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History and Social Studies

Quiz: How well do you know these famous educators?

By The Room 241 Team March 29, 2019

How well do you know your famous educators? Take the quiz and see how you do!

The Power of Storytelling Activities in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn January 29, 2019

If you think about it, stories are the very origin of education. The passing down of stories from generation to generation taught us history, culture, skills, and knowledge. “Thinking of teaching as storytelling…encourages us to think of the curriculum as a collection of the great stories of our culture,” says Kieran Egan. “If we begin… Read More

Learning from the past and innovating for our future — these are two crucial skills that aren’t focused on enough in our classrooms today, but some teachers are working to change that. Award-winning educator Luke Glassett teaches AP World History and Contemporary World Problems and serves as the head coach of a highly successful robotics team… Read More

Creating Active Citizens: Ideas for Civic Engagement Lessons

By The Room 241 Team December 1, 2018

Oregon teachers set aside the first Friday in December to focus on civic engagement lessons and professional development. Elsewhere, teachers look year-round for ways to help their students become active citizens and critical thinkers. We hope these ideas inspire you to enhance your curriculum and advance your practice. Lesson plans and ideas for civic engagement… Read More

Summer Workshop Series: Build a Better Police Force

By Monica Fuglei and Micah Pilkington July 26, 2016

From the violent protests in Ferguson following Michael Brown’s death to the 2016 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and targeted killing of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, students are attempting to understand the issues surrounding law enforcement’s use of lethal force and the frayed social contract between police and the… Read More

Under the best circumstances, civics education triggers student passions. In a recent column on the “Trump effect,” I outlined many educators’ concerns about discussing politics in the classroom during the 2016 election season. One of the biggest challenges teachers face is ensuring that students are comfortable enough to voice their opinions while being respectful of… Read More

2015 marked the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the march from Selma to Montgomery, a seminal moment in the civil rights movement. The milestone celebration aired on numerous TV channels and received a tremendous amount of media attention, but for teachers, these events highlighted students’ fundamental lack of knowledge about the American civil rights… Read More

It is no understatement to say that in 2016, Americans live in interesting, if not nasty, political times. One significant contributor to the troublesome climate is Donald Trump, the presidential candidate whose platform of anti-immigration rhetoric appears to have worked its way into schools across the nation, from high school sporting events to elementary classroom… Read More

Can 'Hamilton: The Musical' Change History Education?

By Monica Fuglei April 6, 2016

On any given day in our home, you can hear the roar of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: The Musical” soundtrack. My 13 year-old daughter has an Alexander Hamilton biography and “The Federalist Papers” on her nightstand, and I’m knee-deep in the book the musical is based on: Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father. ‘Hamilton’ fever… Read More

“Politics is boring, until it’s not” — Anonymous The author of that quote seems to have anticipated the challenging, complex nature of today’s political environment. Truth is stranger than fiction in this election cycle, so you should not be surprised to find your students trying to make sense of all that is happening in the… Read More

We all need to try harder to turn our students into better citizens. Just look at voter turnout in major national elections. The U.S. Election Project, a non-partisan organization that tracks voter turnout, says the turnout percentage for U.S. midterm elections hovers in the mid-30s and moves into the mid-60s in a presidential election. Contrast… Read More

Teaching Social Justice in Theory and Practice

By Caitrin Blake May 13, 2015

Historically, classrooms have been the stage for social change, providing a venue to promote and accelerate new ideas. In addition to academic instruction, one of a classroom teacher’s most important roles is to help students develop the critical thinking, collaboration, and self-reflection skills necessary to foster a better society. Goals of social justice Social justice… Read More

In my last piece, I discussed why content curation was an essential skill and discussed ways teachers could use Pinterest to curate content for students. Modeling this skill for students is important, but giving them the knowledge to do it themselves is crucial. The ability to sort through many sources for high-quality information was always… Read More

Content Curation: Tools and Strategies for Teachers

By Monica Fuglei April 15, 2015

“Content curation” is hip terminology in the marketing world. Businesses routinely develop and refine perceptions of their brand on social media through the information they choose to share with specific audiences. Curating content is an essential skill to share with students. With broad and easy access to information, seeing and practicing content curation can help… Read More

Diverse Literature for Women’s History Month

By Monica Fuglei March 18, 2015

As we move from Black History Month into Women’s History Month, one thing becomes clear: the go-to cast of characters in women’s history lacks diversity. Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, the suffragists, and Rosie the Riveter are important real and fictional women in history, but they do not represent the breadth of experiences of women of… Read More