Black History Month

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Social Science Newsletter February 2021 

Black History Month

Museum of African American History

It is always the right month to include Black history into the social science classroom. This month is a great time to highlight a few new resources for teachers and students to go deeper into the history and culture of Black Americans celebrated every February. 

Facing History is hosting a lesson inspired by Andrea Gorman's moving inauguration day  poem. The 2018 social science standards created a significant shift in creating a more inclusive examination of history. The new changes brought about by Tribal History/Shared History, Holocaust and other genocides, and Ethnic Studies, continue to expand the narratives and perspectives on Oregon, U.S., and World History. Many of the resources linked below and the standards in support of the new changes remind me of one of the beautiful and hopeful phrases from Gorman's poem:

It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into and how we repair it.


This month's newsletter also includes K-5 Book Reviews submitted by readers of the ELA and Social Science Newsletters.

A few fresh and free resources:

Ethnic Studies Standards Review For State Board of Education

In 2017 Oregon passed HB2845 requiring the integration of ethnic studies into social science standards. The goal of these new standards is to better represent the history, contributions, and perspectives of traditional underrepresented individuals and groups. When adopted by the State Board of Education, these standards will be part of the 2021 Social Science Standards. School districts can begin to teach with these standards at the start of the 2021 school year. School districts may also continue to use the 2018 social studies standards until the next adoption cycle in the 2026 school year. 

Please take time to review these Ethnic Studies Standards and provide any feedback you believe will be helpful to the State Board of Education and the Oregon Department of Education.

Additional information is available on the ODE Social Science Webpage

Why we can't wait

Letter From A Birmingham Jail

In the spring of 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized in Birmingham, Alabama to stage a series of non-violent protests against segregation. The protests were met with police attack dogs and firehoses. King and hundreds of others were jailed. Although King faced criticism throughout the Civil Rights struggle, on this occasion he decided to issue a response specifically to the eight white clergymen who called the protests in Birmingham, "unwise and untimely." 

King's response, "The Letter From A Birmingham Jail" is perhaps one of the more well-known pieces of protest literature. Stanford's MLK Research and Education Institute's lessons offer a number of ways to take a closer look. 

King followed up the letter with a more detailed argument and a history of the Civil Rights campaigns in "Why We Can't Wait"

Southern Oregon MLK is hosting resources and community conversations throughout the winter and spring. In addition, the Nobel Prize Organization hosts 2-5 minute videos documenting moments from MLK's life and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Black History Month UoO

University of Oregon: Black History Month Events

Black History Month 2021 is a Time for Both Celebration and Urgency.

The University of Oregon is hosting numerous events in February.

Nikole Hannah-Jones on "1619 and the Legacy That Built a Nation"

Our Revolution Anthem with Ebo Barton: Writing Workshop

BE Heard with David F. Walker: Fredrick Douglas Graphic Novel 

As we recognize Black History Month 2021, we are called to balance our rightful excitement over a number of Black history firsts with the sense of urgency this moment in time demands. The preservation and proliferation of Black stories is that much more important in the face of these large scale efforts to silence marginalized people.

This starts with the history and purpose of Black History Month itself. The observation originated as “Negro History Week” and was conceptualized by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It became a month-long celebration, recognized in February, in 1976. While we celebrate and study Black history all year long, Black History Month provides a special opportunity to put Black achievements and contributions to the fabric of the U.S. in the spotlight.

At the University of Oregon, this observation is an opportunity to specifically highlight and discuss the historical contributions of Black people at the UO, in the Eugene community and throughout Oregon. It’s also a time for us to assess the work we still have to do and explore how we can make the UO a more equitable, inclusive and antiracist campus for Black students, staff and faculty.

Equity Teaching

UOTeach-In on Educational Equity & Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies

NEW DATE: Week of February 22-27,  2021

Annually the Oregon UOTeach teacher licensure program collaborates with national scholars of educational equity in teaching and learning to provide ongoing professional development on culturally responsive and culturally sustaining pedagogies.

This year’s online events will take place Monday-Friday evening and conclude on Saturday afternoon. The keynote for the 2021 UOTeach-In is Dr. Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do more Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network. Other speakers and sessions will focus on anti-oppressive pedagogies and anticolonial and Indigenous pedagogy.

UO faculty, UOTeach pre-service teacher candidates, and k-12 teachers are invited to attend the workshops to explore and expand their knowledge of anti-oppressive curriculum and instruction.

Thank you as well for supporting UOTeach students entering the field of teaching.

Black Lives

Teaching For Social Change

Early Childhood & Elementary Resources

Lessons for Middle and High School

Black Lives Matter At School Booklist

Read Along: Mumbet's Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle

Anti-Bias Book Talk & Resources for Mumbet's Declaration of Independence

Facing History

Facing History: Black History Month

Reflecting on Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb"

Art, Imagination, and the Quest for Racial Justice

The Hope and Fragility of Democracy in the United States



ADL Education Resources on Black History Month

 Join us for an inspiring read-aloud with Jerry Craft on Feb 11th and hope you’ll find these resources useful as we work together to advance ADL’s mission of fighting hate for good.

Reader Book Review Feb

Holocaust and Genocide ELA/SS Book Review

K-5 Book Reviews from Oregon Teachers.

Quick Summary and Grade Level Suggestions from readers.

Thank you to Priscilla Ing, Rachel Becker, and Dawn Alexander for taking the time to submit a quick write-up on books in support of Holocaust and Genocide Education.  If you are interested in reading and reviewing K-5 books, please see the info below. Tina Roberts (ELA Specialist) and I will soon be adding additional K-5 book titles in support of Tribal History and Ethnic Studies. 

With the adoption of SB664, Holocaust and Genocide Education should now be incorporated into K-12 classrooms. Although this is clearly difficult subject matter to discuss in any classroom, K-5 teachers often find it particularly challenging to introduce the themes of Holocaust and other genocides studies to young children. 

The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Jewish Museum and the Multnomah County Library, is creating a curated list of book titles for use in elementary classrooms. You are invited to participate in this project by selecting one of the book titles from the curated list and submitting a brief review for publication in the February Social Science and English Language Arts Updates. 

Please contact Amit Kobrowski or Tina Roberts if you have any questions.


Civics Education Essay Contest

Every year, in honor of Law Day, NCSC hosts a Civics Education Essay Contest. The goal of the contest is to get students engaged and ponder the importance of civics at home and in the classroom. The contest question is based on the American Bar Association's annual theme. ABA's 2021 Law Day theme is "Advancing the Rule of Law Now."

This year's question:What does the rule of law mean to you?


  • 3rd-8th graders should submit essays in 100 words or less.
  • 9th-12th graders should submit essays in 500 words or less.

How to enter:

Submit your entry using the form below. This is the preferred method of entry. However, hand-written essays may be submitted by mail to NCSC, c/o Deirdre Roesch, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, Va., 23185. If submitting my mail, please include the following on separate piece of paper: full name, school name, city, state, phone number, email (if applicable), teacher name and teacher email  (if applicable).


Submissions are due by 11:59pm (EST, US) on Friday, February 26, 2021.


9th-12th grade: First Place: $1,000

6th-8th grade: First Place: $400

3rd-5th grade: First Place: $300

Email Senior Communications Coordinator Deirdre Roesch with questions about the essay contest.

Jewish fed

Jewish Federation of Portland

As education has moved online this year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, in partnership with StandWithUs Northwest, a nonprofit Israel education organization, is excited to offer your students an opportunity to gain a personal perspective from a young Israeli speaker this academic year.

Over the past 11 years, we have introduced over 180,000 Pacific Northwest high school students to Israel through the eyes of our visiting Israeli speakers.

Hearing from a native brings life to a distant topic. Our speakers are able to present the historical events leading up to present day Israel from the perspective of a native. We also address current events, such as the recent Abraham Accords, leave time for questions from students, and encourage them to think critically about the material presented.

To learn more, or to book a visit to your school, please contact us at

To reach Aviv directly, email


Japanese American

Japanese American Museum of Oregon

January 18th email Jennifer Fang: The Minoru Yasui Student Contest is proud to announce its 2021 essay competition on Refugee and Immigrant Experiences.  We celebrate the ideas and opinions of students in grades 6 through 12 and challenge them to write an original and thoughtful essay exploring refugee or immigrant experiences. Their essay should also demonstrate an understanding of the life and legacy of MinoruYasui, who spent over 40 years as a dedicated leader serving diverse and often marginalized communities. 

Students are encouraged to research and share meaningful stories about the conditions, challenges, and support experienced by immigrants and refugees coming to the United States. At the same time, we hope to inspire the next generation of leaders who can embrace complex issues as Min Yasui did - with courage, agility, and thoughtfulness. The deadline for submission is March 12, 2021.

For more information, please go to the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project website: Contact Jennifer Fang, Director of Education, Japanese American Museum of Oregon ( with questions.


OHS: 2021 Experience Oregon Workshops

 The Oregon Historical Society has designed free professional development workshops to support teachers with distance-learning and to help build knowledge about OHS’s K–20 educator and Oregon history resources and. PDU credit is available!

Grades K–2: Teaching with Primary Sources in the Primary Grades Wednesday, February 10, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 1) Wednesday, March 10, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 2) Register Here

Grades 3–5: The Geography of Indigenous Oregon (aligned with Tribal History/Shared History, SB13 curriculum) Wednesday, February 17, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 1) Thursday, March 11, 4:00pm-5:30pm (guest presentation by Natchee Barnd) Wednesday, March 17, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 2) Register Here

Grades 6–12: Exploring the History of Exclusion and Resistance in Oregon using Primary Sources Wednesday, March 3, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 1) Wednesday, March 24, 4:00pm-5:30pm (guest presentation by Kenneth Coleman) Wednesday, April 7, 3:30pm–5:30pm (module 2) Register Here

2021 Oregon History Day

For the first time ever, any student who develops a History Day project may enter the state contest. Registration for the state contest will be open from April 13–April 20, 2021. For the second year in a row, OHD and NHD have made the decision to prioritize the safety and success of our History Day students, their families, teachers, and volunteers, by moving the state and national contests to virtual formats. Students who participate in the Oregon state contest and the national contest will submit their projects virtually when they register.

Get a jump on the 2021–2022 school year and contest season by attending one of our teacher professional development sessions on the Oregon History Day contest. Workshop attendees are eligible for 1 PDU. Bring your questions and leave with strategies and materials to implement within your classroom!  Interested in learning more about the program, but can’t make the sessions? Reach out to our Education Manager, Kristen Pilgrim, at

Register now for an upcoming virtual workshop: Tuesday, February 2, 4pm–5:15pm Tuesday, March 2, 4pm–5:15pm Monday, March 8, 4pm–5:15pm Monday, April 5, 4pm–5:15pm


Help for Economics Teachers

Last month we announced “Help for Economics Teachers”!!  We are repeating this announcement to make sure you saw it. John Tibbetts was an econ teacher for the last 5 years and was recognized as the 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year.  John moved to Oregon this past Summer to follow grandchildren.  Take him up on his offer – he would love to help you!  John Tibbetts Email or 229 848 3067. 

Stock Market Game

The Spring Competitive and Enrichment sessions of the Stock Market game are fast approaching. The dates are;

Spring Competitive game; January 25th – April 16th

Spring Enrichment session I; March 8th – May 28th

Spring Enrichment session II; April 5th – June 4th

We have added a link to some very short videos which explain some basics regarding the Stock Market Game (under “For Teachers”, 10 Excellent beginning mini videos . . .).  

These games are FREE to you, your school and school district.

For more information about the game, please contact;

Economics Challenge

The Econ Challenge starts at the beginning of March 2021.  Here is what Alex Roshcer (Econ teacher at Ashland HS and OCEE teacher of the Year 2020) said about having her students participate in the competition; “The Economics Challenge incentivized my students to work hard outside of the classroom to learn topics we did not cover in my Macro only course. Students were excited by the challenge to compete against other bright minds in the state, felt proud of their accomplishment and talked enthusiastically about how much they knew. We are excited to participate again this year”. In 2019 – 2020 we had one team which finished 19th out of 30 teams in the national semi final competition.  The first four teams in the national competition receive a cash prize of up to $1000 per team member.  For more info on the competition or here , or  or email;