Elana Goldbaum

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I'm a Bear! Aren't I?

Posted by Elana Goldbaum on August 13, 2014

Working with students, in my case high school, "Who am I?" is not usually a question that you hear teenagers say aloud, but you can see them going through this on a daily basis: clothes they wear, makeup color choices, different hairstyles, questions they ask about religion or politics. I see my students working to find themselves in myriad of ways and I feel very privileged to be a part of that process. My challenge as a teacher is to take the concept of identity, as my students see it personally, and challenge them to relate it to people in history.
One of the most successful and fun ways I've been able to do this is by tailoring discussion around an old cartoon. This clip is a video adaptation of the illustrated book, The Bear That Wasn’t.


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Topics: Critical Thinking, Social and Emotional Learning, Teaching Strategy

Harvey Milk Day May 22: Celebrate with Hope

Posted by Elana Goldbaum on May 22, 2013

Harvey Milk is not a name many students recognize, but they should. This man is one of the great leaders in the American Civil Rights History, particularly for the gay community. Wednesday May 22 is Harvey Milk Day. It's not as well known as Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday or President's Day or even Memorial Day, but it's an opportunity to stop for a minute and recognize the first openly gay man elected to public office (in 1977) and discuss with your class what that means exactly. Why is this important? Why should we care?

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Critical Thinking, A View from the Classroom

Upstanding Outside of Class: Gay-Straight Alliance

Posted by Elana Goldbaum on April 24, 2013

At my school Friday, students flooded the hallways and it was oddly quiet but there was a magical energy in there air. April 19th, this year's Day of Silence, was when students all over the country took a day-long vow of silence to represent those in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questions) community who are forced into silence by society. Everywhere I looked, there were glimpses of rainbow pins and colored duct tape covering the mouths of the those participating or on the sleeves of students who supported their peers.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Bullying

Women and the Identity of a Soldier

Posted by Elana Goldbaum on March 14, 2013

Identity is a key concept in a Facing History classroom and I believe one of the most exciting to discuss because it encourages students to think of their own identity, which can be very complicated: the way society perceives a person versus how they see themselves. This is a versatile concept that can be connected to any moment, and current events such as the recent change concerning women in the armed forces, are a perfect way to do that.

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Topics: Critical Thinking, In the news, A View from the Classroom

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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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