Author Archives: Joe Sangillo

Teaching Dates in History Class Isn’t a Bad Thing

Teaching Dates in History Class Isn’t a Bad Thing

“In the 1986 comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ben Stein famously plays a high school teacher who drones on about the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act while his students slump at their desks in a collective stupor. For many kids, that’s history: an endless catalog of disconnected dates and names, passed down like scripture from the

The Civil War at 150: Exploring Legacy

    The Civil War was arguably the greatest crisis in U.S. history. This war divided then united the nation, its outcome helped abolish slavery, and it was all under the watch of the man many consider to be our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln. April 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the

Unpacking the “Remember the Ladies” quote

Abigail and John Adams exchanged about 1,200 letters during the course of their courtship and marriage. None more famous than the letter Abigail sent John 239 years ago today in which she asked him to “remember the ladies” as the new American political system was being crafted during the early days of the Revolutionary War. I

Black History IS American History

    February is Black History Month, and an appropriate time to reflect on how we as educators teach black history throughout the year. Black History Month is not an opportunity to take a break from the “regular” curriculum to teach uncontextualized snippets of black history. I always cringe when I see this approach to

Teaching Presidential History with Context and Inquiry

      Presidential history is a complex issue in a 21st century social studies classroom. Forty-three men (sorry Grover, I’m only counting you once) have steered the executive ship of this country for 226 years. Students should analyze these men, their actions, their successes, challenges, and beliefs. But it is easy to fall in

Teaching the Holocaust 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz: Contextualize the history.Translate statistics into people.

Update: USC Shoah Foundation & Discovery Education are hosting Auschwitz: The Past is Present Virtual Experience this Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM (EDT). Click here to register. Holocaust survivors, teachers, and students gathered this past January in Poland to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Now, you are invited to participate in the