Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

February 2022


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

United States Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program announced that high school students Saron Tefera and Cordelia Rachel Rutgert Van der Veer will represent Ohio at the 60th annual United States Senate Youth Program. Tefera is a student at Anderson High School in Cincinnati and Van der Veer is a student at Toledo Technology Academy.
The two seniors are among the state’s top student leaders and will be part of the 104-member national student delegation. In March, they will join Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman for the program. The 2022 program will be held online through a comprehensive and highly interactive virtual education and leadership forum. The students also will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study. Read more about these accomplished students on the Department’s website.
More information about the United States Senate Youth program is available on the national program webpage. Ohio’s selection process is on the Department’s program webpage, along with the national press release.

Ohio Teacher of the Year Named Finalist for National Teacher of the Year Award

The 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year, Kurt Russell, has been named one of four finalists for the 2022 National Teacher of the Year. Russell teaches high school history at Oberlin High School and emphasizes cultural relevance and diverse representation in the curriculum.
The Council of Chief State Schools Officers announced the finalists for the national award, which honors teachers for their work inside and outside the classroom. The teacher who receives the national honor will be granted a yearlong sabbatical to represent the profession and advocate for an issue of choice. The finalists were selected “not only for their excellence in teaching and commitment to an equitable education for all students but for their intentional integration of community and family supports to help students succeed,” the selection committee said in a statement.

Student Essay Contest Explores U.S. Constitution

The National Center for State Courts is hosting an essay contest for students in grades 3-12. Contestants can win cash prizes ranging from $100-$1000 for answering the question: Which Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has made the biggest difference in people’s lives? Explain how and why. Complete rules, entry requirements and other details are available on the Civics Education Essay Contest webpage. Entries are due Feb. 25.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Several institutions provide free resources and programs supporting Black History Month and Black History throughout U.S. History instruction.

News from Other Organizations

Ohio History Day Seeks 2022 Volunteer Judges

The Ohio History Connection and Ohio History Day seek volunteers to serve as judges in Ohio's 2022 Ohio History Day contests. Each year, Ohio History Day needs more than 550 judges to review student projects in each of the 10 regional contests, as well as the state contest.

Ohio History Day is a free social studies program that meets Ohio's Learning Standards and engages students in a dynamic, creative and rigorous learning process. Students learn history by doing history. Students conduct historical research that leads to imaginative exhibits, documentaries, original performances, websites and scholarly papers.

Ohio Distance Learning Association and RemotEDx Student Programs

The Ohio Distance Learning Association is excited to be partnering with RemotEDx to offer teachers and students throughout the state of Ohio the opportunity to participate in dynamic and interactive distance learning programs. This grant-funded opportunity allows teachers to choose from dozens of standards-aligned programs presented at no cost. Learn more about the available programs and process for applying for funding through the RemoteEDx grant on their website

CIRCLE Celebrates 20 Years

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, CIRCLE, commemorated its 20th anniversary by releasing a report titled CIRCLE at 20: Striving Toward a More Equitable Democracy. The report chronicles achievements over CIRCLE's two decades of work and research on youth engagement in democracy.

Professional Learning Opportunities

White House History Teacher Institute

The 2022 White House History Teacher Institute offers two different formats: in-person and virtual. The in-person institute is a five-day immersive teacher professional development program in Washington D.C. hosted by the White House Historical Association. The in-person institute features discussions with historians, local site visits, inquiry-based learning activities, special speakers and exclusive resources. The virtual institute offers greater capacity and accessibility and, by participating, educators will hear from special speakers and gain access to exclusive resources and interactive sessions.

2022 National Council for History Education Conference

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) hosts its 2022 Online Conference March 17-20. Educators can find information about the keynote speakers and conference registration directly on the NCHE website

Understanding the Holocaust Virtual Professional Development Series

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center in Cincinnati and the Ohio Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education are partnering to present a free, online professional development series. The series continues in February with a focus on propaganda. The Maltz Museum website shares more details and information on registration. 

2022 Stanford History Education Group Professional Development

The Stanford History Education Group offers several spring workshops focused on historical thinking and civic online reasoning skills. Workshops include: 

Planet Money + Econ Lowdown = Teaching Success! Virtual Event

In February, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will hold an online event that focuses on instructional strategies for teaching economic concepts to students using audio stories from the NPR podcast, Planet Money. The virtual session occurs Feb. 15 from 5-6 p.m. 

EconEdLink Resources

The Council for Economic Education offers free, on-demand and live professional development training on teaching topics like fiscal policy, monetary policy, opportunity costs, taxes, trade and other economic and financial literacy concepts. Click here to learn more about the programs available. 

Other Resources, News and Information

Interactive Constitution from the National Constitution Center

The Interactive Constitution is a free, online resource from the National Constitution Center. This resource offers articles and media that help students explore the history and meaning of the U.S. Constitution from leading scholars of diverse legal and philosophical perspectives.
The National Constitution Center also provides virtual field trips and live interactive classrooms on the Constitution. The National Constitution Center's website hosts additional educator resources as well. 

Elementary Social Studies Resources from the Library of Congress Primary Sources Project

KidCitizen is an elementary social studies resource that is a part of the Congress, Civic Participation, and Primary Sources Project, supported by a grant from the Library of Congress. In KidCitizen's interactive episodes, students explore civics and government concepts by investigating primary source photographs from the Library of Congress. They also connect what they find with their daily lives. 
History's Mysteries is another Library of Congress-funded elementary social studies resource that focuses on historical inquiry. These inquiry-based lessons are for grades K-5 and engage students in investigating primary and secondary sources to help solve a mystery. 
The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Social Studies resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies
Linda McKean, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies