USII and Civics and Economics Materials

Now that second semester has begun, our Civics and Economics and US II teachers have made the switch to the new 2008 curriculum standards.  Therefore the materials on the blog on those pages are now obselete because they have not been revised to match new standards.  The USII and Civics and Economics pages will have all of their materials removed immediately to avoid any confusion and accidental use of old materials with the new standards.

Since Sarah and I now focus on grades K-6, we have unfortunately not been able to revise the USII and CE standards.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

USI and USII ODU Econ Center Workshop

These guys have great workshop.  There is a list of sample lesson plans, although I only included the ones relevant to USI.   There were many more designed for USII.  Registration information is at the bottom of the post. 


People’s choices have consequences that lie in the future.  Can teaching about US History using economic theory help our students to make better choices in their futures?  In the country’s future?  Absolutely!

 Focus: Understanding Economics in US History: Grades 6-12

Saturday, April 10, 2010  9:00am – Noon

Virginia Beach Higher Education Center

Mysteries abound in U.S. history.  Students, acting like detectives, solve these mysteries by searching for clues and sifting through evidence in an effort to gain new insights into familiar subjects.  Using the interactive lessons from Focus: Understanding Economics in US History, students use economic reasoning to engage and learn.  These 39 lessons use a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students. The activity-based lessons will give you a new, refreshing way to meet your U.S. History content goals, and infuse eye-opening economics material at the same time.  Lessons are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Each participant will receive the curriculum guide with 39 lessons, a $60.00 value, FREE.   Worth three recertification/professional development hours.  Registration information at the bottom of this email.  

 A sampling of some of the 39 lessons in the curriculum.

Lesson 5: Indentured Servitude: Why Sell Yourself into Bondage?

Lesson 6: Specialization and Trade in the Thirteen Colonies

Lesson 7: The Costs and Benefits of American Independence

Lesson 8: Problems Under the Articles of Confederation

Lesson 9: The US Constitution: Rules of the Game

Lesson 11: How Did Cotton Become King? The Economics of Cotton and Everything Else.

Lesson 12: Francis Cabot Lowell and the New England Textile Industry

Lesson 16: Andrew Jackson and the Second Bank of the United States

Lesson 17: Free the Enslaved and Avoid the War

Lesson 18: Why Did the South Secede?

REGISTER ONLINE at the Virginia Council on Economic Education’s workshop page and search by SPONSORING CENTER (ODU) for more information and to register for the workshops. *If you do not immediately receive a confirmation email then your registration did not go through.   Try again, or email Ruth Cookson ASAP at


When U-Boats Attacked

The Pilot is running an 8 part series (beginning yesterday) about German submarines and the part played by Virginia and North Carolina during WWII.  Part of the article is interactive, with a video and photos.  Unfortunately, to read the articles online you must be a subscriber to e-Pilot, or you’ll have to get a newspaper.  (They may run the series online at a later date for all to access.)  This could be an excellent tool to show students how WWII affected the homefront.

The Brown Decision in Virginia

The Virginia Historical Society is holding a summer institute on Virginia and the Brown v. Board of Education decision.  The institute will be held from July 13-17, 2009 in Richmond.  Textbooks and reading materials are free, and meals and lodging will be provided for out of town participants.  Participants will also receive a $250 stipend upon completion of the institute. 

All Virginia teachers (public and private, elementary and secondary) are eligible.  The target group is teachers of Virginia Studies, USII, and VA/US History. 

For more information or to apply online, visit  The application deadline is May 15, 2009.

April 4, 1968

Life has recently (as in the past couple of days) published never before seen photographs taken in Memphis on the day of the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination.  A Life photgrapher and reporter happened to be in assignment in Alabama and rushed to the Lorraine Motel after hearing the news.  They had unrestricted access to Dr. King’s room, the motel, and surrounding area, which enabled them to take these photos.  The site includes a short description for each photo from the photographer, Henry Groskinsky. 

(Note:  It’s probably a good idea to preview the photos before showing them to students-a couple of them show people cleaning up the balcony where Dr. King was shot.)

Questions of the Day and new USII resource

The questions of the day for most of second semester for USI have been posted.  I’ve made it through week 30.  Once I finish the last 6 weeks I’ll get those added, but I wanted them to be posted since next week is week 19.

4th grade/VA Studies questions of the day will come through e-mail weekly for awhile until they’re compiled, and then I’ll post them.  So keep an eye on your inbox for those. 

Sarah made a massive people sort for USII.  That has been added to the USII page.  It covers all the key people for each SOL and is a quick and easy review.