Native American Heritage Month

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

November 2021 Social Science Update

native american memorial

November is Native American Heritage Month

Heritage months are important recognitions of the contributions and histories of groups often underrepresented in textbooks and traditional curriculum materials. The 2021 Social Science Standards provide opportunities to address a more complex and integrated narrative of past and current issues throughout the school year, including the Tribal History Shared History lessons.

Explore the Native American Heritage Month Resources:

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)

The above photo is of the new National Native American Veterans Memorial. The online exhibit Why We Serve honors the generations of Native Americans who have served in the armed forces of the United States—often in extraordinary numbers—since the American Revolution.

A key part of history is recognizing that different people can experience events in different ways. Many Lenses provides an entry point for educators and students to consider how various perspectives on history can co-exist.  Starting with a single museum object, students are offered a range of perspectives informed by how different individuals, communities, and organizations may interpret the object’s significance and its historical impact. Discussion questions at the end of each story offer ways for students to practice thinking from different perspectives.

Five Oaks Museum 

The Washington County museum features This IS Kalapuyan Land as a physical museum exhibition by Guest Curator Steph Littlebird Fogel (Grand Ronde, Kalapuya) and became an online exhibition in 2020.

Museum of Natural and Cultural History at UO 

The Oregon—Where Past is Present exhibit is now available as a virtual experience and offers a free educator guide to accompany it. Geared toward grades 3-6 but adaptable across K-12, the guide invites teachers and students to delve into the archaeology of the First Americans and learn about the dynamic cultures of Oregon Tribes.  

Along with the museum’s activities, this guide connects the Oregon—Where Past is Present exhibit with the Oregon Department of Education’s Tribal History/Shared History lesson plans and includes recommendations for how to incorporate the virtual or in-person exhibit with classroom learning.  

Oregon Historical Society

Oregon Is Indian Country represents a groundbreaking project that brought together all nine federally recognized Oregon Tribes to present information, never-before-assembled in one exhibit, on contemporary indigenous cultures. 

Oregon's High Desert Museum's virtual Oregon Encounters includes several resources and short videos on Oregon Indigenous and early 19th-century history.


Celebrating Thanksgiving

PBS and NMAI offer the following guidance and resource for schools celebrating Thanksgiving: Reenactments of the mythologized Thanksgiving story with construction-paper headdresses and children with war-painted cheeks are not an appropriate or accurate commemoration of this history. Such activities perpetuate harmful caricatures and stereotypes of Native peoples and cultures. For non-Native children, these activities may be one of their only remembered educational exposures to Native Americans. Thus, generation after generation of Americans will develop misinformed opinions at an early age. They learn little of the true diversity and richness of Native cultures. Instead, inaccurate, incomplete, and inappropriate understandings prevail, generation after generation. 

Giving thanks is a longstanding and central tradition among most Native groups that is still practiced today. Learn about different thanksgiving traditions among Native people. If you teach about the “First Thanksgiving,” use these resources and more to present the history more accurately and with Native perspectives.

Native American Perspectives on Thanksgiving is a downloadable teaching poster

Associated with this poster, the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World is a translation and transcription of the words Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people speak in their Native languages throughout the year at important events, celebrations, and ceremonies.

Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth, a downloadable study guide examines the history of relationships between the Wampanoag people and the early English colonists.


Oregon Civics Graduation Requirement

The passage of SB 513 creates a .5 civics credit requirement for the class of 2026.

If you teach high school social science and would like to learn more about the law and provide feedback on how the civics standards are addressed in your classroom, please join me at one of the upcoming sessions in November.

U.S. Court of Appeals

On November 1st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard arguments in Cook v. McKee on behalf of Rhode Island students to establish public education as a right under the U.S. Constitution. The oral argument includes references to landmark education cases including, Brown, Plyler, and Rodriguez. The audio recording is available as are documents for use with students.

CLP Civics Conference

Growing Civic Community at OCC

The 2021 Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers will be held December 3-4. This year’s conference will be virtual, featuring keynote speaker, Representative Ricki Ruiz, and the award ceremony for Civic Educator of the Year on Friday -- followed by the opportunity on Saturday to choose from multiple speakers around the theme of “Growing Civic Community.”

The Saturday sessions will include speakers from all three branches of the Oregon government, workshops from education partners at the Oregon Jewish Museum, C-GEO, Confluence, and more. Registration is now open!

Cohorts for Oregon Educators

Classroom Law Project is forming Cohorts for Educators. We’re offering opportunities for cohorts by program (like Mock Trial, We the People, CAPs, Current Events, etc.) region, and grade level. To help develop this resource to best meet your needs and receive additional information, please complete our Cohort Interest Form.


Cast Your Vote

Students get hands-on experience with voting in our game Cast Your Vote. They’ll research candidates, identify issues important to them, and then participate in a simulated local election. The game offers English language learner (ELL) support and a pre/post-game assessment quiz, which will help you gain insight into what students learned during gameplay. Cast Your Vote!

Check out these other Election resources:

  • Who Represents Me? Find out who represents you in the federal, state and local government.
  • Candidate Report Card Help your class apply their candidate evaluation skills with this election season activity.
  • Rank Your Choice Select your favorite candidate - and second and third!
  • Election Glossary This handy elections vocabulary reference supports the aforementioned lessons or games in your classroom.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg: Scholarship Application 2022 Teacher Institute 

We are very pleased to announce scholarship opportunities for elementary and secondary school teachers for the 2022 Bob and Marion Wilson Teacher Institute of Colonial Williamsburg. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of many Colonial Williamsburg Foundation friends, their deep commitment to and respect for teachers, and their belief in teachers’ role in educating the citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

Kid Gov. 2021

Kid Governor

The candidates and their platform topics are:

Andy: Homelessness Help

Benjamin: Creating a Stronger Community

Emerie: Animals are Abused in Oregon

Gwendolyn: Climate Change

Katy: Equal Opportunities

Kinley: Reducing Food Waste

Vedant: Physical and Mental Health in Kids Development

The candidates have created campaign videos outlining why they want to be the 2022 Oregon Kid Governor, their leadership qualities, community issues important to them, and a three-point plan for Oregon 5th graders to make a difference around those issues. These videos will inform your students’ votes in the Statewide Election!

Classes can view the candidates’ videos here

The polls are open November 1st through the 9th and all votes must be submitted by November 9th at 5 p.m. If you have signed up to receive material as a voting class, you will receive ballots for your students along with a Google form to submit your classroom vote totals. As a reminder, there are statewide election resources in the Google shared drive. Each student in your class is entitled to one vote.

Please note: Votes will only be accepted for pre-registered 5th grade classes. Please remind your 5th grade colleagues to complete the registration form here by Nov. 9 at 5pm. It takes 30 seconds to sign up.


OSLIS: New Translation Tool & Database Logins

OSLIS recent update now includes a translation tool at the top of every page. This document explains how to use it and provides tips about using the translation tool with Citation Maker. You are welcome to share the document with students and colleagues. 

Not familiar with OSLIS? For just over 20 years, the State Library of Oregon has partnered with the Oregon Association of School Libraries to offer the Oregon School Library Information System, more commonly referred to as OSLIS. The website helps upper elementary through high school students learn how to do research. Take a look at all it has to offer young researchers and writers. 

If you need the logins for the three subscription products on OSLIS, please reach out to your library staff or Jen Maurer, School Library Consultant at the State Library of Oregon. 

Jewish Federation of Portland

Jewish Federation of Greater Portland 

We understand that students become active, critical thinkers when they are exposed to a range of viewpoints on complex world issues. One of the most complicated current situations, a culmination of historical events, is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has partnered with StandWithUs Northwest, a nonprofit organization focusing on Israel education to provide your students with an exciting opportunity this academic year - a young Israeli speaker, Aviv Attia.  Aviv can cover a wide array of topics, but the most common presentation is Israel 101. This lively talk brings history to life by telling the story of Israel - from ancient to modern – through the eyes of a native Israeli.  Click here to learn more about Aviv or here to email us with questions or to schedule your visit.

USHMM History Unfolded

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: Help tell America’s story

Together, we can uncover what ordinary people around the country could have known about the Holocaust from reading their local newspapers in the years 1933–1945. We need you to join our team of citizen historians uncovering new knowledge that will be shared with scholars, curators, and the public. Check out the over 400 articles from Oregon newspapers. These are fantastic resources for student research and use of primary documents. 


So Many Summer PD Opportunities

The Council of State Social Studies Supervisors created a list of upcoming professional development opportunities available to social studies educators. The Oregon Social Science Newsletter will continue to announce PD sessions each month, but this dynamic list already includes over 80 events.  A special thanks to all of the organizations who helped contribute to this work and to the many organizations who are offering high quality social studies professional development for social studies teachers across the country. Many of the opportunities below are offered free or low cost, but some opportunities do have a cost.

Colonial Map
Liberty is Sweet

Book and Podcast Recommendation

The map of North America above (linked to Woody Holton's Twitter page) is the opening to Liberty Is Sweet. Not the typical depiction of the British colonies, the map includes dozens of Native American nations. It is a fitting image to start Holton's account of the American Revolution. 

All the significant "textbook" characters and events familiar to the retelling of the American Revolution are included, but this compelling and complex narrative includes the voices and actions of traditionally underrepresented groups. Holton's main argument is that the American Revolution does not need to be a story limited to the traditional heroic figures.

Beyond Abigail, Betsy, and Molly, readers learn of women as religious leaders and important participants in the boycott of British goods. Crispus Attucks is here, but so too are free and enslaved Blacks negotiating and participating in the Revolution for freedom and liberty. Native leaders and nations take action preceding and during the revolution helping to determine the causes and course of the war. The book also reminds us that issues of class were important to the Revolution and to the writers of the Constitution. Any chapter is a worthy addition and a fresh update to a traditional textbook account or less detailed and researched supplements.

Check out a short Revolution 250 podcast or a bit longer Ezra Klein podcast with special guest host Jamelle Bouie. 


NCSS 101st Conference: Solidarity in Social Studies

After much deliberation, the NCSS Board of Directors has made the decision to host the 101st Annual Conference as a fully virtual event taking place on November 15-21, 2021