Questions, Comments, or Corrections? Let us know!


August/September 2020 Newsletter

Monthly newsletter produced by NDE about the latest news and information in social studies education

Geography Coming to You! 

Saturday, November 14th, 2020

12:00-4:00pm CST

Conference will be all virtual this year

Please Register HERE! (Click to open form to submit)

For more information please visit

We’re still looking for presenters for this year’s Geofest!

Call for Presenters! (Click to open form to submit)

Got a great lesson idea or strategy for teaching geography to your students that you’d like to share with teachers around the state of Nebraska? Submit your idea for a 15 minute “lightning-round” styled presentation for GeoFest Nebraska 2020: Geography Coming to You. This year’s conference will be all online and on the beginning weekend of Geography Awareness Week! (More details on the call for presenters form) 

If you have any questions let me know, and if you have any ideas we’d love to hear from you!

Kyle Tredinnick, Email:

Meet the New Social Studies Education Specialist

Get to know the new Social Studies Education Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), Ebony McKiver. Ebony replaces Harris Payne in the position and comes to NDE with fifteen (15) years’ experience in education. Previously, she has worked in higher education and also taught social studies in Ohio, Maryland, and here in Nebraska.  In her role, Ebony will provide leadership, content area expertise, and technical assistance to Nebraska educators, schools, districts, ESU’s, and teacher preparation institutions as related to social studies education.

Ebony and her husband, Patrick, share seven children, aged 10 to 21. Born in Colorado, Ebony is a lifelong and diehard Denver Broncos fan. She also enjoys sewing and cross stitch, reading historical fiction, watching old episodes of “Golden Girls”, and has recently taken up fishing as a pastime.

New Website

Social Studies has a brand new website! The updated NDE Social Studies web page provides links and resources to the SIT/Framework, Social and Emotional Learning, On Demand Learning, Anti-Racism and Equity, and a host of other relevant and current information, both local and national. Check it out at:

September 11th  

Use the following September 11-themed resources that include lesson plans, news stories, videos, and book lists to help students comprehend the 9/11 attacks and understand their lasting impact 

on the United States and the world, as well as why it was a transformative moment in U.S. history.

Some of the resources approach the teaching of September 11 using Social and Emotional Learning.


Constitution Day

“On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. To commemorate this day, all Americans are encouraged to observe this important day in our nation’s history by attending local events in your area. Celebrate Constitution Day through activities, learning, parades and demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us.”

The following links provide resources for educators looking to celebrate and teach Constitution Day on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (3rd grade) (modified for all grades) (K-2) (5th grade to High School)

Karkomi Holocaust Museum 

Don’t miss out on Virtual Field Trips to Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The Illinois Holocaust Museum offers a variety of asynchronous and synchronous virtual field trips for school grades 3-12. Students can explore exhibitions, including our Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition, Make a Difference! Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition, and Notorious RBG: Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Virtual Field Trips include discussion questions and activities for the students to complete at home or in the classroom. Choose between virtual field trips that address the history of the Holocaust, civics, social emotional learning, and character education. We also have special add-ons comprised of a live Q&A with a docent or Live speaker. Please review our options at

Opportunity Scholarships are available for qualifying schools.

Any questions should be directed to Jessica Hulten at or 847.967.4853.


edX Education and Teacher Training Courses

edX offers online classes and courses in education covering a broad range of topics from educational policy and history to curriculum design and teaching techniques. Explore case studies in teaching and learn about how technology is increasing access to quality education on an unprecedented scale.

Many of the classes are free. Some fees apply for verified certification. Hurry! Registration for some of the classes close soon!

Social Studies in Film

Nebraska educators have the opportunity to be involved in two projects that work with films to teach history.

American History Film Project 

The American History Film Project is a multi-disciplinary educational project that celebrates K-12 students who research, write, plan, film, edit or act in a short film about the history of their state and local community, and then share it with other students across the USA through our digital archive, local exhibitions, and online film fests.

Everyone needs to feel important as an individual, yet connected to something larger. As students learn about and take pride in their local history, the American History Film Project helps them realize their importance as members of a community, while being connected to our nation. When children across the country create a short film about their state and local history and share their films with students in other states, they become the teachers. There is so much to learn from one another!

Any questions, please contact Kelly Garcia with ESU 5 at

The Story of Movies

Movies are more than just entertainment.  They’re a door to knowledge.  Knowledge of art, history, society.  Knowledge of ourselves. The language of film is a uniquely persuasive one.  Communication using moving images is everywhere.  Critical-viewing is as essential a skill as critical-thinking. The language of film is universal.  Movies enable us to see the world through another’s eyes. Films are representations of our culture through time.  They communicate ideas and feelings, fears and aspirations.

The scope and sequence of The Story of Movies lessons and activities integrate language arts, history, social studies, music, art and science. Students tap their existing knowledge to interpret and derive meaning from films, and cross-curricular links deepen their understanding of these subjects.   The Story of Movies curriculum challenges teachers and students to explore in-depth this essential part of our history and culture.

Updated September 11, 2020 5:09pm