All resources in Washington Social Studies

Engaging Students Regarding Events at U.S. Capitol

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At OSPI, part of our mission is to prepare students for civic engagement throughout their lives. We believe our schools must engage and empower students, from an early age, with opportunities to participate in civil conversations, examples of effective civic engagement, and tools to find peaceful solutions to community problems.OSPI’s Social Studies and Social-Emotional Learning teams have put together resources for educators, families, and students to help with these difficult conversations.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Kari Tally, Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jerry Price

Washington State Social Studies Learning Standards

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Social studies is a vital component of education in Washington state. The Office of Superintend¬ent of Public Instruction (OSPI) envisions “all students prepared for post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement.” Additionally, the National Council for the Social Studies states, “The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an inter¬dependent world.” Students who receive quality instruction in social studies are engaged in learning that promotes inquiry and thoughtful civic participation. With this in mind, we are pleased to introduce OSPI’s updated Washington State K–12 Learning Standards for Social Studies. Our hope is that you will find these standards to be rigorous, thoughtful, inquiry-driven, and organized for easy accessibility.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The State We're In: Washington

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The State We’re In: Washington is an online and printed educational publication written by Jill Severn for the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund. Part of a larger Civic Education Project, this instructional resource establishes the link between public participation and effective government. Colorful graphs, historical photos and thought-provoking illustrations help to describe the basics of government, and the connection between a governing authority and culture and economy. Young readers and adults alike will gain a robust sense of past and present tribal governance and their relationship to state and local government in Washington. Teacher guides to accompany this resource as well as translated versions are available on the OER Commons Washington Hub.

Material Type: Reading, Textbook

Authors: Jill Severn, League of Women Voters of Washington

Atlas of the Pacific Northwest

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This 2018 edition is the first to be released in a digital, fully-interactive format, designed to highlight facets of the Pacific Northwest landscape with novel approaches to data presentation. Where previous editions of the atlas were designed to ask and answer questions, this atlas serves as a platform for the geographically curious to explore the region, providing as many critical questions as it does critical answers. Beyond this page are maps of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Migration maps highlight human movement between the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the United States; a wildfire timeline chronicles the year-to-year spread of modern and historical fires; and the watershed guide abandons traditional political boundaries in favor of natural, hydrological borders. All data in the atlas were gathered from publically accessible sources, compiled using open-source software and coding libraries. This is an atlas designed to be open, responsive, and to satisfy the geographic curiosity of any and all interested.

Material Type: Data Set

Authors: Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Densho: Japanese American Incarceration and Japanese Internment

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This free online course will give you the historical background, primary source materials, and instructional strategies you need to teach the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans in the secondary school classroom. Each learning activity in this online course is meant to give you a sense of the learning experience your students will have in your classroom.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Case Study, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Author: Densho Center

BlackPast.org - Online Reference Center Resources

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BlackPast.org provides free access to documents, transcripts, timelines, videos, and lesson suggestions. With over 6,000 pages of information, BlackPast.org is the single largest free and unrestricted resource on African American and African history on the Internet today. Through this knowledge, the site aims to promote greater understanding to generate constructive change in our society.This resource highlights teacher-developed lessons for using BlackPast.org in the classroom and links to different sections of the BlackPast.org website.

Material Type: Lesson, Primary Source, Reading

Authors: Barbara Soots, Jerry Price, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jerry Price

Holocaust Center for Humanity - Website Guidance

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Holocaust education is history, literature, social studies, psychology, art, and so much more. By studying the Holocaust we learn the importance of speaking out against bigotry and indifference, promoting equity, and taking action. Studies show that Holocaust education both improves students' critical thinking skills and encourages "upstander" behavior: willingness to act upon civic awareness and confront hatred in all its forms. On this site you're going to find lessons that adhere to the requisite guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust and Genocide, with options for in-person and remote instruction. Each Overview Lesson includes:Historical summarySurvivor video clipsDiscussion questionsCommon Core State Standards addressed in that lesson

Material Type: Primary Source, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Kari Tally

Checks and Balances in Action: Seeing the Big Picture

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In this activity students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to see examples of "checks and balances" between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in action. Students will then match the documents they have examined with an appropriate description of the branches of government involved in the action.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

The Constitution and Congress

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The nation’s founders believed Congress to be the fundamental institution of the federal government, since it is the body that most closely represents the people. The framers of the United States Constitution began by creating Congress. Then they established the other two branches of government—the executive branch and the judicial branches.The Constitution gives each branch distinct powers, but it makes sure that the three are in competition. Each branch has its own ways to check and balance the powers of the other two. The separation and balance of powers has contributed to the government’s enduring vitality, providing order and stability while allowing flexibility for adaptation and change.

Material Type: Reading

Author: OER_LIBRARIAN

The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 1)

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In this activity students will analyze the Oaths of Senators for the Impeachment Trial of William Jefferson Clinton and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article I, sections 1-7 of the Constitution in action. This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 2)

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In this activity students will analyze the Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article I, sections 8-10 of the Constitution in action. This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

From Freedom’s Shadow

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Freedom for some meant slavery for others. The cruel irony of this nation’s founding and its “Temple of Liberty”—the U.S. Capitol—is that both were made possible by the enslavement of African Americans. The labor of enslaved and free blacks helped build the Capitol. An enslaved African American man helped to cast the Statue of Freedom, which was placed atop the Dome during the Civil War. Since the end of the Civil War, African Americans have struggled to move out of the shadows and into the Temple of Liberty as full participants. This the online version of a traveling exhibit by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society that depicts the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom and political representation in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit opened February 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

Material Type: Interactive

We the People: U.S. Capitol

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Of the three branches of our government, many believe that the most important is the one directly elected by "We the People": the legislative branch, represented by the two houses of the U.S. Congress at the Capitol building. Join a group of middle schoolers on a tour of Washington, D.C. as they learn about the Constitution and what it means to be "We the People." The "We the People" videos are produced in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Material Type: Lesson

The Constitution in Action: Article II (Lab Team 3)

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In this activity students will analyze the Senate Journal of the First Congress and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article II of the Constitution in action. This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Primary Source

Inaugurations and the White House: Classroom Resource Packet

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An inauguration is the act or ceremony of bringing someone into a position or an office. Every president of the United States has been inaugurated, dating back to the first executive, George Washington. These inaugurations symbolize a peaceful transition of power between administrations. Although the Constitution provides an oath for the new president to take, all other elements of the modern presidential inauguration grew from traditions, changes, and preferences that evolved over 200 years. As the president's residence, the White House plays an important role in inaugurations. Gain a deeper appreciation of presidential inaugurations and transitions at the White House by learning about the history behind the Oath of Office, inaugural parade, parties, and more.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

The Peaceful Transfer of Power

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The White House is a stage for the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. Discover how the transfer from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson set this precedent. Featuring Dr. Matthew Costello, Senior Historian at the White House Historical Association.

Material Type: Lesson