidence-based research. 

8 Memoirs That Will Impact Your Social Studies Students

April 23, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

An impactful memoir has long-lasting effects on its reader. For high school students, a real story about the struggles of humanity and strength of the human spirit helps them connect with history and see the world from a different perspective.

Trade Wars Aren’t a New Thing: Examining Economics with Historical Examples

April 21, 2020 By Cynthia Resor

The United States has been involved in trade wars with nations around the world in recent years. Instead of weapons, these “wars” are waged with tariffs, taxes on imported or exported goods.