All posts by bradburenheide

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.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah! Internet Finds!

As I sit in my recliner on this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to wish all of you a restful and relaxing holiday. If you take on the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, you are on your own!

With that in mind, I want to share with you a few of the great finds on the Internet dealing with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

Library of Congress Thanksgiving Sources

The good folks at the Library of Congress have put together a good page of visual images and some documents that should help teachers of all grades make some sense of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trivia:  This year is the first time in 125 years that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap.

Library of Congress Blogger Caitlin Rizzo on Hanukkah

Last year, Caitlin Rizzo from the LoC put together a good blog post on Hanukkah with an interesting activity at the bottom.  The goal is to read a poem of Jewish Poet Emma Lazarus for each day of Hanukkah.

Where world religions are often taught about this time of year, I encourage you as a teacher to explore this website.  Often, I find several interesting entries to promote my thinking in exploring religions.

Article from IBTimes in the UK about Hanukkah’s treatment of the Mayflower Compact

As always, I want to give you resources to utilize on certain subjects, they may be useful, they may not, but I hope you glean at least one thing from them.

I wish you nothing but the best and hope that you can “sprint to the finish line” of 2013.  Have a great holiday weekend.

In social studies,


#NCSS13 in St. Louis, Missouri

Greetings from the “Show Me” State!

I happen to be at the premiere social studies education event in the country.  Approximately 2500 social studies educators, professors, and exhibitors have crowded the St. Louis America Convention Center for the annual conference of the National Council for the Social Studies.  I always look forward to this event and find it to be one of energy and it recharges my batteries after I hit the Fall Doldrums of the School Year.

It is also exciting for me.  My hotel is literally a stone’s throw from the arch and the Edwards Dome where the Rams play.  I walked to the conference last night in the rain, mist, and fog and in looking up, the upper half of the arch was covered.  It was beautiful.  Continue reading #NCSS13 in St. Louis, Missouri

5 Random Things from the Web…

First off, NCSS is next week.  I’m stoked looking forward to traveling to St. Louis for four days of interesting social studies exploration.  I will be doing a blog post Friday evening or Saturday morning of some of the things I’m experiencing at the conference.  I hope to have some great stuff for you.  Now onto today’s post.

Sometimes when I get brain fatigue, I wind up falling into Internet surfing and finding things that pique the historical part of my brain and at least get me back into the mood to do some thinking.  As I prepared to write this blog post, it was at the end of a twelve-hour day, and I am suffering from brain fatigue, and over-caffeinated, and ready to “veg” out.  This leads me to the post I struggled to get onto today. Continue reading 5 Random Things from the Web…

The Game Is Afoot!

In a soliloquy from Henry V, the title character announces “the game is afoot” in encouraging his men to battle.  That is how I oft feel about my teaching repertoire.  One of the things that I absolutely love in my teaching is the use of games and simulations to immerse students in the context and experience of social studies content.  What is better to teach students about the areas of our content by having them do it.  With games, I find it more efficient and more interesting to have them play a game to find out about an event, rather than a dry lecture or textbook worksheet..  Fortunately, I stumbled across a site for fellow game-junkies that has high-quality online games for you to utilize in your classroom.   Continue reading The Game Is Afoot!

When One of Your Heroes is a Bad Person…

I must confess that as a history junkie I consistently became a “fan” of some of the historical figures that I have studied.  While not a professional historian, I realize that this can be a no-no when you get into the research of one of these individuals.  As has happened many a time, I was heartbroken the more I found out about these individual’s unsavory habits:  William T. Sherman thoughts on the African-American, Churchill’s drinking more than what should have been humanly possible, LBJ’s “locker-room” behavior.

A Person With Foibles

All of these things brought the startling reality of these humans being in reality, humans.  While still disappointed in the behavior of historical heroes, it added a depth of complexity and dare I say aesthetic pleasure to my historical study than I have ever enjoyed before.  In the remainder of this point, I want to share an activity with you that may paint a picture you did not know about Albert Einstein.   Continue reading When One of Your Heroes is a Bad Person…