Category Archives: Social Studies

Lesson plans that use the high school social studies curriculum to build literacy and learning skills.

The Banality of Evil in Context

“It was as though in those last months he [Adolf Eichmann] was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil ch. 15 (1963)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Cultural Literacy: Lady Godiva

It’s Wednesday morning, and we here in New York City are on the downhill slope to the spring break. As the weather slowly warms, this seems like a good day to post a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Lady Godiva for general consumption. She was a “freedom rider” according to the theme song from the 1970s show Maude (which was sung, to my surprise, by the late, great Donny Hathaway, which explains why I liked it so much at the time, and like it still).

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Sally Heming

If we are going to face the truth about our national past, then perhaps perhaps this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Sally Hemings will be of some use in your classroom.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Josephine Baker

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Josephine Baker who was, by any standard to which I can comfortably stipulate, a great American who lived most of her life, like many American entertainers, writers and intellectuals of African descent, in Paris

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Marie Antoinette

As the final week of Women’s History Month 2018 begins, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Marie Antoinette, certainly one of the more infamous women in history.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, March 23, 2018

Well, it’s Friday again, so it’s time for another Weekly Text, which continues to to observe Women’s History Month. So, here is a reading on Queen Isabella of Spain with a comprehension worksheet to accompany it. As long as we’re on the subject of royalty in modern history, here is an Everyday Edit on the women in King Henry VIII’s life to complement the longer exercises on Queen Isabella. Incidentally, if you want more of these Everyday Edit exercises, the good people at Education World have posted a year’s supply of them free for the taking.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cultural Literacy: Queen Victoria

If you teach global studies, or world history, or whatever your school district calls a survey course on global history, you will probably find this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Queen Victoria useful.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.