As we dive into Geography Awareness Week, I start with the reminder to all social studies teachers: social studies is more than just history. It’s economics, psychology, civics, and most importantly (yes, I’m biased) GEOGRAPHY. If you skip out on geography most weeks, make sure that this week you find some time to work it into your plans. This year’s Geography Awareness Week theme is “The … Continue reading Three Ways to Teach Civil Rights Through Geography
Danielle Hance, this week’s Educator of the Week, uses historical fiction to build empathy and primary sources to bring history to life. Danielle is a language arts and social studies teacher for 5th graders at Chapin Intermediate School in Chapin, South Carolina. Activity: Green Book Travelers Grade Level: 3-12 Time Commitment: 2 class periods Introducing Primary Resources with Literature This lesson came after we’d been studying the … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Imagining Travel in the Jim Crow Era
SPORTS Adidas has announced an initiative to help high schools transition away from using Native American mascots. (Sports Illustrated) Use our resources to check out some less-controversial mascots. Discussion Ideas According to Sports Illustrated, around 2,000 schools use Native American mascots. Besides the Redskins, what are names of mascots with direct or indirect Native American associations? In general: Indians Braves Chiefs Warriors Specific groups: Apaches … Continue reading Adidas Aims to Help Schools Change Native American Mascots
UNITED STATES A man called “one of the best-known white supremacists in North America” is buying up land in the tiny town of Leith, North Dakota. “We [white supremacists] want to politically control the town,” he says. (CNN, watch the video below!) Use our resources to understand the cultural characteristics of place—and how people can take advantage of these characteristics. SCROLL DOWN to express how you … Continue reading White Supremacist Tries to Take Over Town
February is Black History Month! Today, we remember the landmark educational legislation that changed the course and composition of American schools. In 1954, the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education called for an end to segregation in U.S. institutions of learning. However, implementation of the law varied by geographic location across the country, and continues to be an issue even today.
Central High School; Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
The 1957 integration events at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, are some of the most well known of the Civil Rights era. Following the 1954 Brown vs. Board decision, the Little Rock School Board agreed to proceed with desegregation of local schools, beginning with Central High School. In September 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard; ostensibly to maintain peace and order. After the Arkansas Guardsmen prevented black students from entering the school, President Eisenhower got involved, sending 1000 members of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. Nine African-American students attended Central High School that year, including Minnijean Brown, who was famously suspended after dumping a bowl of chili on the heads of white bullies. Ernest Green became the first black student to graduate from Central High School in 1958. Little Rock schools were not fully integrated across grade levels until 1972.
Read more about integration at Central High School:
Little Rock Integration Timeline
From the Central High 40th Anniversary Web site
Choices in Little Rock
From “Facing History and Ourselves,” this teaching unit challenges students to consider Central High school integration in the context of civic choices today.