January 29, 2022

Primary Source Learning: The U.S. Capitol and the Events of January 6, 2021

Primary sources are the perfect avenue to help explore and investigate the events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol as well as those that preceded it and those that followed it. Below we have compiled numerous resources to assist in deepening understanding of our past and present in the hopes that we can better address the future. Vocabulary Many different words were used to describe the events of January 6, 2021. Before beginning an investigation, consider digging into and discussing … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Separating Myths from History

This unit plan and teaching guide was developed by Dr. John Bickford, Professor of Education at Eastern Illinois University and Editor-in-Chief of The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies, in collaboration with Citizen U. It presents a lesson plan with teaching notes targeted to early and upper elementary students. TEACHER BACKGROUND Children—and adults!—will be shocked to learn most of their Thanksgiving facts are fables, not history. This short section details the stuff many folks … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: The Wampanoag, the Plimoth Colonists & the First Thanksgiving

This primary source set is targeted to elementary students and includes background information and thinking prompts. It was curated mainly by Dr. John Bickford, Professor of Education at Eastern Illinois University and Editor-in-Chief of The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies with the goal of helping students separate Thanksgiving myths from history. This set is also available as a Google document; get it here. Access the teaching guide for this source set. Source 1 Pre-reading: … [Read more...]

NHD 2022: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More

We have compiled a big list of resources to help you dig deep into National History Day projects. Understanding NHD Projects Be sure to read the NHD 2022 rule book carefully! You should also check out this YouTube rules video playlist to review general rules for all NHD project categories, as well as category-specific rules. Explore the categories. Click the orange buttons to learn more about each category. Documentary project checklist evaluation form Ask an NEH … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Constitutional Rights of Students

Every year the United States celebrates Constitution Day on September 17. How much do you know about U.S. constitutional rights? Did you know that those rights are different in the context of public schools? School officials have significant leeway when instituting and enforcing rules to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning but, over the years, the Supreme Court has weighed in on the balance of students' constitutional rights as U.S. citizens and as public school students. What can … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Science & Technology

Citizen U lessons integrating science and civics Carbon Footprints, Climate, and Civic Causes Electromagnetism, Electric Communication, and Community Mandatory Vaccinations: Yea or Nay The Scientific Method, School Shootings, and Civic Action TB or Not TB: Disease Prevention Vaccinations, Science, and the Law More lesson plans Around the World in 1896 6-8 Earth's Changing Shape Unit 2 Earth Systems Unit 2 How Transportation Transformed America: Going to … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: The Tulsa Race Massacre Then and Now

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, or the Attack on Greenwood, was, and remains, one of the bloodiest outbreaks of racist violence in U.S. history. The incident began with the arrest of a young black man on May 31, was incited by an inflammatory report in the May 31 edition of the Tulsa Tribune, and ended around 24 hours later after white rioters looted and burned the prosperous black community on June 1. In the aftermath, dozens of city blocks were razed, hundreds killed, and thousands left … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Asian Pacific American History & Culture

Primary Source Sets with Teacher Guides Japanese American Internment During World War II Veterans' Stories: Struggles for Participation Guided Primary Source Analyses Chinese Citizenship in Hawaii Entrance to Manzanar Collection Connections After the Day of Infamy: “Man-on-the-Street” Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar Lesson Plans Analysis and Interpretation of Primary … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Film & Video

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Video Recordings Teaching with the Library of Congress blog posts All-American News: Newsreels for African American Audiences February 7, 2019 Explore Library of Congress Professional Development Videos April 11, 2017 Exploring America's Cinematic Heritage through the National Film Registry December 17, 2015 Football Through Film and Other Primary Sources January 31, 2019 Inspiring Citizen Action with the National Screening Room … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Overview By pairing primary sources with poetry, students consider the proverb, "Good fences make good neighbors" in the context of their own lives as well as in a local, national or global context. Lesson Steps Display the primary source image and analyze it together as a class using the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool. After, ask students to consider and discuss the mood and tone of the image and what feelings it brings to mind. Ask for two student volunteers to … [Read more...]