This interdisciplinary lesson integrates analyzing historical primary resources with literary analysis. Students work in groups and express themselves creatively through a multi-media epic poem.
This site explores the diversity and complexity of African-American culture in Ohio. These manuscripts, texts, and images focus on themes that include slavery, emancipation, abolition, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, Reconstruction, African Americans in politics and government, and African-American religion.
Examine the tension experienced by African Americans as they struggled to establish a vibrant and meaningful identity based on the promises of liberty and equality in the midst of a society that was ambivalent towards them and sought to impose an inferior definition upon them.
The primary sources used are drawn from a time of great change that begins after Reconstruction's brief promise of full citizenship and ends with the First World War's Great Migration, when many African Americans sought greater freedoms and opportunities by leaving the South for booming industrial cities elsewhere in the nation.
The central question posed by these primary sources is how African Americans were able to form a meaningful identity for themselves, reject the inferior images fastened upon them, and still maintain the strength to keep "from being torn asunder." Using the primary sources presented here, look for answers that bring your ideas together in ways that reflect the richness of the African American experience.
This lesson encourages students to identify problems facing African Americans immediately after Reconstruction. Students then work in small groups to identify documents describing a particular problem, consider opposing points of view, and suggest a solution and present their research findings.
Have you ever used a $10 bill, visited an American bank, or studied the United States Constitution? Then, you have encountered, to some extent, the influence of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804). Indeed, this important figure in the nation’s foundational years assumed numerous integral roles, many of which had an impact on U.S. history, government, and culture. These roles include: writer, lawyer, father, husband, statesman, aide-de-camp, Treasury secretary, and in many ways, an individual with a keen vision for the U.S. that endures today.
In 1782 Jean de Crevecoeur published Letters from an American Farmer in which he defined an American as a "descendent of Europeans" who, if he were "honest, sober and industrious," prospered in a welcoming land of opportunity which gave him choice of occupation and residence. Students will look at life histories from the interviews of everyday Americans conducted by Works Progress Administration officials between 1936-1940 to see if his definition still holds true in this country 150 years later. Students will conclude by working toward a modern definition.
This site helps teachers and students navigate the vast online collections of primary source materials at the Library of Congress. The links, arranged by chronological period, lead to sets of selected primary sources on a variety of topics in U.S. history.
American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.
This is a lesson in which students take a trip around the world in 1896 using an online collection of 900 images. The collection includes photos of railroads, elephants, camels, horses, sleds and sleighs, sedan chairs, rickshaws, and other types of transportation, as well as city views, street and harbor scenes, landscapes, and people in North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
Students use primary sources focused on baseball to explore the American experience regarding race and ethnicity. The unit should be used when studying the World War II era and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
On 12 September 1787, during the final days of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason of Virginia expressed the desire that the Constitution be prefaced by a Bill of Rights. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts proposed a motion to form a committee to incorporate such a declaration of rights; however the motion was defeated. This lesson examines the First Congress's addition of a Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
This site includes documents from the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and the first two federal congresses. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.
Students are immersed in primary source materials that relate to child labor in America from 1880-1920 to gain a personal perspective of how work affected the American child within a rapidly growing industrial society. This project is student-driven. Students engage in visual and information literacy exercises to gain expertise in analyzing historical data. Most importantly, students emerge from this experience with a very personal sense that children significantly and heroically affected the building of America.
The collection of documents brought together in this project begins to tell the story of the growth of Protestant religion among African Americans during the nineteenth century, and of the birth of what came to be known as the "Black Church" in the United States. This development continues to have enormous political, spiritual, and economic consequences. But perhaps what is most apparent in these texts is the diversity of ways in which that religious tradition was envisioned, experienced, and implemented. From the white Baptist and Methodist missionaries sent to convert enslaved Africans, to the earliest pioneers of the independent black denominations, to black missionaries in Africa, to the eloquent rhetoric of W.E.B. DuBois, the story of the black church is a tale of variety and struggle in the midst of constant racism and oppression. It is also a story of constant change, and of the coincidence of cultural cohesion among enslaved Africans and the introduction of Protestant evangelicalism to their communities.
This is a two-part teaching unit about the controversy among conservationists over a proposal to turn part of Yosemite National Park into a dam to furnish water to San Francisco. The first part explores the history of the conservation movement in general, while the second links to primary records, such as Congressional debates, of Hetch Hetchy itself.
This site includes images of newspaper articles (1787), notes Washington and Jefferson wrote on drafts of the Constitution (1787-88), Jefferson's chart of state votes (1788), Washington's diaries (1786-89), Hamilton's speech notes for proposing a plan of government, a Philadelphia map (1752), the broadside Bill of Rights (1791), and other artifacts.
This lesson plan casts students in the role of politically active citizens in 1787, when the Federal Convention in Philadelphia presented the nation with a new model of government. Students, using primary documents from American Memory, produce a broadside in which they argue for or against replacing the Articles of Confederation with the new model of the Constitution.
An interactive map of the United States with information, interactive activities, and links about all 50 states. The information provided varies from historical, geographical, biological, and cultural in nature.
In the late 1800s, the United States supported an educational experiment that the government hoped would change the traditions and customs of American Indians. Special boarding schools were created in locations all over the United States with the purpose of "civilizing" American Indian youth . Thousands of Native American children were sent far from their homes to live in these schools and learn the ways of white culture. Many struggled with loneliness and fear away from their tribal homes and familiar customs. Some lost their lives to the influenza, tuberculosis, and measles outbreaks that spread quickly through the schools. Others thrived despite the hardships, formed lifelong friendships, and preserved their Indian identities. Through photographs, letters, reports, interviews, and other primary documents, students explore the forced acculturation of American Indians through government-run boarding schools.
"First-Person Narratives of the American South" is a collection of diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives written by Southerners. The majority of materials in this collection are written by those Southerners whose voices were less prominent in their time, including African Americans, women, enlisted men, laborers, and Native Americans.