Just a reminder that there is a federal regulation concerning Constitution Day (September 17) and state legislation here in Kansas highlighting Celebrate Freedom Week. Please be advised.
If you teach K-8th grade, you’ll need to incorporate the Celebrate Freedom topics into your instruction this week or the week designated by your district for these observances. EVERYBODY has the opportunity to celebrate the Constitution today.
Want the details? The federal regs: Continue reading Happy Constitution Day! (And don’t forget Celebrate Freedom Week if you’re in Kansas)
This week’s post comes from Dr. Robyn Kelso. Robyn teaches senior American Government, American National Government, and International Relations at Eudora High School in Eudora, KS. Robyn enjoys learning across social studies and am curious about the world as a whole. Robyn also enjoys reading and working on her hobby cattle farm.
Those who are familiar with the headline . . . yes, it is a shameless steal from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have stars align and enable me to take three different professional development fellowships this summer. I felt this lyric particularly applied for my first trip as part of the Supreme Court Summer Institute through Street Law in Washington DC. From content learning to lesson plans and a visit to the Supreme Court to hear opinions announced during the last days of the term, this was a terrific opportunity all the way around.
My takeaways from this experience included several things:
Continue reading I Was in the Room Where it Happened!
As a poly sci junkie, I’m torn.
The 2018 government shutdown is bad for just about everybody. And it seems like it happened over something that most Americans want to see happen – protection for Dreamers. A Fox News poll says 86% of us support DACA. A CBS poll reports 87% supporting the idea.
But the shutdown does create an opportunity to jump into all sorts of conversations involving civics and procedure and policy and elections and checks and balances and three branches and media bias . . . well, you get the idea. If you haven’t already, this week might be a good time to jump ship on your scheduled curriculum and spend some time making connections to the government side of the social studies.
Need a few quick resources? Continue reading Teaching Toolkit: 9 resources for discussing the government shutdown
Okay . . . admit it. How many of you didn’t know that today is Bill of Rights Day?
Come on, it’s okay.
Yes, I see those hands.
I first ran across Bill of Rights Day a few years ago. I consider myself a person who keeps up with this sort of thing but I had no idea. Back in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. So it’s been around a while.
And we probably need to make a bigger deal out of this than we are. Civic literacy and understanding of the nuance embedded in the first 10 Amendments seems a bit low right about now.
FDR observed in 1941 that Continue reading Bill of Rights Day 2015
It’s been getting a lot of press, the hip-hop telling of the man who set up the United State’s financial system. Before this musical most Americans could maybe recall that Alexander Hamilton was the one killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr or figure out that he’s the guy on the $10 bill (for now, at least), but as Hamilton moves to Broadway we might learn to give this founder another look.
Flocabulary has been putting a hip-hop spin on history and other school subjects for years and School House Rock taught through song before that, but there’s something to be said for how deep Lin-Manuel Miranda took the history in this one. If you teach early U.S. history or government I would strongly recommend giving this a listen – it breathes a lot of life into the era and the historical figures who populated it without glossing over their faults (and the language can get a bit salty).
Our high school did an outstanding performance of 1776 last year, their production of Hamilton can’t come soon enough for me.
Check out NPR’s First Listen: Hamilton for the entire audio.