Star Wars and Facing History

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 24, 2016

As we prepare for our summer seminars at Facing History, we start seeing connections to our work everywhere, even Star Wars. It turns out we aren't the only one! We are pleased to share the following excerpt from the soon-to-be-released, The World According to Star Wars, from the chapter, Rebels, by Cass R. Sunstein.

Star Wars isn’t a political tract, but it has a political message. After all, it opposes an Empire to a Republic, and a First Order to a Resistance, and its heroes are rebels, who want to return peace and justice to the galaxy.

That’s one reason for the universal appeal of the saga. Whatever your political convictions, and wherever you live, you’re likely to see an Emperor of some kind, and you’re likely to have some sympathy for the rebels or the Resistance. Your teacher or your boss might seem like an Emperor. Maybe your nation’s leader reminds you of Palpatine; maybe the opposing party is the Resistance….

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Critical Thinking, Bystander, Book, In the news

Creator of Ms. Marvel Inspires Student Upstanders and Vice Versa

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 11, 2016

In order to be strong and powerful, you have to know who you are first."

Sana Amanat, Director of Content & Character Development at Marvel Entertainment, shared the thought above with students and educators at the 2016 celebration of Upstanders from Facing History Los Angeles Partnership Schools. On stage, Amanat shared how inspired she was by the students, who she credited with being further along than she was at their age by already making a difference. The students were inspired by Sana to find their own voice and continue contributing to a more diverse and compassionate world.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Upstander, Community Event

Change the Story - YALLWEST

Posted by Liz Vogel on April 27, 2016

Facing History is proud to partner with YALLWEST Book Festival, the only book festival on the west coast dedicated to young adult literature. YALLWEST has generously provided funding for buses to bring students from a handful of Facing History schools to participate in the festival this coming weekend in Santa Monica. They've also donated hundreds of novels and graphic novels for Facing History students.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Book, Community Event, In the news

Spring Student Opportunities

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 8, 2016

There are a lot of student opportunities at this time of year which could be engaging for students in a Facing History classroom. Here are a few that have come our way. Have you heard of others? Post them below to share with other teachers!

As part of Facing History and Ourselves’ second annual Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, “Student Voices: To Kill a Mockingbird in Today’s World,” middle and high school students across the U.S. have the opportunity to win individual and classroom prizes up to $2,500.  

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Student Work, Upstander

Padlet Response - How Do You Stay Engaged?

Posted by Mary Hendra on February 12, 2016

A few months ago, I posed the question, "how do you stay engaged? in a blog post reflecting on current events. One group of teachers engaged with this question - and each other - through an online forum callled Padlet.

Our New York office is engaged in an effort to bring together Facing History educators from different schools across the region in Professional Learning Communities, through a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation. The PLCs meet monthly, virtually or in-person, so that Facing History teachers can share best practices, reflect on pedagogy and instruction, and explore new resources. In a recent discussion focused on helping students connect to the real world, they discussed our Learn+Teach+Share blog post by using Padlet.

As part of our on-going series this spring on "powering up" Facing History lessons, we share their Padlet response below.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Using Technology, Powering Up Facing History Lessons

3 Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, 2015

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 16, 2015

On this Constitution Day, how will your students find meaning in the Constitution as it relates to their own lives, protections and responsibilities? Here are three ways to recognize Constitution Day on the official day, September 17, 2015.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Reconstruction, Choosing to Participate, Critical Thinking

Being an Upstander Today

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 26, 2015

This month Facing History and Ourselves is the featured partner on Connected Learning TV for the series, Creating Upstanders in Today’s World. We are publishing the recorded webinars here with additional resources.

What does it mean to be civically engaged today?

Our final webinar in the series gave us the opportunity to look at what student upstanding looks like today, and I was struck by the small steps and mindsets that demonstrate student engagement.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, CLTV, Student Work, Upstander

Creating Student Upstanders in Today’s World

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 2, 2015

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, student, or not currently involved with formal education, what can you do to foster an attitude of standing up to injustice?

Join educators from the Learn+Teach+Share blog this month in exploring together the steps and strategies that can help students recognize their voice and agency in today’s world.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, CLTV, Upstander

Toolbox for Democracy

Posted by Mary Hendra on July 22, 2015

Democracy works "through the collaborative efforts of ordinary people." Fernando Reimers, Harvard University, shares this in an essay just published by Facing History and Ourselves. (Click here to download a free excerpt from this new book.

But, what tools do we have to make our democracy work better? We put this question to teachers in our most recent seminar, A New Approach to Teaching Mockingbird. Here is their response:

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Critical Thinking

People Make Choices

Posted by Rebecca Berger on May 20, 2015

https://youtu.be/ZNoxny2AE6g

People make choices. Choices make history."

My 7th graders know about Hitler. They are deeply curious about him. They ask questions about his childhood, how he died, how he got to be dictator of Germany. And while I understand their fascination with trying to understand one of the greatest demagogues of the last century, I try to channel their curiosity in a different direction; my students are not going to understand the Holocaust by uncovering everything there is to know about Hitler, but they will come much closer to understanding how the Holocaust could have happened just by looking at the everyday people who were living in Europe at that time.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Critical Thinking, Facing History PSA, A View from the Classroom

Welcome to Learn+Teach+Share

This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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