September 19, 2020

Teaching Now: Examining Social Justice Through Historical, Classic and Contemporary Sources

This is a guest post from Kasey Short, an eighth-grade English teacher at Charlotte Country Day school in North Carolina.  When I moved from 6th to 8th grade last year, one thing I thought about a lot was how I would approach teaching To Kill a Mockingbird. I knew that I wanted to provide historical context as well as the perspective of recent cases in which people of color have been unjustly found guilty. I also wanted to showcase the voices of people who had been wrongly accused and the … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Pulling Down the Statue

Take a close look at this image to notice small details as well as the bigger picture. Then fill out an Event Happenings worksheet. Next, review the complete work and the source record. What more did you learn? Now look closely at two more images of the same event; the first is a modified image of the first and the second is an entirely different image. Be sure to look closely. What do you learn from the images and source records? Compare and contrast the images as well as the information you … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Middle School (6-8) Image Analysis Choice Board

This choice board is targeted to students in grades 6-8 They may use images found in the home; in newspapers, magazines or books; on television (if there is a pause feature); or online to complete the activities and may write or record (audio or video) their responses. If students have online access, below are several links to a variety of image sets. You may allow them to browse and choose images or you may curate your own set for them to use. Subject primary sources Conservation & … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Worldwide Health Crisis

As the world confronts global health problems such as epidemics or pandemics, involve your students in an authentic lesson that looks at past primary sources to increase understanding of health related issues. Encourage students to use past and current information and digital tools to research, make informed decisions and contribute to their own and their community’s health information. This lesson idea, which  also includes guiding questions, a curated set of historical primary sources, … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Bonus Veterans

Carefully study the details of the Bonus Veterans photograph above. Brainstorm a list of questions you would need answered in order to write an article about this image. Share your questions with an elbow partner, then investigate this primary source image set to see what questions you were able to answer. Write a brief summary of what you learned. Work in groups to review the Washington, D.C. Evening Star coverage of the "Bonus Army" (see links below). Read the headlines and first couple of … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Shrinking Glaciers

Zoom into the map and analyze it, creating a bulleted list of what you learned from your analysis and another list of any questions that you have; click the image above to access the source record. Use the scale to trace a 1-mile square grid over the image portion of the map. Use the grid to determine a rough estimate of the number of square miles of glacier coverage, jotting down the number. Then create a square-mile grid for this timelapse map to determine rough estimates of the number of … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Pairing Pictures & Poems to Tell Stories

Students learn the power of pairing pictures with poems to tell stories about historical and contemporary issues. Display the paired primary sources (Image 1 | Image 2), showing only the images (i.e., cover up the text) and inform students that the poem accompanying these illustrations has been removed. Ask them to predict what the poem is about using details from the images to support their conclusions. Display the bibliographic records for the sources and ask students what new … [Read more...]

Citizen U Webinar: The “Four Freedoms” & the Bill of Rights

Citizen U lessons infuse civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions across the core subjects in elementary, middle, and high school grades. This interactive webinar will feature practice with interdisciplinary civics, inquiry-based learning, and teaching with primary sources. You'll see how these free lessons can be used in either ELA or social studies classes and how they're differentiated across grade spans from elementary to high school. You’ll also be eligible to enter a drawing for a $50 … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Addressing the Gettysburg Address

This lesson may be completed in whole or in part, depending on the needs of your students and the time that you have. FOCUS QUESTION In what ways is equality a proposition, or belief, worth fighting for? LESSON OVERVIEW Students will consider whether equality is important to our democracy as they develop a deep understanding of the literary and historical value of the Gettysburg Address through a game-based close reading of the text. LESSON OBJECTIVES Analyze primary sources … [Read more...]

Citizen U Webinar: Teaching About Dolores Huerta & the United Farm Workers

Citizen U lessons infuse civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions across the core subjects in elementary, middle, and high school grades. This interactive webinar featured practice with interdisciplinary civics, inquiry-based learning, and teaching with primary sources, and information about three ELA-Civics lessons about Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers. The lessons reach across grade levels to elementary, middle and high school students. View webinar recording. Related … [Read more...]