Choices Blog

Summer Program Scholars

Jo Fisher

This summer, scholars from Brown University and beyond will be joining us to give content presentation during our summer workshops. Read on to learn more about each scholar, his or her area of expertise, and what each will be speaking about during their presentation.  Explore all of our summer PD options. African Perspectives in World History […]

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We’re revamping our U.S. history series!

Jo Fisher

Choices is launching a new project that re-envisions our U.S. History Series. We will be adding new resources that provide additional breadth, depth, and rigor as well as new innovative lessons.

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Podcast: Role-playing Multiple Perspectives in the Classroom

Jo Fisher

Mackenzie Abernethy and Mimi Stephens of the Choices Program talk to Celeste Reynolds, a teacher at Mashpee High School in Massachusetts, about her experiences using Choices role plays as a way to get students thinking about multiple perspectives.

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Podcast: Teaching Controversial Issues

Jo Fisher

We have a conversation with Choices Program writer, Mackenzie Abernethy and Moses Brown School teachers, Graham Holland and Jonathan Gold, about how to approach teaching controversial issues in the classroom.

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Podcast: Challenges of Writing Curriculum About Immigration

Jo Fisher

The Choices Program writing team talk about the challenges of writing a curriculum for high school students about immigration.

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Join us at #NCSS15

Jo Fisher

We are excited to be traveling down to New Orleans for the National Council for the Social Studies 95th Annual Conference this week. Come visit us in the exhibit hall. We will be at the head of International Alley in Booth 1000. We will also be presenting five workshops.  See our workshop descriptions below. Can’t wait to […]

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Using Choices Values Cards to Examine Value Differences Between Generations

Jo Fisher

Anyone that has used the Choices Program curriculum units would agree that the Prioritizing Values Activity is a simple, yet powerful, strategy for encouraging students to think carefully about how their own beliefs, presuppositions, and values impact their opinions on political and social issues. I developed a lesson to use in a Sociology course that builds […]

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Using Digital Tools to Teach Human Rights

Jo Fisher

by Choices Teaching Fellow Rita Jordan-Keller As an enthusiastic supporter of Choices curriculum, it has been my passion to introduce the many units of Choices to my students with new and innovative approaches. As a Choices Teaching Fellow, it has been exciting to include and expand the uses of technology in various ways to optimize […]

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Scholars at the 2015 Leadership Institute

Jo Fisher

One of the highlights of our Leadership Institute is hearing from Brown University scholars.  This year’s scholar presentations will investigate both the recent history of the Middle East and multiple perspectives on current U.S. policy towards the region. Read on to see who will be joining us this summer. Institute applications are due Monday, March 16th.  […]

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Choices Leadership Institute leads to a 15-hour course for my District

Jo Fisher

By guest blogger Lori Snyder, Choices Teaching Fellow and high school teacher from Longmeadow, MA. I teach Asian Studies and Honors World History at Longmeadow High School in Longmeadow, MA, and I attended the Choices Program’s 2014 summer leadership institute, China on the World Stage: Weighing the U.S Response. As a follow up to the […]

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Modifying Choices Materials for all Students

Jo Fisher

By Richard McNeil, Special Education Teacher, Massapequa High School, NY Why Choices? In my eternal search for the perfect combination of informational and awesome, I found the Choices Program: a resource that covers U.S. History, Global History, and current events, utilizing many different perspectives, mediums, and opportunities to help students become active citizens. I could […]

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New Tools for the Options Role Play and Deliberative Dialogue

Jo Fisher

Choices recently reorganized its Teacher Corner web pages.  All of the tools listed below and more can be downloaded from the Teacher Corner and adapted to your classroom. A big thank you to Choices Teaching Fellows Amy Howland and Deb Springhorn for their Common Core-aligned assessments and other valuable Role Play tools. TOOLS FOR ROLE […]

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Global Issues Since the Fall of the Wall: A Course Made for Choices Materials

Jo Fisher

Blog Post by Choices Teaching Fellow Deb Springhorn For 30 years I have lamented the lack of time to teach the current global situation in the context of a world history course that is supposed to go from the prehistoric to the present in one year!  Given the global paradigm shift after the fall of […]

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Cultivating Decision Makers after AP Exams

Jo Fisher

by Derek Reichenbecher, Choices Teaching Fellow Howell High School, Farmingdale, NJ I have been teaching Advanced Placement US History II for twelve years. A tricky part of teaching the class is that the American History timeline must be completed in time for the Advanced Placement Exam in early May. This leaves a full month between […]

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Choices Teaching Fellow Steve Seltz Wins National Teaching Award

Jo Fisher

Choices Teaching Fellow Steve Seltz, from Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice high school in Brooklyn, NY was awarded a 2014 Teacher Award from the 9/11 Tribute Center in New York. The awards are given to educators who create projects that thoughtfully engaged their students in understanding 9/11 through a variety of disciplines. According […]

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Have You Developed an Innovative Approach to Teaching About September 11?

Jo Fisher

The 9/11 Tribute Center annually presents awards to teachers who have created exemplary educational projects that help sustain the memory of September 11th. Innovative teachers are honored for how they have engaged their students in the discussion of the ongoing impact of September 11th, and for their focus on humanitarian responses to 9/11. Projects selected […]

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New Course in Development: Global Issues Since the Fall of the Wall

Jo Fisher

By guest Blogger Deb Springhorn, Lebanon High School, Lebanon, NH The course I am creating during the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation sponsored Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical, “Global Issues since the Fall of the Wall,” is based on three observations that I have had as a result of my 30 or so years in the classroom: Most […]

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Meet the Choices Staff – Tanya – Video and New Media Producer

Jo Fisher

Tell Us a little about yourself & your background. I grew up in Hong Kong, went to high school in Switzerland and came to the U.S. for college. I received a B.A. in Modern Culture & Media from Brown, after which I moved to New York City and took a 5-week digital filmmaking course at […]

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The Costs of War Project

Jo Fisher

by Josie Perry, Choices Teaching Fellow, Rising Sun High School, MD Whenever I am in need of new resources for my Contemporary World Studies course, my first go-to site is always the Choices website.  As I was nearing the end of my unit on Afghanistan, I came across the Costs of War Project in Teaching […]

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Meet the Choices Staff – Leah – International Education Intern

Jo Fisher

Tell us a little about yourself & your background I grew up in North Carolina and began working for Choices after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In college, I worked for an education non-profit at the NC General Assembly and studied education policy while living in Chile and Argentina. Both […]

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Meet the Choices Staff – Maya – International Education Intern

Jo Fisher

Tell us a little about yourself & your background. I always find this question difficult to answer, but here is my best attempt. I am half-Swedish and half-American and grew up in Dubai, U.A.E and Stockholm, Sweden. I moved to the United States to attend Macalester College and ended up staying after I graduated. This […]

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IB 20th Century Course: Cold War Historiography

Jo Fisher

by Melinda Gale, 2012 Choices Teaching Fellow I’m reading through my student’s policy papers directed at President Truman as IB 20th Century students conclude their study of the Origins of the Cold War. I am again inspired both by the level of detail in their knowledge (given that we spent less than 3 weeks on […]

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Meet the Choices Staff – Kathie

Jo Fisher

Kathie – Administrative Manager Tell us a little about yourself I was born and raised here in Rhode Island and am considered the unofficial tour guide for out of towners that want to see a bit of our great state. I truly love RI! I worked for a local public school system for over 20 […]

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Meet the Choices Staff: Andy

Jo Fisher

Andy-Curriculum Development Director Tell Us a little about yourself & your background. I’ve lived in Rhode Island for the last eighteen years. I love the history of the state and the value that people here put on preserving and living amidst history. I live in a very old house (built in 1790) in Pawtuxet Village. […]

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Meet the Choices Staff – Mimi

Jo Fisher

Mimi – Professional Development Director Tell Us a little about yourself & your background. I grew up in New Jersey and attended undergraduate school there, before moving to New England for graduate school. Since 3rd grade, I have always loved social studies, maps, and international travel. No one else in my family had or has […]

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Evolution of the Recent Conflict in Syria

Jo Fisher

Two years after popular demonstrations began, an estimated 70,000 Syrians have died and several million more have been displaced from their homes. As Brown University Professor Beshara Doumani remarks, “The optimism of the Arab Spring…has been replaced by the horror of protracted military conflict.” In this interview from the Watson Institute for International Studies, Professor […]

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Making the Most of iBook’s Features in the Classroom

Jo Fisher

By Felicia Ostrom, Choices Teaching Fellow I love the Choices approach to teaching historical and current events, and I am so excited about the new iBooks format.  Whether you are a 1:1 iPad school, are working out of a cart of iPads, or just have a handful to use in your classroom, there are so many […]

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Teaching Human Rights in a World Affairs Course

Jo Fisher

by Mike Gleason, Westerly High School, RI This past semester I used the Choices Program Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy unit in my World Affairs class. This unit on its own is outstanding, especially the section on the history of human rights.  Another noteworthy activity is having the students define human […]

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Teaching Human Rights: Sudan, Syria, and R2P

Jo Fisher

Josie Perry, Choices Teaching Fellow Rising Sun High School-North East, MD As I began teaching the Competing Visions on Human Rights: Questions for US Policy unit, I wanted to pre-assess my students’ opinions on US involvement in international affairs, so I had my students watch The Devil Came on Horseback.  The students were fascinated by the […]

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Expanding on Westward Expansion

Jo Fisher

By Guest Blogger Brian Schum, Choices Teaching Fellow My favorite Choices unit to use is Westward Expansion: A New History because it does such a good job of making the complex relationships that existed on shifting peripherals of expansion so tangible to students. While the case study approach is excellent for diving deep into the topic, […]

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Globalization in a Modern Asian Experience Class

Jo Fisher

by Guest Blogger Sophia Bae, Syosset High School Robert Scoble One of the main topics I address in my Modern Asian Experience class is globalization and the interconnectedness of the world. It is a topic of relevance that has many manifestations – whether we are discussing the explosive popularity of Psy’s Gangnam Style, comparing the benefits […]

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Using Infographics for Policy Deliberation on Afghanistan

Jo Fisher

by Amy Sanders Yarmouth ME High School Teacher & Choices Teaching Fellow Infographic 5 © Newsweek I incorporate the CHOICES curriculum, The United States in Afghanistan, into my Middle East Studies course. The curriculum is an excellent resource that provides helpful information about Afghanistan’s history, geography, and people, and is the framework around which I build […]

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Teaching the U.S. Role in the Middle East in 11th & 12th Grade Social Problems

Jo Fisher

By Guest Blogger Hayley Vatch Choices Teaching Fellow The U.S. role in the Middle East is a surprisingly popular topic of interest for students in my 11th and 12th grade Social Problems class.  Although the class is focused on U.S. domestic social issues such as poverty and racism, I also make time to address more […]

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Martin Luther King Day Speaker Tells of Current Human Rights Violations in Darfur

Jo Fisher

By Derek Reichenbecher Choices Teaching Fellow and High School Teacher, Farmingdale, NJ Last summer I attended the Choices Leadership Institute on Human Rights. One of our guest speakers was, El Fadel Arbab , a refuge from Darfur who now lives in Maine.  (Read about his incredible story here). I was so touched by El-Fadel’s story this summer that I […]

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Genocide and The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Jo Fisher

By Kenneth Hung, Choices Teaching Fellow and high school classroom teacher, Philadelphia, PA I am putting together a unit on Genocide and R2P to be used in my Contemporary World Conflicts class this January.  The goal of the unit is to have students understand and assess whether R2P could have/should be used as a justification […]

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Teaching Critical Reading and Persuasive Writing Skills with Choices’ French Revolution and Haitian Revolution units

Jo Fisher

By guest blogger Amy Howland, Academy of the Pacific Rim teacher and Choices Teaching Fellow I work at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School in Hyde Park, MA.  Our school is small, with just around 200 students in grades 9-12.  Most of our students will become the first to attend college in their […]

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