Library of Congress
An outstanding and valuable site for American history and general studies. Contains primary and secondary files, exhibits, map sets, prints and photos, audio recordings and motion pictures. The Library of Congress American Memory Historical Collections, a must-see, comprises the bulk of digitalized substances, but the Exhibitions Gallery is enticing and enlightening as well. The Library of Congress also provides a Learning Page that provides tools, activities, thoughts, and attributes for educators and students.
The Library of Congress American Memory particularly is an outstanding resource for American history and general research. Contained are multimedia collections of photographs, recorded sound, moving images, and digitized text. Use the Teachers department to explore primary set collections and themed resources. Teachers can get updates on new tools, professional development opportunities, and Library programs, events and services.
The Library of Congress: Teachers
The new Library of Congress Teachers page provides tools and resources to using Library of Congress primary source records from the classroom and contain exceptional lesson plans, document analysis tools, offline and online tasks, timelines, presentations and professional development tools.
Center for History and New Media: History Matters
A Creation of this American Social History Project/Center of Media and Learning, City of University New York, and the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, History Matters is an Excellent online resource for history teachers and students. Among the many digital tools are lesson plans, syllabi, links, and exhibits. The middle for History and New Media’s tools include a listing of”best” web sites, links to syllabi and lesson plans, essays on history and new websites, a link to their excellent History Matters web site for U.S. History, and more. The CHNM History News Network is a weekly online magazine which has articles by several historians. Resources are designed to benefit professional historians, high school teachers, and students of history.
Teaching American History
This is a wonderful assortment of thoughtful and thorough lesson plans and other tools on teaching history. Each project was created by educators in Virginia in a Center for History and New Media workshop. All projects include many different lesson plans and tools, and a few even provide educational videos on supply evaluation. The lesson plans cover a variety of subjects in American history and use engaging and interesting sources, activities, discussion questions, and assessments. Take your time surfing –you will find many to choose from.
National Archives and Records Administration
The NARA offers federal archives, displays, classroom tools, census records, Hot Topics, and much more. In addition to its paper holdings (which would circle the Earth 57 times) it has over 3.5 billion digital records. Users can research individuals, places, events and other popular themes of interest, in addition to ancestry and military records. Additionally, there are features displays drawing from many of the NARA’s favorite sources. Among the most requested holdings would be the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, WWII photographs, along with the Bill of Rights.
The National Archives: Teachers’ Resources
The National Archives Lesson Plans section comprises incorporates U.S. primary documents and its exceptional teaching tasks correlate to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government. Courses are organized by averaging age, from 1754 to the present.
The National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults is an interactive exploration of background that examines thousands of files, photos, and pieces of history which were incorporated in an electronic format. Upon entering the homepage, the consumer is given eight random archives to choose from. Clicking on one provides a description along with a brief history of that record, as well as displays a huge variety of similar archives. The user has the capability to shuffle, rearrange, gather, and research archives, in addition to search for specific points in history utilizing a keyword search. Although too little initial organization or indicator might appear overpowering, Digital Vaults is a superbly imaginative resource for exploring history in a compiled way.
Teach Docs With DocsTeach, educators can create interactive history activities that incorporate more than 3,000 primary-source materials in a variety of media in the National Archives. Tools on the website are made to teach critical thinking abilities and incorporate interactive elements such as puzzles, maps, and graphs.
Our Records Offers 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings, which chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965. Features a teacher’s toolbox and contests for teachers and students.
A fantastic source for information on a myriad of historical events and personalities. PBS’s various and diverse web displays supplement their tv show and generally include a summary of every incident, interviews (often with sound bites), a timeline, primary sources, a glossary, photographs, maps, and links to pertinent sites. PBS productions include American Experience, Frontline and People’s Century. Go to the PBS Teacher Source for lessons and activities — organized by topic.
PBS Teacher Resource Proceed to the PBS Teacher Source for lessons and activities — organized by topic and grade level — and sign up for their newsletter. Categories include American History, World History, History on Television, and Biographies. Many lessons incorporate primary sources. Some lessons require viewing PBS video, but many don’t.
The Smithsonian Education site is divided simply into three chief classes: Educators, Families, and Students. The Educators section is key word searchable and includes lesson plans — many pertaining to background. The Students section comes with an interactive”Keys of the Smithsonian” that educates about the special collections in the Smithsonian.
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
This Smithsonian website skillfully integrates Flash text and video to examine armed conflicts involving the U.S. in the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each battle contains a brief video clip, statistical advice, and a set of artifacts. There is also a Civil War mystery, an exhibition self-guide, and a teacher’s guide. The New American Roles (1899-present) section contains an introductory movie and brief essay on the battle as well as historic artifacts and images.
Edsitement — The Best of the Humanities on the Internet EDSITEment is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Humanities, Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities. All websites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and educational impact in the classroom. This impressive website features reviewed links to top sites, professionally developed lesson plans, classroom activities, materials to assist with daily classroom planning, and search engines. You are able to search lesson plans by subcategory and grade level; center school lessons are the most numerous.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
There’s a lot of excellent material for art students, educators, and enthusiasts at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Start with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world. Each timeline page incorporates representative art from the Museum’s collection, a graph of time intervals, a map of the region, an overview, and a listing of important events. The timelines — accompanied by regional, world, and sub-regional maps — provide a linear outline of art history, and permit visitors to compare and contrast art from around the world at any time ever. There’s plenty more here besides the Timeline:”Just for Fun” has interactive activities for children,”A Closer Look” assesses the”hows and whys” behind Met objects (like George Washington Crossing the Delaware),”Artist” enables visitors to get biographical materials on a choice of artists in addition to general information about their work, and”Topics and Cultures” presents past and present cultures with special features on the Met’s collections and displays.
C-SPAN in the Classroom
Access C-SPAN’s complete program archives including all videos. C-SPAN in the Classroom is a free membership service that features information and tools to assist educators in their use of primary source, public events movie out of C-SPAN television. You do not need to become a member to use C-SPAN online resources in your classroom, but also membership includes access to teaching ideas, tasks and classroom tools.
This impressive website from Steven Mintz at the University of Houston includes an up-to-date U.S. history textbook; annotated primary sources on United States, Mexican American, and Native American background, and captivity; and succinct essays on the history of ethnicity and immigration, movie, personal life, and science and technology. Visual histories of Lincoln’s America and America’s Reconstruction include text by Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney. The Doing History feature lets users reconstruct the past through the voices of children, gravestones, advertisements, and other primary sources. Reference resources include classroom handouts, chronologies, encyclopedia articles, glossaries, along with an abysmal archive including speeches, book discussions and e-lectures by historians, and historic maps, music, newspaper articles, and images. The site’s Ask the HyperHistorian feature lets users pose questions to professional historians.
Civil Rights Special Collection
The Teachers’ Domain Civil Rights Collection is Made by WGBH Boston, in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Washington University in St. Louis. Materials are free but you must register. Features an impressive array of sound, video, and text resources out of Frontline and American Experience shows, Eyes on the Prize, along with other sources. Also offers an interactive Civil Rights movement deadline and four lesson plans: Campaigns for Economic Freedom/Re-Examining Brown/Taking a Stand/Understanding White Supremacy.
Science and Technology of World War II
Some of the most remarkable technology advancements of the modern era happened during World War II and the National World War II Memorial has 8000 objects directly related to science and technology. This impressive display contains an animated timeline, actions (such as sending encoded messages), expert audio answers to science and engineering questions, lesson plans, a quiz, essays, and more. An impressive demonstration.
Voting America: United States Politics, 1840-2008
Voting America examines long-term patterns in presidential election politics in the United States from the 1840s to today as well as some patterns lately congressional election politics. The job delivers a vast spectrum of animated and interactive visualizations of the way Americans voted in elections within the last 168 decades. The visualizations may be used to explore individual elections past the state level down to different counties, allowing for more complex analysis. The interactive maps highlight exactly how important third parties have played in Western political history. You could also locate expert analysis and comment videos that discuss some of the most interesting and important trends in American political history.
Do Background: Martha Ballard
DoHistory invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of regular men and women previously. It is an experimental, interactive case study based on the research that went into the book and PBS film A Midwife’s Tale, which were both based upon the remarkable 200 year-old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. There are thousands of downloadable pages from initial records: diaries, maps, letters, court records, town records, and much more as well as a searchable copy of the twenty-seven year diary of Martha Ballard. DoHistory engages users interactively with historic artifacts and documents from the past and introduces people to the pivotal questions and problems raised when”doing” history. DoHistory was developed and preserved by the Film Study Center at Harvard University and is hosted and maintained by the Middle for History and New Media, George Mason University.
The Valley of the Dead The Valley of the Shadow depicts two communities, one Northern and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil War. The project focuses on Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and it presents a hypermedia archive of thousands of resources that creates a social history of their coming, fighting, and aftermath of the Civil War. Those sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photos, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students can explore the conflict and write their own histories or reconstruct the life stories of girls, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. The project is meant for secondary schools, community schools, libraries, and universities.
Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association/Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts has established a rich and impressive website that concentrates on the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, with the goal of commemorating and reinterpreting the event from the viewpoints of all of the cultural groups who were current — Mohawk, Abenaki, Huron, French, and English. The site brings together many resources — historical scenes, tales of people’s lives, historic artifacts and documents, essays, voices and songs, historical maps, and a timeline — to illuminate broad and competing perspectives on this spectacular event.
Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition
The Missouri Historical Society has developed a comprehensive award-winning website and on-line program designed to match their own Lewis and Clark, The National Bicentinnal Exhibiton. Written for grades 4-12, the units focus on nine major themes of the display and feature tens of thousands of primary sources from the exhibit. The program uses the Lewis and Clark expedition as the case studies for bigger themes such as Diplomacy, Mapping, Animals, Language, and Trade and Property. It presents both the Euro-American perspective and a distinct Native American perspective. The internet display has two sections. One is a thematic approach that highlights the content from the main galleries of the exhibit. The other is a map-based travel which follows the expedition and introduces primary sources along the way, such as interviews with present-day Native Americans.
The Sport of Life and Death
The Sport of Life and Death has been voted Best Overall Site for 2002 by the Web and has won a ton of other internet awards. The site is based on a traveling exhibition now showing at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey and bills itself as”an internet travel into the ancient spectacle of athletes and gods.” The Sport of Life and Death features amazing special effects owing to Macromedia Flash technology and its overall layout and organization are excellent. There are useful interactive maps, timelines, and samples of artwork in the Explore the Mesoamerican World section. The attention of the site, however, is that the Mesoamerican ballgame, the oldest organized sport ever. The game is clarified through a beautiful and engaging combination of images, text, expert commentary, and movie. Visitors can even compete in a competition!
The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
A first-rate exhibition created by the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University. There are two big components: the history of Chicago in the 19th century, and how the Chicago Fire has been remembered over time. Included are essays, galleries, and even sources.
Technology at the U.S. History in the Classroom
Here are some innovative, engaging and technology-infused lessons & web sites on U.S. History:
“Day in Life of Hobo” podcast
This interdisciplinary creative writing/historical simulation action incorporates blogging and podcasting and calls on students to research the plight of homeless teenagers during the Great Depression and then make their own fictionalized account of a day in the life of a Hobo. This undertaking will be included in the spring edition of Social Education, published by the National Council of Social Studies.
“Telling Their Stories” — Oral History Archive Project of the Urban School
Visit”Telling Their Stories” and read, watch, and listen to perhaps the best student-created oral history project at the nation. High School students at the Urban School of San Francisco have produced three notable oral history interviews featured at this site: Holocaust Survivors and Refugees, World War II Camp Liberators, and Japanese-American Internees. Urban school students conducted, filmed, and transcribed interviews, created countless movie files associated with each transcript, and then posted the full-text, full-video interviews with this public site. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has acknowledged Urban School’s Telling Their Stories project using a Leading Edge Recognition award for excellence in technology integration. Teachers interested in running an oral history project can contact Urban School technology manager Howard Levin and ought to consider attending his summer teacher workshop.
Student News Action Network
This student-produced current events journal features contributions from around the globe and is led by five student-bureaus: The American School of Doha, Bishops Diocesan College, International School Bangkok, International School of Luxembourg, and Washington International School. The students have cleverly adopted the free Ning platform and far-flung students work tirelessly to create an interactive, multimedia-rich, and student-driven online paper.
“Great Debate of 2008″
Tom Daccord produced a wiki and a private online social media for the”Great Debate of 2008” job, a student exploration and discussion of issues and candidates surrounding the 2008 presidential election. The job connected pupils across the country in a wiki and a private online social network to share ideas and information associated with the 2008 presidential elections. Pupils post advice on campaign issues into the wiki and partake in online discussions and survey with other pupils in the personal online social network.
The Flat Classroom Project
The award-winning Flat Classroom project brings together large school and middle school students from all over the globe to learn more about the ideas presented in Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat. These collaborative endeavors harness the most effective Web 2.0 tools available including wikis, online social networks, digital storytelling, podcasts, social bookmarking, and more.
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