A Good Case of “Civil Disobedience” & KSDE Update

We all teach our kids to obey laws and be good citizens whether it be at our home or in our classroom.  Yet, it is important that we also add when it is appropriate to practice civil disobedience.  Most good teachers that I know are quick to teach about MLK, Thoreau, and Gandhi and how their actions spurred the course of civic discourse to address rights (and wrongs) of their fellow citizens and their governments.  Now, we find ourselves amidst a government shut down that seems to be the result of party politics.  I present to you a perfect example of what civil disobedience is.  Of which, you can find the article here.  

Due to “non-essential” services being closed down at the federal level, several of the nation’s institutions in Washington D.C. have been closed.  One of which is/was the World War II veteran’s memorial.  This beautiful site had been taped off and access denied due to the removal of security at the site.  One thing that occurred due to this, was the shortsightedness of the federal government denying access to “the greatest generation.”  Veterans on “Honor Flights” who were going to the memorial, tore through the tape to see it.  Thankfully, little has been done to stop them.  It should be a stark reminder to all of us, that there are times when a little civil disobedience is the right thing.

In social studies,


Opportunities reported by KSDE Content Specialist, Don Gifford:

There will be no HGSS assessment for the 2013-2014 school year.—- Pilot items will be available in the spring if you would like to use them with your students. ——- Again there is no HGSS assessment this year.

HGSS Assessment Timeline

2013-14               No HGSS assessment                     Pilot Items will be available

2014-15               No HGSS assessment                     Field tests will be available

2015-16               New HGSS assessment 6th grade (Ancient World History), 8th Grade (U.S. History: Constitutional Age to International Expansion), and High School (U.S. History: International Expansion to the Present)

Training Modules for HGSS Standards Literacy Expectations are now available athttp://tinyurl.com/ssccss  or  http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=2249


These training modules are intended to be used by educational trainers and educators to begin the process of implementing the 2013 HGSS standards and literacy expectations.  Take a look.


There is a power point at the above link that might help you in your preparation to integrate these new standards.  Keep your eyes and ears open for training opportunities in the near future.


College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History


After many years of work the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has released the C3 Framework for Inquiry into the Social Studies.  Kansas has been actively involved in the crafting of this document through our work through CCSSO and NCSS.  We feel it aligns very closely with our new state standards and will be useful as district write curriculum and teachers work on unit design.  The document is available for free download at the NCSS website.  Please take a look at the document.  A PDF of the document is also available on the KSDE HGSS resources page at  http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1715


NCSS link to download C3 Framework http://www.ncss.org/c3


Celebrate Freedom Week

The Kansas legislature enacted Celebrate Freedom Week this past session. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year all schools K-8 must administer a program of study based on lessons over the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the nation’s diversity, immigration, major wars, social movements, etc.  In order to assist district with resources I’m asking for your help.  If you have a great lesson plan, document, story, website, or any resources related to the U.S. pursuit of freedom please send them to me at dgifford@ksde.org.  Please include the grade level/band you consider most appropriate.  If you have created the lesson plan yourself I would be happy to give you credit on the website. I will then post or create a link so that other districts might have ample resources to plan out the week.   The suggested week is the week of September 16th -20th which includes Constitution Day and the federally mandated study of the Constitution, but districts may select any other full week for this celebration.

Celebrate Freedom Week Resources are available at:



Social Studies Conference November 10 and 11, 2013
Sponsored by the KCHE, KCSS, KSHS, KGA, and KSDE

Looking for some great ideas on how to integrate Common Core literacy standards into your instruction? Have questions about the new Kansas state social studies standards? Want to network with social studies movers and shakers from around the state? Then you’re in the right place.

Conference details

We’ll be getting together at Derby High School in Derby, Kansas at 920 N Rock Road. Your registration fee includes a Sunday evening reception at Madrocks Sports Bar, a continental breakfast as well as lunch on Monday, and all conference sessions on Monday. There is an additional fee for some sweet pre-conference workshops scheduled on Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00.

2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year Dyane Smokorowski and Gretchen Eick are our featured speakers.

Need more specifics on the sessions? We’re planning four breakouts from 8:30 to 3:00 with multiple sessions during each breakout focusing on standards, technology, and literacy. Head over to the Schedule page for details on who’s speaking and what they’re talking about!

We’re looking for high-quality sessions that encourage literacy skills, support the innovative use of technology, and provide a fresh look at integrating the new standards into the classroom. If you’ve got something good to share, we want to know about it!

All sessions will be 50 minutes long.

Your session should focus not just on the presentation of content but also on involving your audience through hands-on learning, small group discussions and interactive conversations. We also are planning to post all presentation materials online and so, if accepted, will be asking for digital versions of your materials.

The proposal deadline is September 15th.

Hotel details

The Hampton Inn in Derby is offering a special conference rate of $89 for a single and $99 for a double per night. To take advantage of this rate, conference participants will need to reserve their room by September 1.

Can’t wait for the conference to start? Ready to sign up? Then this is the page for you! Simply download the registration form (here in PDF format) and fill it out.

More information at http://wp.gizmo.essdack.org/

Be sure to include your check payable to: Kansas Council for History Education

You can snail mail it to:
Nate McAlister
KCHE Treasurer
613 Central Ave
Hoyt, KS 66440

Have questions? Contact Nate or Kendall. They’ll hook you up!

Bill of Rights Institute Essay Contest

I am excited to let you know that the 2013 We The Students Scholarship Contest is now open for applications! The contest runs through December 6, 2013, so encourage your students to enter today.

To participate in the contest, high school students will answer three questions around the ideas of the Constitution and the role of government. One $4,000 prize will be awarded for first place, one $2,000 prize for second place, and one $1,000 prize for third place. Two $500 prizes will be awarded for honorable mentions.

At the Institute, we know your impact on students’ lives is invaluable – in an effort to support your hard work, we have set up the contest with teacher prizes. When your students win, you win! The teachers of each winner will receive prize money, $500 for first place, $300 for second place, $100 for third place, and $50 each for honorable mention winner.

For more information, visit the We The Students Scholarship Contest page.

Michelle Griffes

Director for Education

Bill of Rights Institute

200 North Glebe Road, Suite 200

Arlington, VA 22203

Free Constitution App Available

The Constitution Annotated runs 2,860 pages, weighs 10 pounds and costs $290.

But the document is now available for free in an app released on Tuesday in honor of Constitution Day, the Washington Post reports. The app, available from iTunes for iPhones and iPads, includes case law and analysis. An Android version is also being developed.

The app was released by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Library of Congress, and the Government Printing Office, according to a news release.


Looking for Feedback on ELP Standards

The Kansas State Department of Education is seeking public input on proposed new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards. These new ELP Standards were strategically designed to simplify and streamline the process of learning English in order to meet college-and-career-ready standards in academic subject areas. The correspondences between each of the ten standards and specific ELA, Math Practice, and Science Practice standards are clearly identified in order to support ESOL specialists as well as general classroom teachers working with English Language Learners.

The KSDE English Proficiency Standards Committee will recommend adoption of these standards to replace the Kansas Curricular Standards for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), 2011. Public comment is welcomed until Friday, October 24, 2013.

Read the proposed ELP Standards and use the comment form found here.

Thank you,

Tammy Mitchell

Coordinator of School Improvement

Kansas State Department of Education

(785) 296-7929

League of Kansas Municipalities Essay Contest

Dear Educator,

The League of Kansas Municipalities would like to encourage your school to participate in the 2013-14 “If I were Mayor” Essay Contest. We are encouraging seventh-grade students to respond to the essay prompt, “If I were mayor, I would…” as part of a statewide essay contest. There will be five regional winners who will receive a $125 cash prize and one overall statewide winner who will receive a $250 cash prize. Each winner will also receive a plaque and recognition in Topeka on February 5, 2014. More information and downloadable registration forms are available online athttp://www.lkm.org/youtheducation.

The “If I were Mayor” Contest has been a tradition for schools in Kansas for more than a decade, and it has proven to be a great opportunity to engage students, while introducing the important concepts of civic engagement. Mayors have regularly joined the classroom schedule to contribute to the curriculum, and we hope you will consider contacting your local officials to be a part of the learning process.

The League constantly strives to be a resource for Kansans, and we hope this program will prove valuable for you and your students. Please share this information with all 7th grade Social Studies/History teachers. If you choose to participate, you must submit your students’ essays to the League by November 25, 2013. If you’d like to electronically submit your classes’ essays, please send them to essays@lkm.org, with “If I were Mayor” in the subject line, and if possible, the essays attached in a zipped folder. The winners will be announced in early January 2014. For more information contact me atmkoss@lkm.org or at (785) 354-9565. We look forward to receiving your student entries!

Mike Koss  League of Kansas Municipalities

The U.S. Department of State announces scholarships for American high school students to study abroad

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students for overseas study of seven critical foreign languages:  Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish.  The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.  Applications for summer 2014 and academic year 2014-2015 programs are due November 5, 2013.  Visitwww.nsliforyouth.org for more information.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2014-15 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. Visithttp://www.yesprograms.org/yesabroad for more information.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy.  Secondary school students, ages 15-18, live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany.  Young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies, ages 18-24, study and participate in practical training.  Scholarships are now available for academic year 2014-15.  For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state at http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/

The American Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week-long exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues.   Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary, so please check the http://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/youth-leadership-programs website for more information.

For more information on exchanges sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visitwww.exchanges.state.gov


First Freedom Essay Contest

Dear Educators:

We wanted to remind you of the annual First Freedom Student Competition.  This national essay and video contest offers9th – 12th grade students an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the history and implementation of freedom of religion and conscience in American democracy and the world today.  This school year, we go global, as the topic introduces students to Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the place of religious liberty in U.S. history and U.S. foreign policy.  The topic will challenge students’ analytic skills and require them to assess current-day events in terms of international human rights and history.  (Model UN sponsors may find this topic of particular interest, as well.)

For the topic, guidelines, registration, classroom poster, student flyer and other details, visit www.firstfreedom.org, and then click on the red First Freedom Student Competition button (center column).  Also included on the website is a resource manual and 15-minute online video about international religious freedom (green button).  The video features students and seasoned experts.  It may be viewed in the classroom as a class activity or on a school or home computer for personal student or teacher study.  We invite educators to use this resource, whether or not they participate in the competition.

Student online registration is required on or before Monday, November 18, 2013, and the postmark entry deadline for students to mail the essay or video entry with its accompanying entry materials is Monday, November 25.  Winners will beannounced on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, 2014.

First Freedom Center
1321 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219

KCEE Opportunities

Virtual Investing – Real World Learning

The Kansas Stock Market Game Program™ is FREE again this year for Kansas classrooms in grades 3-12 thanks to Kansas Council for Economic Education donors and an additional grant from the Investor Protection Fund of the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner.  All teams must consist of two or more students.  Experienced advisors recommend 3-5 on a team for the best educational experience and to encourage teamwork.  Full lesson plans, projects, assessments, standards correlations and more are available to registered teachers.  Take a look at the session options below and then visit the website www.stockmarketgame.org and click on the “Register” tab to sign up your classes.

Why use the SMG?

– The SMG was created for teachers and has been used in Kansas since 1977.

– All costs have been provided for you along with full lesson plans by grade level, additional projects and assessments in the Teacher Support Center.

– Students work in teams of 3-5 to create a portfolio by invest a hypothetical 100,000 in real companies with real prices.  Makes a great project for students!

– The SMG effectively contextualizes the academic content standards, practices, and career skills expressed in the CCSS, STEM, and by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

– It is a proven tool to help raise student math and personal finance scores

– Great way to keep your students interested in class along with thinking about their financial futures.

– Visit the new website to find out even more:  www.stockmarketgame.org

Web-based trainings are available to help get you started.  Email KCEE@wichita.edu for an updated list.


– September 3 to December 6, 2013 (14-week flexible schedule trading window)

Start and stop on your own schedule within the 14-week window above. Final rankings for prizes/awards dinners are based on the end date but students do not need to be actively trading at the end.


– October 7 to December 13, 2013 (10-week session)
If you cannot start until mid-October then this is the session for you.


– January 21 to April 25, 2014 (14-week flexible schedule trading window)
Start and stop on your own schedule within the 14-week window above. Final rankings for prizes/awards dinners are based on the end date but students do not need to be actively trading at the end.

– February 18 to April 25, 2014 (10-week session)
If you cannot start until mid-March then this is the session for you.

Angela Howdeshell

Vice President for Programs & Administration

Kansas Council for Economic  Education

1845 Fairmount, 026A Clinton Hall

WSU Campus Box 203

Wichita, KS 67260-0203


316-978-5164 (fax)



Get ready for the new KSDE world history standards with the “East Asian History and Culture for Teachers” class at the Smoky Hill Education Service Center!

The new KSDE world history standards include more about China and Japan.  To help you get ready, the Kansas Consortium for Teaching about Asia (www.kcta.ku.edu) will be offering their professional development class, “East Asian History and Culture for Teachers,” at the Smoky Hill Education Service Center in Salina this fall.  Topics correspond to KSDE world history standards, but will benefit educators in all grades and subject areas.  Presentations will be held on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 1 PM and will address:

10/5:     Geography of China and Traditional worldviews

10/19:   Chinese inventions, Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Silk Road

11/9:     Geography of Japan, samurai culture, Japanese art

11/23:   Mongols, Ming voyages, Opium War, Meiji Restoration

12/ 7:    How China got so rich,  Japan today including anime and popular culture

Participants will receive copies of all PowerPoint presentations seen for use in their own classrooms. They also become eligible for National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (www.nctasia.org) enrichment events and subsidized study tours to Asia, and even receive a $50 stipend for creating one lesson plan.  Optional graduate credit also is available through Baker University.  The “East Asian History and Culture for Teachers” professional development class will help internationalize your curriculum for the 21st century and increase the global competencies of your students.

To register contact:

By mail: Smoky Hill ESC, ATTN: Susan Phillips, 605 E. Crawford St., Salina, KS 67401

By phone: 785/825-9185

By fax: 785/825-9195

By email: register@smokyhill.org

Questions?  Contact Darla Smith at dsmith@smokyhill.org.

New Resource from the Federal Reserve Bank

Our partner, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has a great new education project available for elementary classrooms called Jay Flies Through 10-J.

In Jay Flies Through 10J, students will meet Jay Eagle and explore their local, regional or state economy. They’ll then write a letter and illustrate a picture about Jay’s visit to their area. At the end of the project, students will be able to read letters and view illustrations from classrooms throughout the District.

This project correlates with fourth grade social studies standards, but other grades, K-6, are welcome to participate as well. Participating teachers will receive a stuffed Jay Eagle mascot to use for the project and then keep for their classroom.

Getting involved is easy and involves the following steps:

  1. Sign up your class to participate in Jay Flies Through 10-J.
  2. Receive your free stuffed Jay Eagle mascot and project materials in the mail.
  3. Introduce Jay to your students. Use the project lesson plan to explore your economy, and have students write a letter and illustrate a picture about Jay’s visit to your area.
  4. Select one letter and illustration from your class to submit to the Kansas City Fed starting in mid-November.
  5. Come back in January to view letters and illustrations from classrooms throughout the Tenth District.

There is minimal preparation on the teacher’s part and students can use this unique experience to learn about their community, its economy and the nation’s central bank. Participation is limited to the first 500 classrooms that sign up within the seven state region that makes up the Tenth Federal Reserve District.

For guidelines, more information and to register, visit http://jayflies10j.kcfed.org today!


More Federal Reserve Opportunities

The Kansas City Metro Support Team (KC MOST) provides ongoing curricular support and instruction to K-12 teachers at no cost through monthly workshops. The workshops, available to teachers across the Kansas City metropolitan area, offer teachers an opportunity to:

  • Learn simple instructional techniques to enhance economics and personal finance curriculum
  • Experience hands on activities and lessons that are relevant and classroom-ready
  • Gain insight in teaching the state and Common Core standards through economics and personal finance content
  • Help prepare their students to apply essential life skills related to an economic way of thinking and managing money wisely

KC MOST is a group of education professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in education, including economic education staff from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, American Century Investments, the Missouri and Kansas Councils on Economic Education and their affiliated Centers for Economic Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Emporia State University and the University of Kansas.

Join us for any or all of the monthly workshops available Sept. – Nov., 2013 and Feb. through April, 2014. There is no cost to attend but registration is required. Teachers will gain a deeper knowledge of key economic and personal finance concepts and receive state curricular-based lessons and resources tied to these concepts through breakout sessions for K-5 and 6-12 teachers.

See an overview of the KC MOST workshops offered during the 2013 -2014 school year and share it with your colleagues.

Register online now:

  • October 21, 2013: Macro Economics
  • November 18, 2013: Globalization
  • February 17, 2014: Credit
  • March 17, 2014: Wealth Building and Comparison Shopping
  • April 21, 2014: Midwest Teacher Conference – Economics and Entrepreneurship

To learn more about other educational programs, resources and professional development opportunities, please visitwww.kansascityfed.org/education, or go to the Federal Reserve’s national site at www.federalreserveeducation.org.


2013 Virtual Supreme Court Project

Dear Educator,

Building on the success of the 2013 Virtual Supreme Court project, the Harlan Institute has partnered with The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) to host the second annual Virtual Supreme Court competition. This competition offers teams of two high school students the opportunity to research cutting-edge constitutional law, write persuasive appellate briefs, argue against other students through video chats, and try to persuade a panel of esteemed attorneys during oral argument that their side is correct. This year the competition focuses on National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning Corporation.

The competition is endorsed by the Center for Civic Education’s We The People Competition:

“The Center for Civic Education is excited to endorse the Virtual Supreme Court Competition. The Competition is relevant for high school students studying the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

-Robert Leming, Director, We the People Programs, Center for Civic Education

The Question

Resolved: What is the scope of the President’s recess appointment power?

The Rules

This competition has two stages, which mirror the process by which attorneys litigate cases.

Stage One: The Briefing

A team of two students will be responsible for writing an appellate brief arguing for one side of the topic. This brief will be posted on their class’s FantasySCOTUS.  Blog posts will be due by February 28, 2014. Completed briefs will be awarded the ConSource Badge. You can see the winning briefs from 2013 here.

Stage Two: Oral Arguments

The Harlan Institute and ConSource will select the top four briefs taking the affirmative position, and the top brief briefs taking the negative position, and seed them for oral arguments. All eight teams will compete in a virtual oral argument session over Google+ Hangout judged by staff members at the Harlan Institute and ConSource. Only teams that submit briefs that fully comply with all of the rules will be considered for oral argument.

The first round of oral arguments, the District court, will match up the top eight teams, in March of 2014.

■         The four teams that advance will meet up in the second round of oral arguments, the Court of Appeals, in April of 2014.

■         The top two teams that advance will meet in the final round of oral arguments, the Supreme Court, in May of 2014. These two teams will compete virtually in front of a panel of prominent appellate attorneys. You can see the video from the 2013 Competition here. The winners will be crowned the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, and win an amazing prize.

The Prizes

Grand Prize – The Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS

The members of grand-prize winning team, the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C. to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2014. Winners must be at least 18 years at the time of the trip (it is no problem if the student has already graduated high school in September of 2014, so long as he or she was in high school during the competition). This offer is open to U.S. residents only.

Second Prize

Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad.

Third Prize

Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon.com Giftcard.


Ask your teacher to sign up your class on FantasySCOTUS (all High School students can participate), add an account, read the problem, and get started! Good luck.

Please send any questions to info@harlaninstitute.org or info@consource.org.


Essay Challenge: The Power of Words

It’s impossible to overestimate the power of words. Words connect. They focus. They change history. Simple words have the ability to end wars and unite people.

When it comes to words, fewer is often better. The Gettysburg Address is only 272 words. It took Lincoln a little more than two minutes to deliver the Address…and change the course of history. Think about what an amazing achievement that is: Lincoln changed the world with only 272 words.

The challenge is finding a platform for your words. Though the Internet has helped to give a voice to those unheard, there are still countless ideas that need to be amplified. They need a platform.

We offer you a platform for your powerful words in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address throughoutEssay Challenge: The Power of Words.

272 Words” is an opportunity to share your voice. Submit an essay and who knows, you might just see it on display in the Museum along with Lincoln’s own 272-word masterpiece. We invite you to honor Mr. Lincoln and commemorate this historic anniversary with your participation. In a small, but significant way, your 272 words will continue to advance the “unfinished work” we as a united, freedom-loving nation will always have before us.

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and honor its author, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation invites high school students to share their thoughts in only 272 words—no more, no less, about either Abraham Lincoln or Gettysburg/The Gettysburg Address. Students’ essays must be submitted via email to 272words@alplm.org.Official Rules for High School Student Entrants:

Please read these guidelines carefully before submitting a student essay. The active period for student submissions begins September 1, 2013 and extends until October 1, 2013. Three scholarships of $2,500 will be granted to the entries deemed best based on the criteria listed below. A $2,500 award will be granted to the school with the greatest percentage of participation. In the event of a tie, (school-wide award only), tied schools will be placed in a drawing for random selection of the awardee. The award may be used for the school’s greatest need.

To enter, a student must be enrolled in a U.S. high school at the time of submission. The student must write an original essay of 272 words—no more, no less. The essay must be written in English about Abraham Lincoln or Gettysburg/the Gettysburg Address. Essays will be judged on the use of one of the aforementioned topics, as well as originality and creativity, spelling, punctuation, grammar, impact of the essay and its persuasiveness. Do not include illustrations, graphics, or diagrams.

The Sponsor of this contest is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Foundation (ALPLF). All entries will be judged by ALPLF judges, based on the following criteria:

  • originality and creativity (25 percent)
  • impact of the essay (25 percent)
  • grammar/use of language, spelling, punctuation (25 percent) and
  • persuasiveness (25 percent)

Essays must be submitted via email to: 272words@alplm.org. Email should include the following:

  • Student’s name;
  • The name and address of the student’s high school;
  • School phone number.

Questions Dr. Carla Knorowski or Phyllis Evans 272words@alplm.org


Sleeping Heroes: The Impact of Civil War Veterans on Kansas Communities

The project encourages elementary, middle and/or high school students and their teachers to search for Civil War Veterans buried in local cemeteries.  Students will then research those Veterans as part of their study of their community and the Civil War.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt introduced the program in a ceremony January 27th .  Schmidt is descended from Peter Schmidt who served in the Civil War and then moved to Kansas, settling in the Independence area.  Because so many Veterans homesteaded in Kansas after the war, it was known at the time as the Soldier State.  On the program to explain the new project were representatives from the Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas State Department of Education, along with John Jackson, Chanute, a retired U.S. Army Veteran, who has visited 500 Kansas cemeteries in his search for Civil War Veterans.  Students from Glasco, Kansas received national recognition in 2006 for researching the 83 Civil War Veterans buried in their town of 500.  This serves as the model for the statewide “Sleeping Heroes” project.  See more about this project and find the “Sleeping Heroes” data base at http://www.kshs.org/p/sleeping-heroes-the-impact-of-civil-war-veterans-on-kansas-communities/

We have several schools already at work on this project.  Let us know if you have decided to give it a try.

Questions contact Mary Madden at mmadden@kshs.org or Don Gifford at dgifford@ksde.org


iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials.

In 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation. Securing our democracy, she realized, requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance. Today iCivics comprises not just our board and staff, but also a national leadership team of state supreme court justices, secretaries of state, and educational leaders and a network of committed volunteers. Together, we are committed to passing along our legacy of democracy to the next generation.

In just two years, iCivics has produced 16 educational video games as well as vibrant teaching materials that have been used in classrooms in all 50 states. Today we offer the nation’s most comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum that is available freely on the Web.

This is great stuff.  http://www.icivics.org/


The 104 student delegates will be immersed in Washington activities throughout the week. Delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and directors of federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Each session with elected officials includes an in-depth question and answer period. The Hearst Foundations will pay all expenses for Washington Week, including transportation, hotel and meals. Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie; Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt and former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional distinguished alumni include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, military officers, Foreign Service Officers, members of state legislatures, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.


Two student delegates and a first and second alternate will be selected from each state and the

District of Columbia by the Chief State School Officer in each state. The Hearst Foundations will

provide $1,000 to each state-level department of education to assist with the selection expenses

for the program.


Applications must be obtained from high school principals, guidance counselors or the state-level selection contact. All state selection contacts and deadlines are listed on the USSYP website: www.ussenateyouth.org.  Application deadline dates vary by state.

Ms. Tammy Miller
Administrative Specialist
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, 66612
(785) 296-4950


It has been said . . .

that toward the end of the Civil War, when meat was an almost unobtainable luxury,  Robert E. Lee lived chiefly on boiled cabbage. One day, when he had several important guests dining with him, the table was set with the usual heap of cabbage and a very small piece of meat. The guests politely refused the meat, and Lee looked forward to having it all to himself the following day. However, on the next day there was nothing but the usual cabbage. Lee inquired as to the whereabouts of the meat. He learned to his dismay that his servant had only borrowed the meat to impress the guests, and had duly returned it, untouched, to its rightful owner.


About bradburenheide

I'm an Associate Professor at Kansas State University's College of Education. Currently I am the program coordinator for secondary social studies education. My research interests include instructional gaming, history education, and creative pedagogy.

Leave a Reply