P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Collection

Expand/Collapse P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Collection


WSIU proudly presents P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Collection, a set of multimedia social studies resources honoring the life and legacy of the late Paul Simon. 

The collection is designed to complement United States and Illinois Government, World and American History, Current Events, Journalism, Geography and General Social Studies courses in high schools and middle schools.

The collection features clips from WSIU’s television documentary, P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story, and excerpts from The Essential Paul Simon: Timeless Lessons for Today’s Politics by John S. Jackson. 


Senator Paul Simon

Who was Paul Simon?

• News reporter and newspaper publisher
• Illinois State Representative and Senator
• Illinois Lieutenant Governor
• U. S. Congressman (5 terms)
• U.S. Senator (2 terms)
• Presidential Candidate
• International diplomat
• Social Activist
• Author
• Husband, father, friend
• Political science, history, journalism professor
• Founder of Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

Simon was also a model of responsible citizenship, an advocate of water conservation, a human and civil rights activist, and a proponent of education and job training. Simon’s passionate stance on these critical issues continues to be relevant and his ideals and philosophies still resonate with the public today.

  • P.S. Illinois: A Life of Uncommon Courage Lesson Plan

    Discover how one individual can impact society. Budding journalist Paul Simon takes on corruption and bribery in Madison County, Illinois in P.S. Illinois: A Life of Uncommon Courage. Students and teachers will be motivated to effect positive change in their own communities after viewing Paul Simon challenge corrupt local police and government officials in a clip from "P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story" and reading his scathing newspaper article on illicit local business.

    Grades: 9-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Tapped Out and Running Dry Lesson Plan

    Critical water shortages threaten the United States and the entire world. Discover the impacts of a dwindling water supply and a growing global population in P.S. Illinois: Tapped Out and Running Dry. Students and teachers will explore possibilities for averting catastrophic water shortages as they read a Simon article and view excerpts from "P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story" and "Running Dry," inspired by Simon’s book Tapped Out.

    Grades: 7-12
  • P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Human and Civil Rights Lesson Plan

    Injustice anywhere in the world is injustice everywhere, as hatred, prejudice and misery do not recognize state and national boundaries. Learn how human and civil rights affect us all in P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Human and Civil Rights. Paul Simon advocates for global awareness in his essay and fighs tirelessly for equal rights and basic dignities for all people, from racially-divided Cairo, Illinois to war-torn Somalia in clips from "P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story."

    Grades: 7-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education Lesson Plan

    College costs are rising exponentially, and students often amass large debt pursuing their dreams. Paul Simon helped make education affordable by backing legislation that directly impacts the American education system and every student it serves. Simon was an advocate for equal access to training and education, and he was responsible for the National Literacy Act, the School-to-Work Act and the Direct Student Loan Program. Discover the possibilities for a successful future thanks to Paul Simon's efforts in P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education.

    Grades: 9-12
  • P.S. Illinois: A Life of Uncommon Courage

    This excerpt from P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story illustrates how one individual can impact a community. Budding journalist Paul Simon takes on corruption and bribery in Madison County, Illinois in P.S. Illinois: A Life of Uncommon Courage.

    Grades: 9-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Closed Houses of Prostitution Again Operating

    This document illustrates how a single person can dramatically impact society. A young Paul Simon exposes illegal activities and challenges corrupt local police and government officials in this scathing newspaper article.

    Grades: 9-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Tapped Out and Running Dry

    Critical water shortages threaten regional and global health and security. Students and teachers will see the impacts of a dwindling water supply and a growing global population in this clip from P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story.

    Grades: 6-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Water Shortage a Real Problem Unless We Plan

    Critical water shortages threaten the United States and the entire world. Paul Simon details the impacts of a dwindling water supply and a growing global population, and explores possible solutions for averting catastrophic water shortages.

    Grades: 6-12
  • P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Cairo

    Prejudice and discrimination do not recognize state and national boundaries. Watch Paul Simon fight for equal rights in racially divided Cairo, Illinois and learn how civil rights affect us all in P.S. Illinois: The Struggle for Civil Rights.

    Grades: 7-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Middle East Problems Affect Us All

    Paul Simon describes the economic interdependence between the United States and the Middle East and provides examples that illustrate how conflicts in the Middle East impact Americans inP.S. Illinois: Middle East Problems Affect Us All.

    Grades: 7-12
  • P.S. Illinois: The Fight for Human Rights in Africa

    Injustice anywhere in the world is injustice everywhere, as hatred, prejudice and misery do not recognize national boundaries. Learn how human rights issues affect us all in P.S. Illinois: The Fight for Human Rights. Watch Paul Simon fight tirelessly for equal rights and basic dignities for all people in war-torn Somalia.

    Grades: 7-12
  • P.S. Illinois: Strength Through Education

    College costs more and more each year, and many students enter the workforce without the skills necessary to succeed. Paul Simon worked to improve opportunities for students by backing legislation that provides access to affordable student loans and valuable job skills training.

    Grades: 9-12
  • P.S. Illinois: More Money for Students

    College costs are rising exponentially, and students often amass large debt pursuing their dreams. Paul Simon helped make education affordable by backing legislation that directly impacts the lives of American students.

    Grades: 9-12

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