October 18, 2017

Learning from the Source: Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing

Students deepen their understanding of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with this primary source image sequencing activity. Lesson implementation Direct students to work individually, in pairs or in small groups to write a definition of the word “democracy”. When students have finished, tell them that the word “democracy” comes from two Greek words: “demos” meaning “people” and “kratos” meaning “power” or “authority.” Ask them if they now want to revise the definitions they … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Geography & the Civil War

This is a guest post from Nicole Woulfe, a middle school social studies teacher from New Hampshire and a Citizen U pilot lesson implementer. Learn more about the creation, implementation and reflection of this lesson. Focus Question What role did geography play in the turning points of Vicksburg and Sherman’s March during the Civil War? Content goal Geography Grade 6 Competency: Students will demonstrate and apply knowledge of geography and geographic tools in the study of the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Perceptions & Roles of American Women

Enduring understanding Time, place, and culture influence our perspectives on people and issues. Essential question How have perceptions of women in America and their roles in society evolved over time? Lesson prep Review and read all primary sources. Prepare primary sources for online or paper analysis. Have packs of sticky notes (three different colors) available. Lesson plan Divide students into three or six groups and instruct each group complete one of the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Cesar Chavez & Good Citizenship

This activity is adapted from lessons in the Barat Education Foundation Our American Voice® program. This civics program for 4-8 graders features a spiral curriculum and emphasizes critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills as students learn the fundamentals of American democracy and work to create positive change in their communities. Overview Using Cesar Chavez as an example, students consider how good citizens contribute to their communities and work together to affect … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Technology Time Travel

Set students to sleuthing by traveling back in time with historic newspapers to discover how the hot new technology at the turn of the 20th century evolved. Have students work in groups to analyze the primary sources and, together, uncover the evolution of radio technology. Then have students investigate other primary and secondary sources to compare and contrast radio's evolution to another technology of today. What parallels do they notice? What lessons can they learn from history to help them … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Pledge of Allegiance Image Sequencing

Most school children in the United States recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. But what does the pledge really mean? By pairing primary sources with the text, students will deepen their understanding of a citizen's commitment to country. Image sequencing materials Pledge of Allegiance Image Sequencing Worksheet Pledge of Allegiance Images Pledge of Allegiance Image Citations Image sequencing resources & activities About image sequencing activities … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Primary Source Trail of Western Migration

Background The “Corps of Discovery” expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the years 1804-1806 was instrumental in opening up western North America to settlement. After this defining exploration, fur companies further investigated  westward routes. Financed by John J. Astor's Pacific Fur Company, an 1812 expedition led by Robert Stuart began on the west coast at Fort Aster on the mouth of the Columbia River and forged eastward. A significant portion of the route … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Lesson overview Writer and poet Langston Hughes was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement, famous for his illuminating and moving depictions of African American life. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was Hughes's first published poem, appearing in the June 1921 issue of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) magazine The Crisis. Since that time, the poem has been set to music repeatedly, as shown by the sheet music illustrating this post. Lesson … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Geographical conversation cards

Use these geographical conversation cards to learn about the geographical history of the United States as well as learn state facts. Lesson prep 1. Print out and cut up state cards and the Question and Answer cards. 2. Separate these into 5  groups of state cards and their accompanying Q&A cards. Because there are missing cards (AR, KY, NC, NJ, OH), some groups will be missing Q&A cards; be sure that each group has at least one state card with missing Q&A cards. 3. … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Cartoonist Commentary-Vietnam War

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War lasted more than a decade. Have students analyze political cartoons from the primary source sets below to consider different issues related to this war and how cartoonists' perspectives of U.S. involvement evolved over time. If students are not practiced at analyzing political cartoons, use the accompanying resources to help prepare and guide students in this type of primary source analysis. You may choose to have students analyze the cartoons twice, first … [Read more...]