March 30, 2020

Timely Connections: States of the Union as Civic Learning Opportunity

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has put together a list of resources for educators to help students understand, analyze, and respond to the upcoming State of the Union. The resources are divided into sections that include the following: Youth Perspectives, the Speech and Its Media Coverage, and Background Lessons. Check out this excellent list along with resources from the Primary Source Nexus and the Library of Congress. Using the State of … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Teaching About Presidential Impeachment

In the article, Teaching Impeachment in Politically Risky Times, Education Week discusses the issues teachers face in the current context and the importance of seizing this teachable moment. "For the nation’s government and civics teachers, it all comes down to this: The wheels of a rarely used, constitutionally prescribed process—impeachment—have been set in motion. And now those teachers are on the front lines of helping interpret it for the nation’s students. Whether teachers are prepared … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Border Spaces Across Time

In a blog post titled, "Comparing Primary Sources Depicting Border Spaces" Library of Congress 2019 Hispanic Division Junior Fellow Jaime Conlan provides insight into using historical and contemporary photographs to serve as an important entryway to discuss difficult issues relevant to the curriculum and, ultimately, to better understand Mexico/U.S. border space. Read the full blog post to access photographs from Library collections and questions to consider when analyzing them. Then take a … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Fresh Perspectives from Female Poets

In an article for Edutopia, middle school educator Kasey Short provides suggestions and tips for "Studying Female Poets to Understand History". After reading this thoughtful article, help your students get some fresh female perspectives of both history and contemporary life with these poetry-related resources. Curator’s Picks: American Women Poets Library of Congress Blog March 26, 2015 Anne Bradstreet, Colonial Poet Poetry by Civil War Era African American Women Are women people? : … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: For the People Act

H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2019 was introduced into the House of Representatives on January 3, 2019 by Rep. John P. Sarbanes, [D-MD-3] and has well over 200 Democrat co-sponsors. INVESTIGATE Scan the legislation and consider the questions below. What main sections are contained in the text of H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2019? What actions have been taken on the legislation? What committees are reviewing the legislation? Which aspects of the legislation are under the … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & Scientific Racism

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Eric Herschthal, a fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, suggests that we remember Frederick Douglass "as someone whose insights about scientific theories of race are every bit as relevant in our era as they were when he wrote them." Take a look at the examples Herschthal provides about Douglass'  efforts to challenge scientific racism, including ethnology or, as it was sometimes referred to, "the … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: James Madison & Slavery

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor and the author of the book The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President, discusses the dichotomies between Madison's moral views of slavery and his actions. Delving into the past, he contends, can provide us with lessons in racism for today. The tension between Madison’s aspirational beliefs and his highly constrained actions continues to be America’s own tension. Like Madison, contemporary United … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Foundational Lessons in Democracy & Civil Discourse

"Conspiracy theories run amok. Fear of spies and meddling in American politics at the highest levels by foreign powers. A bipartisan divide so bitter that the federal government moves to muzzle what many politicians believe to be a biased, out-of-control news media." Current events? Actually, the excerpt paints a picture of the political climate during John Adam's tenure as president of the United States and is the lead paragraph of a book review from the Christian Science Monitor of Friends … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Fake News & Civic Reasoning

Practicing primary source analysis helps students develop historical thinking skills that also happen to be very important civic literacy skills. In an article from the Fall 2017 issue of American Educator, Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) provides assessments of online civic reasoning and tips for going beyond identifying news as "fake" or "real" to understanding where information comes from and who is behind it. Social studies consultant and History Tech blogger Glenn Wiebe provides … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Immigrant Soldiers

The United States is a nation of immigrants, many of whom have served the country in times of need. Below you will find links to news articles about immigrant soldiers, historical background resources, and related primary sources and teaching resources. How does studying sources from the past inform your understanding of the contemporary debate surrounding immigrants in the U.S. armed forces? Congressional Activity The Impact of Current Immigration Policies on Service Members and … [Read more...]