June 2, 2021
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
Teacher uses novel for lessons on Tulsa Race Massacre
A mural marking Black Wall Street, also called the Greenwood District, in Tulsa, Okla. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which left as many as 300 Black people murdered in an area of the Oklahoma city known as Black Wall Street, is told in flashbacks in the historical novel "Dreamland Burning," which Oklahoma high-school teacher Amie Harrison uses for an honors English class. Harrison says teachers have a responsibility to bring history to light, even if that history will be painful to hear, because when "you know better, you do better."
Full Story: The Joplin Globe (Mo.) (tiered subscription model) (5/28) 
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Comic books and graphic novels draw in students and keep them engaged in key topics, says social studies teacher Tim Smyth of Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pa. A writer of graphic-novel curriculum and teacher guides, Smyth offers six ideas for incorporating comics, such as creating a superhero team to solve an environmental problem.
Full Story: eSchool News (6/1) 
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Books can help inspire middle-school students to confront issues of social justice and tackle problems in their own communities, writes Lisa Stringfellow, a middle-school English teacher in Boston. In this blog post, Stringfellow shares several titles to help inspire students' activism.
Full Story: Edutopia (5/28) 
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Professional Development
How teachers can plan a summer of self-care
Some educators say they are taking a break from school this summer, rather than filling their break time with professional learning and other work, writes Crystal Frommert, a middle-school instructional coach. In this blog post, Frommert shares four ways educators can focus on themselves over the summer, including reading books for pleasure and doing summer work unrelated to education.
Full Story: Edutopia (5/28) 
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Technology in the Classroom
How digital notebooks aid learning, assessment
Digital notebooks are among the tools that have been the most beneficial during remote instruction, writes Lee Ferguson, a high-school biology teacher in Texas. In this blog post, Ferguson shares how the digital notebooks -- used for class notes and lab work, among other things -- aided learning and assessment, and why they will continue to be a mainstay in her classroom.
Full Story: Edutopia (5/28) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Biden in Tulsa: Injustices "cannot be buried"
Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Hughes Van Ellis, right, claps during President Joe Biden's speech in Tulsa, Okla. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday at the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in Oklahoma, the first sitting US president to visit there. Speaking at the site, Biden decried the violence on the 100th anniversary of the rampage and noted that "[s]ome injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous, they cannot be buried, no matter how hard people try."
Full Story: The Associated Press (6/1),  KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City) (6/1),  The Associated Press (6/1),  The Associated Press (5/28) 
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The Virginia Theological Seminary, which used Black slave labor in the 1800s, may be the first US institutions to offer cash reparations to the descendants of slaves and Jim Crow-era workers who were unpaid or underpaid. Linda Thomas is one of the first to receive a payment, paid to her for the work of her grandfather, John Samuel Thomas Jr., who did janitorial work and likely farm labor at the seminary.
Full Story: The New York Times (5/31) 
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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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