Don Gifford is the Education Program Consultant for Social Studies for the Kansas State Department of Education .
The events of March 14th created a sense of excitement around civic engagement. The tragedy of the Parkland shooting coupled with other school shootings inspired students to action. So when the very inspirational student leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called for a national school walk out on March 14th, I could hardly wait to see how it manifested itself here. I happened to be traveling around the state talking with school administrators March 13th thru the 15th. I soon realized that some schools were going to miss a great opportunity to champion civic engagement in their schools. Continue reading March 14th: How Schools Missed The Opportunity To Champion Civic Engagement
This week’s post comes to you from Adam Topliff: I teach 8th Grade Social Studies & Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS. I love all things Hamilton!
Spring Break History Nerdfest for the Topliff Family took us to lovely Kansas City and man, it was amazing. We took in the Negro League Baseball and National World War I Museums, looked out over the city atop the Liberty Memorial, and got our fill of great KC BBQ. (Thanks Arthur Bryant’s!) As we took in all of the great stories at the museums, my family and I discussed all the powerful stories of people who have impacted the story of us. So many people of our past never have their story told, primarily because they may not be seen as the big names of history.
Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy are names that will show up in every text book, but they are not the only influential people that have shaped our history. The story of us is filled with millions of ordinary people that might not have stories that flash off the page, but they are just as critical. This important part of telling history became the backbone for a project I created called The Historical Hall of Fame.
A decade ago, in my first year at Wamego Middle School, I was looking for a long term project that would engage my students in one of the most difficult times of the year, after state testing and weeks before the end of the school. Being a fairly new teacher, I struggled to find something that my students could manage. Continue reading Who Has Influenced Mankind? Let Your Students Be The Judge Of That – The Historical Hall Of Fame
This is my first “official” post as a contributor to the Doing Social Studies blog. As I type it, I’m sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. But a block from where I am sitting, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in February, 1861 on his way to the White House. A nice historical marker gives the location of the speech and quotes a line from the speech which I would like to share with you.
In all trying positions in which I shall be placed, and, doubtless, I shall be placed in many such, my reliance will be placed upon you and the people of the United States; and I wish you to remember, now and forever, that it is your business, and not mine; that if the union of these States, and the liberties of this people shall be lost, it is but little to any one man of 52 years of age, but a great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these United States, and to their posterity in all coming time. It is your business to rise up and preserve the Union, and liberty for yourselves, and not for me.
What an amazing defense of what we do in teaching the social studies. Continue reading A Lesson in Our Republic