INDIANAPOLIS (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages from Certell, provides rich content to teach the importance of Memorial Day, including material on the U.S. involvement in 21st-century wars. Click to tweet.
“While today’s high school students weren’t yet born when the United States was attacked on 9/11, the War on Terror resulting from that day has been in the news for most of their lives,” said Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, Inc. “More than 7,000 U.S. service men and women lost their lives during this protracted war, so it’s important to understand how it came about.”
The Memorial Day holiday honors American soldiers who have died in combat and has been observed annually since 1971 on the last Monday of May. Poptential’s American History curriculum features bell ringers, mini-lessons, and multimedia content to engage and teach students about the U.S. involvement in 21st-century wars, including the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the resulting War on Terrorism, the occupation of Afghanistan and the Iraq war. Lessons include:
- The human toll of war—The Poptential May 30 bell ringer features a video clip tribute to soldiers who pay the ultimate price. Composed of scenes from the 2009 historical drama “The Taking of Chance,” the film follows Colonel Michael Strobel, played by Kevin Bacon, a military officer who volunteers to escort the body of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who was killed in Iraq, back to his hometown in Wyoming for burial.
- 9/11 shocked the world—The Poptential September 11 bell ringer highlights why 9/11 remains one of the most important events in recent history. It features a video clip of President George W. Bush’s reaction to receiving the news of the attack on the World Trade Center as he reads to school children. A History Channel video clip shows the timeline of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
- The War on Terror begins—Determining that the Afghanistan-based terrorist group Al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack, President Bush and his administration vowed to wage a “War on Terrorism.” A Poptential mini-lesson focuses on the flight paths of the hijacked planes and highlights the October 2001 U.S. and NATO forces’ invasion of Afghanistan.
- Iraq War of 2003 Explained—Believing that Iraq was amassing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that could be used in future terrorist attacks, the United States and the United Kingdom joined forces to invade Iraq. This video shows why these allies mistakenly thought Iraq possessed WMDs and the role Iraqi President Saddam Hussein played in perpetuating that belief in order to project strength and instill fear in his enemies.
- The War on Terror Ends—The United States’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 brought an end to the 20-year War on Terror. A mini-lesson includes a video clip of U.S. presidents addressing the American people regarding the war. It also includes a video clip illustrating a concise history lesson of the complicated conditions and conflicts that have existed in the area since 1978.
Poptential course packages include everything instructors need to teach a subject, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests. The lessons use a variety of pop culture media to illustrate concepts, including those taken from sitcoms, movies, animations, cartoons, late-night shows, and other sources. The curriculum is standards-based and developed by teachers.
Poptential is available via a digital platform that allows students to access lessons even in poor bandwidth environments. Course packages in American History, World History, U.S. Government/Civics, and Economics are available free at www.poptential.org.
About Certell, Inc.
Certell is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers. More than 100,000 users from throughout the United States have signed up for Certell’s Poptential™ family of free social studies courses. Certell course packages have won a number of awards, including EdTech Digest Awards for Curriculum and Instruction Solution, Tech&Learning Best Tool for Back to School, Tech Edvocate Awards, Bronze Award of Excellence from the National Association of Economics Educators, and Civvys Awards. More information is available at poptential.org.