This site created by Primary Source provides teachers with a key event in African American history for every day of February. For each key event, the site provides links to websites which may include primary sources and lesson ideas.
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The following 90 minute lessons are a culminating project for a novel unit on Children of the River by Linda Crew. The book shares the struggles of Sundara, a Cambodian teenager who escapes from the Khmer Rouge and ends up in an American high school in Oregon. Once in the USA, Sundara faces new struggles of trying to fit in with her classmates while honoring her familyŐs Cambodian traditions. Before reading this novel, students read and discuss conflicts/genocides around the world that took place prior to the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia. The conflicts discussed were: the Colonists and the Native Americans, the Armenian Genocide, and the Holocaust. After reading the novel, a survivor of the Cambodian Genocide spoke with the students. Classes also watched the movie "New Year Baby."
These three lessons are part of an interdisciplinary unit entitled "Cambodia: Past and Present" that focuses on the history of Cambodia beginning in the Funan Period extending to modern time. Through Cambodian literature, written reflections, slide shows and film, this integrated unit is targeted for grade eight students who will learn about Cambodia in their English, social studies, and writing classes. The essential understanding for this unit of study is that the importance of people's life journeys is to integrate their pasts with their present.
This 3-lesson unit is intended for upper-elementary students (grades 2- 4) in general music classes. Students will explore themes and methods of celebration that are common in many cultures while learning to sing and play an instrumental accompaniment for a Cambodian song, and explore formal and informal dance traditions of the Cambodian culture. At the Murkland School, in Lowell, Massachusetts, this unit is part of a school-wide project that culminates in a celebration of Cambodian New Year in April to which families are invited. The celebration includes modeling of traditional and modern Cambodian dance, music, instruments, clothing, cuisine, and folklore.
The authors of this unit define the characteristics of "civilization" and present Chinese culture and history in light of these characteristics. The original eight-week unit is available in the Primary Source library; four lessons are presented here: an introduction to the elements of civilization, Chinese dynasties, Chinese philosophy and the importance of silk to China's economic history.
A Curriculum Unit Developed to Support the Grade 4 Gifted and Talented Program. This web unit includes several lessons, classroom activities, a slide show, as well as web and bibliographic links. It uses the motif of the dragon in Chinese folklore to discuss aspects of Chinese literature, mythology and political history. This unit was designed by a librarian to be used by classroom teachers in cooperation with library-media specialists.
This unit of social history examines Traditional Chinese Family Values, Revolutionary Chinese Family Values (1950-1980) and Modern Chinese Family Values (1980-present).Length: The entire unit can fill seven weeks (35 days) if every activity is completed, but teachers can easily omit or add activities.Target grades: 11th /12th (many activities appropriate for 9th/10th grades)Teaching activities utilize Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory (linguistic, logical, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal).Topics: Confucianism, Cultural Revolution, Tian'anmen Square Demonstrations, one-child policy, economic reforms
This form of painting became popular during the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). Images depicting people's every day lives became a natural focus under the regime of Chairman Mao. Artists in places like Hu County in Shaanxi Province (near Xi'an), where these painting were made, were discovered and became popular. This particular series of Peasant Paintings, by a mature, female artist named Dong, were done in a studio production method.The peasant paintings depict festivals and daily routines: preparing food, doing laundry, traditional parades (lanterns, dragons), animals and fish. Some tell stories with symbolism. This curriculum resource will provide potential lesson topics and areas of discovery and a set of images for teachers of art, Chinese culture & history at elementary, middle and high school levels. The paintings may serve as supplementary visuals for K-8 teachers of science, and geography.
Sushi, anime, Hello Kitty Đ these are a few of the most well-known products that have become symbolic of Japan. However, sushi is a delicacy and therefore not something that most Japanese eat daily, the popularity of anime varies across the country, and not everyone is a zealous Hello Kitty fan. The purpose of these activities, then, is to go beyond the stereotypes often associated with these popular products and examine aspects of Japanese culture that reveal fundamental values in Japanese society. Specifically, the primary sources chosen here all reflect careful attention to detail and presentation as well as efficient, thoughtful, and creative use of limited time and space. The classroom activities that go along with the primary sources have been designed to help young students recognize similarities and differences between Japanese culture and their own.
These three lessons are part of the overall unit called, "How does my Cambodian Culture Affect Who I Am as a Student?" In the lessons, students will compare their Cambodian school culture to that of the United States. They will address the similarities and differences and will discuss the preconceived notions they had about school in America and how their culture affects who they are as students in the American school system.The lessons are geared for newcomers (ESL students) from Cambodia to the United States, grades 5-8. Their language proficiency is at various levels so instruction should be differentiated.
In the media and in the classroom, much emphasis has been placed on India's stunning economic growth since the 1990s. Less attention has been paid, however, to the consequences of the country's rapid industrialization on the nation's people and natural environment. Like many other developing societies throughout history, India's economic progress has resulted in environmental degradation, natural resource depletion, and increased consumption and waste, thereby threatening people's health, access to resources, and traditional ways of life. Using case studies on pollution in the Ganges River, coal mining in Jharkhand, and data comparing the country's total and per capita energy consumption, this cluster explores, and places within a global context, the pressing environmental and human challenges brought by India's industrialization.
Most American students' exposure to the Korean Peninsula begins and ends with the teaching of the Korean War and division along the 38th parallel. The sources and activities here aim to take students beyond the Korean War to explore the divergent stories of North and South Korea and to analyze the causes and effects of each country's unique development. The activities introduce learners to the long-lasting economic and political effects of Korea's division by examining South Korea's rapid industrialization, North Korea's continuing struggle to ensure adequate food for its population, and the arguments for and against reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Working with a photo of a South Korean labor strike, graphs depicting the devastating effects of food shortages in North Korea, and a song calling for reunification, students will gain a better understanding of the peninsula's varied history as well as a greater appreciation for the lived experiences of North and South Koreans at home and abroad.
When studying the Cold War Era, students often focus on the struggle between the United States and the U.S.S.R. However, as these two powers competed for political, military, and ideological supremacy, the conflict transcended borders to encompass countries and peoples around the world. Indeed, as the Iron Curtain descended in Europe, Latin American countries such as Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador became very real and fertile battlegrounds for the struggle between communism and capitalism. The primary source materials presented here use the example of Cuba to underscore the deep-rooted mistrust and resentment on both sides of the Latin America--U.S. conflict and demonstrate how both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. took advantage of long-standing rivalries and frustrations in the region to advance their own agendas. While the Kennan Memorandum unveils American prejudice and patronization towards Latin America and its peoples generally, the revolutionary fervor found in the words of Carlos Puebla's En Eso Llego Fidel and Alberto Korda's iconic image of Che Guevara convey the dissatisfaction and anger many Cubans felt towards America and the status quo. When considered together, these resources reveal the dynamic and turbulent relationship between the U.S. and an influential Latin American nation during this time, and demonstrate the emotions and ideologies that almost turned the Cold War "hot."
For 30 years, Afghanistan has been at the center of armed conflict, from the Soviet-Afghan War beginning in 1979 to the Taliban consolidation of power in the 1990s to the U.S.-led military intervention after September 11, 2001. How have Afghan people and leaders responded to events? The activities presented here provide students with a deeper look at what war has meant for Afghans Đ how they have lived, represented events, and attempted to rebuild their country. The monument of a tank in Herat with triumphant local soldiers offers a glimpse of both anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban feeling in one region of Afghanistan, and calls upon us to consider what messages monuments send. The trailer from the film Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War examines how the Provincial Reconstruction Team and the National Solidarity Program operated in Afghanistan and how reconstruction efforts are negotiated in the aftermath of conflict. The inclusion of weaponry and war motifs in women's traditional Afghan carpets shows how violence has permeated the society and even gained its own market niche. These sources bring us closer to Afghan perspectives on events than textbooks and news stories tend to do.
Looking at interactions between North American natives and European settlers through primary sources offers us fresh and sometimes surprising insights into the fascinating exchanges that took place in early America as peoples encountered others who were different. It allows us to look beyond school textbook accounts of political and military conflicts or alliances to witness the plentiful cross-pollination between cultures. Indians and settlers were often intrigued by one anotherŐs ways, and open to adopting items, ideas and motifs that they found useful or pleasing. We see products of these encounters emerging that are hybrids of cultures Đ and are no less "authentically" Indian or colonial for being so. Examining remains of these interactions also helps us to dispel the seeming silence of native populations, as their words and ideas have been preserved in many forms. Texts, visual art, artifacts and physical structures all document ways that native peoples interacted with the Spanish, French and British in North America. They offer a richer and more complete story of what the encounters meant to the people involved, and give students a chance to explore those meanings for themselves.
In preparation for a school-wide celebration of Cambodian New Year, middle school students (Grade 5-8) will identify and record the big idea behind New Year's celebrations in Cambodia as well as in the United States. Students will compile facts about both celebrations.
Much of the focus on modern Japan in U.S. curriculum is on Japan's role in World War II and/or on its status as an economic superpower by the 1980s. The steps along Japan's path from a defeated aggressor nation to a peace-oriented, prosperous power are less-noted, but essential for explaining Japan's transformation and the U.S.'s role in that process. One primary source activity in this cluster focuses on Japan's postwar identity as a "peace state," and how that identity was a product of Article 9 of the new Constitution created by Americans under General MacArthur. Japan's pacifism was undergirded by a strong U.S. military presence in Okinawa, a presence now increasingly challenged by Okinawans and other Japanese. The second activity uses photographs to explore the April 2010 Okinawan protests against the U.S. base at Futenma. A final source, the animated cartoon Sazae-san, looks at an aspect of Japanese cultural identity influenced by the U.S., specifically the Japanese celebration of Christmas in the postwar years. How the Japanese have thought about these changes Đ embracing certain roles and practices while questioning or rejecting others Đ is a main theme of this group of documents.
While many elementary and middle school educators teach their students about Africa, finding age-appropriate primary sources and related activities is often a challenge, particularly when looking at early African cultures. Many available lessons focus only on African works of art, such as masks, that are difficult for children in US classrooms to relate to their own lives and experiences, further solidifying the conception of an American "us" and a very different African "them." Others frame Africa as a monolithic culture frozen in time, ignoring the reality of this diverse and rapidly modernizing continent. Each of the primary sources and activities included in this cluster has been carefully chosen to serve four main purposes: to introduce students to a specific region of Africa and to the distinctive culture of the people who have inhabited it, to show how three unique African societies draw on their natural and human resources to store and communicate their histories and values, to explain how mnemonic devices created long ago still play a crucial role in many African societies, and to underscore the importance of cultural preservation across all societies and all times.
All of the primary and secondary sources used in this unit of study are part of the body of survival literature created by the Cambodian diaspora. The pieces reflect both the endurance of Khmer individuals and Khmer culture under a long period of conflict. In Peter Kiang's work, he found that refugee stories of resilience were a focal point for "motivating forces for persistence" (234, Kiang) for Southeast Asian students facing the challenge of university studies. However, many of the adolescent Cambodian American students in Lowell's classrooms today do not know this story. Understandably, many of their parents or elders are not able to or choose not to share with their children the traumatic stories that caused their forced departure from Cambodia.
"People have been eating rice for over 4,000 years. It originated in Southeast Asia, and Spanish explorers brought it to the West Indies at least 500 years ago. Today, 8,000 varieties of rice are grown throughout the world. About 15 varieties are grown in the U.S." (Who Belongs Here?: An American Story by Margy Burns Knight) Because we have a strong Southeast Asian student population in the Butler Middle School in Lowell, this unit will focus on Cambodia to drive the question: "What can we learn about rice from the Five Themes of Geography?"Each lesson will revolve around one of the five themes of geography (Location, Place, Region, Movement, and Human Environmental Interaction.) In the sixth lesson, students make cookbooks of rice recipes from Cambodia and other countries from our student population.
This unit presents the earliest history of China, from the Neolithic period to the Shang dynasty, in order to introduce students to the development of "state level" (i.e. "civilized") societies.Two lesson plans and three student activities are presented here on-line; the full unit is available in the Primary Source library.Target grades: This unit of study was designed for students in grades four through seven. In several of the lessons, separate activities are provided for grades 4/5 from grades 6/7.Topics: geography, archeology, mythology, oracle bones, Chinese writing.
Rural life is quite separate and unlike urban life in most developing nations. In Cambodia, there is a great contrast between rural and urban life. The rice fields of Kampong Cham and the bustling streets of Phnom Penh are worlds apart. The purpose of these three lessons is to provide students with an overview of Cambodian rural life through lecture, reading, and writing. Students will analyze demographic data, write a creative story using the viewpoint of a village participant and critically discuss issues of poverty and modernization in rural Cambodia. Finally, they will reflect on how their own values influence the way they view life in rural Cambodia. These lessons are designed for a high school elective about Cambodia, but could certainly be used by any high school or middle school students studying Cambodia.
Too often, the Vietnam War is taught solely from American perspectives, as students examine the role of the U.S. government and military in the conflict, the war's impact on American lives, and the ways in which the war influenced subsequent domestic and foreign policy. Framing the conflict in terms that ignore the Vietnamese and their experiences, however, makes it difficult for students to fully understand the nature of the war and its impact. These primary source activities prompt students to consider the war through the eyes of the Vietnamese and are designed to complement topics that are traditionally covered from U.S. perspectives. The first activity uses speeches made by Ho Chi Minh to examine how one Vietnamese leader viewed Vietnam's struggle. In the second activity, oral history interviews with Vietnamese soldiers and civilians are used to understand the motivations of some individuals to take arms against American and South Vietnamese forces. Finally, the third activity draws on Vietnamese antiwar music to explore Vietnamese feelings towards war and make comparisons with the American antiwar movement.
Women's roles, responsibilities and expectations have changed in dramatic ways as Chinese society has transformed throughout different political eras. From family structure, marriage, and childbirth to education, workforce participation, and political activity, women have seen and taken part in historical transformations that have accelerated over the last century. For students, exploring firsthand evidence of these changes Đ and witnessing continuities as well Đ is a far more exciting prospect than simply reading a text or even watching a documentary. There are multiple ways that teachers can offer students windows into the shifting values and beliefs about women in Chinese life; here, we offer three: investigating the design of an early nineteenth-century house; analyzing Communist propaganda posters from the Revolutionary period; and listening to an oral history of a young woman growing up in today's People's Republic of China. The changes are apparent when comparing these snapshots across time, but examining the sources also adds value, raising as many questions about women's lives as they answer, whetting students' appetites for an understanding of their context.