August 18, 2018

Today in History: Clara Barton & the Red Cross

Today in History–May 21–TPS-Barat features Clarissa "Clara" Barton, who founded the Red Cross on this date in 1881. A former teacher, Barton was working in the U.S. patent office at the start of the Civil War. Despite having little nursing training, Barton administered aid to soldiers at several battlefields,  After the war she established the Missing Soldier Office in Washington, D.C., led effort to establish a national cemetery at Andersonville Prison, and, in 1881, founded the American Red … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Declaration, Her Declaration, Your Declaration

Discuss the Declaration of Independence. Why was it written? What meaning did it have in 1776? What meaning does it have today?Read the Declaration of Independence and highlight words and phrases that stand out to you. Read over the words and phrases you highlighted. In what ways does the language you selected help to clarify or distill the meaning of the Declaration of Independence for you?Read over the words and phrases you highlighted again. In what other context of your life might … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Individual Influence

The article, In a Lost Essay, a Glimpse of an Elusive Poet and Slave (The New York Times Sept. 25, 2017), tells the intriguing story of the discovery of a primary source text by Jonathan Senchyne, an assistant professor of book history at the University of Wisconsin. The essay, "Individual Influence" by North Carolina slave and poet George Moses Horton, was found in a scrapbook documenting an 1856 University of North Carolina (UNC) controversy compiled by Henry Harrisse, a 19th-century historian … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Snow

Snow imagesSnowflake imagesCCSS K-5 writing promptsSnow-related filmsThe first sleigh-ride 1897 Sleighing scene 1898 Montreal Fire Department on runners (sleigh) 1901 Esquimaux village Arrival of the Governor General, Lord Minto, at Quebec 1902Snow-related song recordingsLand of snow and a thousand lakes (Tuhatjärvien lumien maa) Snow deer Snow flakes waltz When the snow birds cross the valleySnow sheet musicSnowflake sheet musicPicnic … [Read more...]

Featured Source: The Banks of the Yellow Sea

This Emily Dickinson poem was set to music by composer Ernst Bacon. Take a closer look at this sheet music and read the lyrics. What feeling does this poem give you? What specific word choices influence how you feel? What kind of music do you think would go with these words (happy, upbeat, sad, mournful, lively, slow, etc.)? Even if you can't read music, what clues to the music do you get about how Bacon wanted the song to sound from the sheet music? Now listen to a song recording of "The Banks … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Crowdsourced Poetry

Looking for a way to integrate more poetry into your curriculum during national poetry month in April? Take a look at the project of U.S. Poet LaureateJuan Felipe Herrera. La Casa de Colores, specifically La Familia, is a crowdsourced epic poem project that began in September 15, 2015 and will span the length of Herrera’s Laureateship. The current segment is World Unity Tortillas.Past segments include:La Familia Migrants Language Weavers Peace VeteransThere are several ways … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Woman and Child

Describe how this illustration makes you feel. What details in the drawing contribute to this feeling?Write a description of this scene or write a poem to accompany the illustration.Now read the poem that this drawing illustrated. Describe how this poem compares with what you wrote.What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!Related resourceToday in History: Celebrating Mothers … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Lesson overviewWriter 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...]

Featured Source: Dedication by Robert Frost

Above is the first page of Robert Frost's poem "Dedication" with his handwritten edits. First read the final version of this poem. How does this poem make you feel? Why do you think Frost might have written this poem? Who do you think was the audience for the poem? Include specific examples from the poem in your responses.Referring back to the final version, write a brief summary of the content of this poem and its main theme. Then review the complete poem with Frost's handwritten edits. … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession

Review the Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession and read the program forward (page 3). What goals for the procession does the forward set? How do the accomplishments of the highlighted women on pages 3 and 4 seem to support those goals?Closely read the first 11 paragraphs of page 4: Why Women Want to Vote. What is the tone of the text? What specific words and phrases support your conclusion? What group of women do you think was the primary audience for this text? What specific words … [Read more...]