Principal: Black students see themselves in history class | Incorporate art to enhance engagement in history | Art teachers focus on flexibility to reach students
October 9, 2020
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
Principal: Black students see themselves in history class
A full-year African American history elective is debuting in 15 Virginia schools this year, including Henrico High School where 16 students signed up for the class that starts with ancient Africa. Taught by history teacher Derick Vance, the class is important because students at the predominately Black school need to see themselves in what they're learning, says principal Karin Castillo-Rose.
Full Story: WTVR-TV (Richmond, Va.) (10/8) 
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Incorporate art to enhance engagement in history
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Pixabay)
Integrating art into history lessons can enhance student engagement and help students develop a deeper understanding of historical events, writes history teacher Ron Litz. Examples of appropriate materials to incorporate into lessons include political cartoons and sculptures as well as pieces from artists of different backgrounds, Litz writes in this article.
Full Story: Edutopia (10/1) 
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Policy Watch
A bill has been introduced by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to develop a statewide curriculum for all students to learn Black history. Rep. La Shawn Ford, a former social studies teacher, says earlier exposure to such lessons can help students better understand each other and stem racial tension.
Full Story: WSIL-TV (Carterville, Ill.) (10/7) 
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Technology in the Classroom
Teachers share frustrations, challenges on Twitter
An educator started "An Anonymous Teacher Speaks" project on Twitter last Friday, which offers the realities of teaching during the coronavirus pandemic. In this interview, the educator who posted the messages says teachers share their frustrations, which are added to Twitter without their names.
Full Story: EdSurge (10/6) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Political scientists exploring the history of women and voting say they have dispelled the myth that married women vote the way as their husbands. This article addresses this and other issues, including life before suffrage, the concept of the "the women's vote" and elected officials who are women.
Full Story: Smithsonian online (10/6) 
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Some older speakers of at-risk Indigenous languages spoken throughout the world, including Australia, Brazil and the US, are dying from COVID-19, leaving some to wonder about the future. This article details how the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affects Indigenous populations and the elderly and may speed up the loss of language and culture.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/6) 
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NCSS Updates
NCSS offers resources for educators
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19) as a pandemic. National Council for the Social Studies is providing this landing page as a resource for social studies educators, administrators, and professionals to stay informed on the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Education, the current containment status of the pandemic, prevention tips, school closures, and teaching resources for classroom or virtual usage. Please bookmark and check this resource page daily for updates and share it with your network. Read on.
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Editor's Note
NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Oct. 12
In observance of the federal Columbus Day holiday in the US, and in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Oct. 12. Publication will resume Wednesday, Oct. 14.
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All the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any.
Walt Whitman,
poet, essayist
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