January 15, 2021
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
NCSS: Inauguration Day offers lessons in all grades
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
All teachers across all grade levels have an opportunity to integrate next week's presidential inauguration in lessons, says Stefanie Wager, president of the National Council for the Social Studies. Besides lessons about the US' historically peaceful transfer of power, Wager and others say the inauguration offers potential for math classes, such as studying the economics of the event and the role of taxpayer funding.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (1/13) 
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Students, teachers and staff in district in Bucks County, Pa., are engaging in community service ahead of Monday's observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Activities have included writing letters and baking cookies for first responders, making cards for nursing home residents and hosting a social justice summit on Zoom. Next week, one high school will have a week of service, and students will post photos and videos of their efforts on social media with a hashtag.
Full Story: Bucks County Courier Times (Levittown, Pa.) (1/15) 
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Donald Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice, and a trial in the US Senate could begin at any time. Education Week offers lesson ideas from Trump's first impeachment in 2019, which C-SPAN shares videos and other resources from this week's unprecedented second impeachment for use in lessons.
Full Story: Education Week (1/13),  C-SPAN (1/13) 
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Grammar instruction ideal for remote or classroom learning
Close the gap between your reading and writing workshop with Patterns of Power Plus—grammar instruction that uses authentic children's literature to teach students the conventions of language through the celebration of writer's craft—not worksheets.
Policy Watch
Biden's proposal includes $130B for K-12
Biden (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
An economic relief plan announced Thursday by President-elect Joe Biden will steer $130 billion toward public K-12 schools. The funding is intended to help schools return to in-person learning, including by reducing class sizes, hiring more nurses and counselors, and providing protective gear.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (1/14) 
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A Free Online U.S. History Resource
Presented through a series of narratives, primary sources, and point-counterpoint debates, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is designed to meet the course needs of a yearlong U.S. History or AP U.S. History class. Sign up HERE
Technology in the Classroom
The Grammarly browser extension for Chrome can help students improve their reading, and the InsertLearning extension aids teachers in asking specific questions in an interactive manner. Nine other recommended extensions for students include tools to keep them focused by temporarily blocking social media, define words without opening another tab and provide background sounds that prevent noises in the house from distracting them.
Full Story: Mashable (1/14) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Christina Haswood, the third Native American to serve in the Kansas Legislature, says she chose to celebrated her heritage and honored her ancestors' sacrifices by wearing traditional Navajo attire at the swearing-in ceremony. A freshman lawmaker, Haswood says her mother and her partner helped her make the garments, and the jewelry items were all family treasures.
Full Story: BuzzFeed (1/12) 
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Musical playlist to celebrate King's life, legacy
Lamar (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan were among the singers at the March on Washington in 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr.'s delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. This article examines the role of music in the civil rights movement and offers the writer's Spotify playlist for marking Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, including songs by Kendrick Lamar, James Brown, Nina Simone and Public Enemy.
Full Story: The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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NCSS Updates
Upcoming state and regional social studies conferences
Regional, state and local social studies conferences organized by NCSS-affiliated councils provide great opportunities for teachers in their home areas. Visit our site to find a complete listing that includes meeting themes, proposal deadlines, council webpages and conference contacts.
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Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society
Enhance the school year by applying for a Rho Kappa charter. Rho Kappa is the only national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies. Any accredited public or private high school can apply for a local chapter, through which individuals will be inducted into Rho Kappa Honor Society. Rho Kappa provides national recognition and opportunities for exploration in the social studies. Learn more or apply for a charter.
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Editor's Note
NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Jan. 18
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 18. Publication will resume Wednesday, Jan. 20.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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