October 2021 Newsletter

Books of the Month

Hello, Nebraska social studies community! Since I can remember I have been an avid reader. As the Amazon truck keeps pulling up to my house to dump off more books, I thought it would be a great idea to share great reads about historical events, monthly observances, topics in education, and what’s on my bookshelf with you! Even better, if you have a suggestion that you would like to share, please send me an email, call, or text and I will make sure to include your book and give you credit in the next newsletter!

*One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a landmark 1967 novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the town of Macondo. The novel is often cited as one of the supreme achievements in literature.

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda

In 2009, Raquel Cepeda embarked on an exploration of her genealogy using ancestral DNA testing to uncover the truth about her family and the tapestry of races and ethnicities that came together in an ambiguous mix in her features, resulting in “a beautiful story of reconciliation and redemption” (Huffington Post) with her identity and what it means to be Latina.

Che: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson

Acclaimed around the world and a national best-seller, this is the definitive work on Che Guevara, the dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revolution.

The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes

As the novel opens, Artemio Cruz, the all-powerful newspaper magnate and land baron, lies confined to his bed and, in dreamlike flashes, recalls the pivotal episodes of his life. Carlos Fuentes manipulates the ensuing kaleidoscope of images with dazzling inventiveness, layering memory upon memory, from Cruz’s heroic campaigns during the Mexican Revolution, through his relentless climb from poverty to wealth, to his uneasy death. Perhaps Fuentes’s masterpiece, The Death of Artemio Cruz is a haunting voyage into the soul of modern Mexico.

*The Punch by John Feinstein

When an on-court fight broke out between the Houston Rockets and the LA Lakers just before Christmas 1977, Rudy Tomjanovitch raced to break it up. He was met by Kermit Washington’s fist. This is the story of how one punch changed two lives, the NBA and how we think about basketball, forever.

*The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick

The Last Stand is Philbrick’s monumental reappraisal of the epochal clash at the Little Bighorn in 1876 that gave birth to the legend of Custer’s Last Stand. Bringing a wealth of new information to his subject, as well as his characteristic literary flair, Philbrick details the collision between two American icons- George Armstrong Custer and Sitting Bull-that both parties wished to avoid, and brilliantly explains how the battle that ensued has been shaped and reshaped by national myth.

*The Last Gunfight by Jeff Guinn

On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral would shape how future generations came to view the Old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a frontier populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones. It’s a colorful story—but the truth is even better.

*Leveraging Leadership by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (Managing Director of Uncommon Schools) shows leaders how they can raise their schools to greatness by following a core set of principles. These seven principles, or “levers,” allow for consistent, transformational, and replicable growth. With intentional focus on these areas, leaders will leverage much more learning from the same amount of time investment. Fundamentally, each of these seven levers answers the core questions of school leadership: What should an effective leader do, and how and when should they do it.

*The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner

The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential.

*Denotes books personally recommended by Ebony McKiver

Hispanic Heritage Month

From website:

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. Discover documents, exhibits, films, blog posts and more from the National Archives and Presidential Libraries that highlight Hispanic culture.

Below are resources that can help you with your classroom lessons to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:

National Endowment for the Humanities – Hispanic and Latino Heritage and History in the United States

Library of Congress – Hispanic Exploration

United States Census Bureau – National Hispanic Heritage Month: Stories, Population Data, and Trade Figures

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Program

Pulitzer Center: Celebrating Latinx Community Organizations and Leaders 

National Archive: Primary Sources and Hispanic Heritage Month: A Wonderful Combination

National Park Services:500 Years of Hispanic and Latino History and Heritage 

A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States 

Library of Congress: Podcasts on Hispanic Authors 

The Disagreement Project

From website:

The goal of this project is to increase your students ability to engage in productive dialogue with a person who disagrees with them about something important.

Students will have the opportunity to map their arguments and engage in an interactive textbook to improve their argument analysis skills. Each lesson is broken down into very small chunks (short videos and practice exercises) so that you can work through it at your own pace. It will take you about 5-8 hours to work all the way through, if you want to finish everything.

101st NCSS Annual Conference Goes Virtual

From the website:

After much deliberation, the NCSS Board of Directors has made the decision to host the 101st Annual Conference as a fully virtual event. (Read the full announcement.)

The NCSS 101st Annual Conference will be held online from Monday-Sunday, November 15-21, 2021. Last year we delivered the hottest virtual conference of the season, and this year will be no different as we focus on Solidarity in Social Studies.

This year’s conference is designed with you in mind, based on what we have learned from hosting and attending virtual conferences. This is professional learning designed to fit your lifestyle. Our full week will provide you with the most engaging and comfortable environment to experience your best virtual event yet.

You will not need to attend the virtual conference for a full week.  Most of the live presentations will be scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps during the week in the evening.  New recorded sessions will be released each day for on-demand viewing.

  • Experience more than 300+ hours of social studies content to increase your professional learning.  All sessions will be recorded and available on-demand for registrants until April 30, 2022.
  • Get the latest in social studies and law-related education.
  • Learn from prominent keynote speakers.
  • Explore the virtual exhibit hall highlighting the latest social studies products and services.
  • Connect with others via virtual networking.

October 2021 LFI Webinar Series: Learning with the Libraries

From website:

On October 6th at 4:00pm eastern, Joshua Montanari, Education Specialist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum will present “Going to the Sources: Jimmy Carter and the Camp David Accords”. This webinar will assist participants in contextualizing the circumstances of the Camp David Accords through the lens of civics and analysis of primary sources from the Carter Library and National Archives.

Educating for American Democracy Educator Resources

From website:

The curated resources linked below are an initial sample of the resources coming from a collaborative and rigorous review process with the EAD Content Curation Task Force.

Each individual resource highlighted on the EAD Educator Resource section goes through a collaborative and rigorous review process over an extended period of time with the EAD Content Curation Task Force before joining our collection, we therefore ask for your patience during the review. The process begins with many organizations participating in an information session exploring the goals of EAD and the content of the Roadmap and Pedagogy Companion. After gaining a deeper understanding, organizations submit resources to be reviewed by the committee of educators. During the submission process, the organizations are able to identify the grade band, content themes, design challenges, and driving questions within which each individual item best fits. Each individual submission is then independently reviewed by two educators using a rubric developed by the EAD Content Curation Task Force, which includes the following categories:

  • Alignment to EAD Themes and Driving Questions
  • Inquiry
  • Rigor
  • Equity: Diversity and Inclusion
  • Viewpoint Pluralism
  • Equity: Accessibility

Prairie Visions Virtual Writing Workshop

Apply to Become an iCivics Educating for American Democracy Teacher Fellow

The Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy is a call-to-action to invest in strengthening history and civic learning and to ensure that civic learning opportunities are delivered equitably throughout the country. One of the first steps in implementing the Roadmap is the development of an EAD-aligned early-U.S. History middle school curriculum — and we need the help of dedicated, expert educators like you!

We are accepting applications now through October 15 to join a cohort of 8–10 exceptional, inquiry-driven teachers from across the nation who will collaboratively build the curriculum.

iCivics EAD Teacher Fellowship Benefits & Responsibilities:

  • A $4,000 stipend plus additional paid opportunities to engage as an iCivics EAD Teacher Mentor.
  • Collaborate and network with other educators and stakeholders.
  • Create one unit (about 20 lessons) that will become part of a general year-long curriculum.
  • A six-month commitment of approximately 20 hours per month from January 8–June 18, 2022.

Review the application requirements and more details about the fellowship.

We encourage you to consider this opportunity to become a leader in the field and to contribute to the civic education of our youth. If you have any questions, please reach out to Christina Ross. Remember, applications are due October 15!

Nebraska Teaching Moment

Dear Teachers,

Greetings from History Nebraska! We’re thinking of you as you start your new school year and wish you all the best. Feel free to forward this to friends and they can sign up too!

Just wanted to share 3 good news items with you today PLUS our first post of the school year:

  1.   The Nebraska Teaching Moment is back! I’ll be emailing on Thursdays this school year, now through April.
  2.   Here’s an easy index! Access posts from last year’s Nebraska Teaching Moment email series, organized by topic: Nebraska Teaching Moments Index
  3.   If you’d like two Nebraska history posts a week, use this link to sign up for History Nebraska’s Tuesday email series too: Nebraska History Moments

-Jessica Stoner, History Nebraska

Schedule Your Capitol Experience Day!

Dear Educator,

I am excited to begin accepting reservations to lead your class through our one-day tour of the Nebraska State Capitol featuring the systems that govern our legislative process. Capitol Experience Days focus on legislative systems and include a mock committee hearing and in-person meetings with available government representatives. We aim to give your students an immersive learning experience.

To get a sense of our program and see a sample agenda, visit our Capitol Experience Days page at CivicNebraska.org. We also offer Virtual Capitol Experience, a digital tour that highlights the history of the Legislature and Nebraska state government and includes a list of educator resources.

If you are eager to schedule a Capitol Experience Day for your students and need help getting started, feel free to view the checklist attachment that outlines all the details you’ll need.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Chris McCurdy, Education Specialist at Civic Nebraska

Redistricting Nebraska Materials by League of Women Voters of Lincoln

LWV of Lincoln would like to share recent updated teaching materials on redistricting.  We have developed more materials and wanted to share them with social studies teachers across the state!

These materials include a complete package for teachers with videos (in English and Spanish) on redistricting, demonstrations of DistrictR–public domain software for district mapping exercises, a jeopardy-like quiz game video, and a variety of quizzes, plus a summary trifold brochure on the process and how it works in Nebraska.

Video Recording Links

Informational Materials

Presentation Materials (Powerpoints)

Review Materials

Please let us know if we can further support you on this topic or other voting issues.

Thinkport Education

Promote a deeper understanding of history, and explore government and civic life using Library of Congress primary sources. Engage students with primary sources to promote student inquiry and evidence-based reasoning, and apply critical thinking and analysis skills to historical materials.

Explore theme-based Inquiry Kits that feature thinking questions, primary and secondary sources, and document analysis tools to help you analyze historical materials from the Library of Congress. Or have students learn the research process through a series of self-paced student modules. Practice historical thinking skills, analyze sources, make evidence-based conclusions, and create research projects.

#EconEdMonth Rap Battle Contest

Back to School with Choices

It’s back to school season and that means it is time to make sure you haven’t missed any of the latest materials from the Choices Program! Check out our newest curriculum units, Civics Lessons and Imperial America. This year we’ve also updated our units on terrorism, westward expansion, Cuba, and climate change. Our recent free Teaching with the News lessons cover the COVID-19 pandemic, Juneteenth, and the costs of the War on Terror. We are also happy to be extending the offer for free access to our unit Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies in Digital Editions through June 2022! Our unit on Japanese American incarceration during WWII is always free, as is our library of more than 1,700 videos that accompany our curriculum units.

Free Digital Editions Unit – Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies

How does the history of racial slavery shape our world today? This unit provides a wide-ranging overview of racial slavery in the Americas and the opportunity for students to consider how the past shapes the present. This unit is now free in Digital Editions through June 30, 2022.

Free Digital Editions Unit – Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

Students examine U.S.-Japan relations before World War II, experiences of incarcerated Japanese Americans, and ways the Japanese American community and others in the U.S. have remembered incarceration.

Recent Free Teaching with the News Lessons

These free lessons connect your classroom to headlines in the news. Recent lessons include “Processing the Pandemic: Remembering a Year of COVID-19 through Political Cartoons”; “Juneteenth: Symbolism, Ritual, and Meaning”; and “The Costs of War.”

Free Video Library

Our video library features more than 1,700 free short videos (most are 1-4 minutes long) with leading scholars, journalists, practitioners, artists, activists, policy makers, and others addressing topics relevant to our curriculum units.

Endurance22: The Hunt for Shackleton’s Lost Ice Ship

Reach the World, in partnership with the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, is thrilled to announce the Endurance22 Expedition to Antarctica, the newest and largest virtual exchange expedition in organizational history! The Endurance22 Expedition will search for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s sunken ship, Endurance, the most famous undiscovered shipwreck in the world. Reach the World Invites K-12 educators and students to access amazing free content for your classroom as you join a world-class team of explorers!

Using Pop Culture Media to Teach Economics

Economics Poster Competition