Library of Congress
An outstanding and valuable site for American history and general studies. Includes primary and secondary documents, displays, map collections, prints and photos, audio recordings and motion images. The Library of Congress American Memory Historical Collections, a must-see, contains the majority of digitalized materials, but the Exhibitions Gallery is enticing and informative as well. The Library of Congress also provides a Learning Page that provides activities, tools, thoughts, and attributes for teachers and students.
The Library of Congress American Memory in particular is an outstanding resource for American history and general research. Included are multimedia collections of photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text that is unread. Use the Teachers department to research main set collections and themed resources. Teachers can get updates on new programs, professional development opportunities, and Library programs, events and providers.
The Library of Congress: Teachers
The new Library of Congress Teachers page provides resources and tools to using Library of Congress primary source records in the classroom and contain exceptional lesson plans, document analysis tools, online and offline activities, timelines, presentations and professional development resources.
Center for History and New Media: History Matters
A production of the American Social History Project/Center of Media and Learning, City of University New York, and the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, History Matters is a wonderful online resource for history teachers and students. One of the many digital resources are lesson plans, syllabi, links, and exhibits. The middle for History and New Media’s tools include a listing of”best” web sites, links to syllabi and lesson plans, essays on history and new media, a link for their excellent History Topics web site for U.S. History, and much more. The CHNM History News Network is a weekly online magazine that features articles by several historians. Resources are designed to benefit professional historians, higher school instructors, and students of history.
Teaching American History
This is a wonderful collection of thoughtful and thorough lesson plans and other tools on teaching history. Each job was created by teachers in Virginia at a Center for History and New Media workshop. All projects include many different lesson plans and tools, and some even offer educational videos on supply analysis. The lesson plans cover a range of subjects in American history and utilize interesting and engaging resources, activities, discussion questions, and assessments. Take your time browsing–you will find many to choose from.
National Archives and Records Administration
The NARA delivers federal archives, exhibits, classroom resources, census documents, Hot Topics, and much more. In addition to its paper holdings (which will show the Earth 57 times) it has over 3.5 billion digital records. Users can research people, locations, events as well as other popular themes of interest, in addition to ancestry and military documents. There are also features exhibits drawing from many of the NARA’s popular sources. One of the most requested holdings would be the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, WWII photographs, along with the Bill of Rights.
The National Archives: Teachers’ Resources
The National Archives Lesson Plans section contains incorporates U.S. primary files and its exceptional teaching activities correlate to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government. Courses are organized by averaging era, from 1754 to the present.
The National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults is an interactive exploration of background that assesses thousands of files, photographs, and parts of history which have been integrated in an electronic format. Upon going into the homepage, the user is given eight random archives to choose from. Clicking on one provides a description and a brief record of the archive, in addition to displays a large variety of similar archives. The user has the capability to shuffle, rearrange, collect, and explore archives, in addition to search for specific points in history using a keyword search. Although too little initial organization or indicator might appear overpowering, Digital Vaults is a wonderfully imaginative source for investigating history in a compiled way.
Teach Documents With DocsTeach, educators can create interactive history activities that incorporate over 3,000 primary-source substances in a variety of media in the National Archives. Tools on the website are made to teach critical thinking abilities and integrate interactive components such as puzzles, maps, and charts.
Our Documents Offers 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings, which chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965. Features a teacher’s toolbox and competitions for teachers and students.
A fantastic resource for advice on a myriad of historical events and characters. PBS’s assorted and varied web displays supplement their television series and normally include a list of every episode, interviews (often with sound bites), a timeline, primary sources, a glossary, photographs, maps, and links to pertinent sites. PBS productions include American Experience, Frontline and People’s Century. Go to the PBS Teacher Source for lessons and activities — arranged by topic.
PBS Teacher Resource Proceed to the PBS Teacher Source for classes and activities — organized by topic and grade level — and subscribe to their newsletter. Categories include American History, World History, History on Television, and Biographies. Many lessons incorporate primary sources. Some courses require viewing PBS video, but many do not.
The Smithsonian Education website is divided simply into three main classes: Educators, Families, and Students. The Educators section is key word searchable and includes lesson programs — many pertaining to background. The Students section comes with an interactive”Keys of the Smithsonian” that teaches about the special collections in the Smithsonian.
The Cost of Freedom: Americans at War
This Smithsonian website logically incorporates Flash video and text to analyze armed conflicts between the U.S. in the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each battle includes a brief video clip, statistical information, and a pair of artifacts. There’s also a Civil War puzzle, an exhibition self-guide, and a teacher’s guide. The New American Roles (1899-present) segment includes an introductory movie and short essay on the conflict as well as historic artifacts and images.
Edsitement — The Best of the Humanities on the Internet EDSITEment is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Humanities, Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities. All sites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and educational impact in the classroom. This impressive website features reviewed links to top sites, professionally developed lesson plans, classroom activities, materials to assist with daily classroom planning, and search engines. You can search lesson plans from subcategory and grade level; middle school courses are the most numerous.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
There is much quality material for art students, teachers, and fans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Begin with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from across the world. Each timeline page includes representative artwork from the Museum’s collection, a graph of time periods, a map of the area, a summary, and a listing of key events. The timelines — accompanied by regional, world, and sub-regional maps — provide a linear outline of art history, and permit visitors to compare and contrast art from across the world at any moment ever. There’s plenty more here besides the Timeline:”Just for Fun” has interactive activities for children,”A Closer Look” examines the”hows and whys” behind Met objects (like George Washington Crossing the Delaware),”Artist” enables visitors to get biographical materials on a selection of artists as well as general information about their work, and”Themes and Cultures” presents past and present cultures with special features on the Met’s collections and exhibitions.
C-SPAN from the Classroom
Access C-SPAN’s complete program archives including all videos. C-SPAN in the Classroom is a free membership service that offers information and tools to assist teachers in their use of source, public affairs video from C-SPAN television. You do not have to be a member to use C-SPAN online resources in your classroom, but membership includes entry to teaching ideas, tasks and classroom tools.
This impressive site from Steven Mintz at the University of Houston comes with an up-to-date U.S. history textbook; annotated primary resources on United States, Mexican American, and Native American history, and slavery; and succinct essays on the history of ethnicity and immigration, film, private life, and science and engineering. Visual histories of Lincoln’s America and America’s Reconstruction contain text by Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney. The Doing History feature lets users reconstruct the past through the voices of children, gravestones, advertising, and other primary sources. Reference resources include classroom handouts, chronologies, encyclopedia articles, glossaries, and an audio-visual archive including speeches, book discussions and e-lectures by historians, and historic maps, songs, newspaper articles, and graphics. The site’s Ask the HyperHistorian feature allows users to pose questions to professional historians.
Civil Rights Special Collection
The Teachers’ Domain Civil Rights Collection is produced by WGBH Boston, in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Washington University in St. Louis. Materials are free but you must register. Features an impressive selection of sound, video, and text resources from Frontline and American Experience reveals, Eyes on the Prize, along with other resources. Also offers an interactive Civil Rights movement timeline and four lesson plans: Campaigns for Financial Freedom/Re-Examining Brown/Taking a Stand/Understanding White Supremacy.
Science and Technology of World War II
Some of the most remarkable technology advancements of the modern era happened during World War II and the National World War II Memorial has 8000 objects directly linked to science and technology. This impressive display contains an animated timeline, actions (such as sending encrypted messages), expert audio answers to science and technology questions, lesson plans, a quiz, essays, and much more. An impressive presentation.
Voting America: United States Politics, 1840-2008
Voting America examines long-term patterns in presidential elections politics in the USA from the 1840s to now as well as several patterns lately congressional election politics. The project delivers a wide spectrum of interactive and animated visualizations of how Americans voted in elections over the past 168 years. The visualizations may be used to explore individual elections beyond the country level down to different counties, allowing for more complex analysis. The interactive maps highlight just how important third parties have played in American political history. You could also locate expert analysis and comment videos that share some of the most intriguing and important trends in American political history.
Do History: Martha Ballard
DoHistory invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of regular men and women in the past. It is an experimental, interactive case study based on the research that went to the book and PBS film A Midwife’s Tale, which were both based upon the remarkable 200 year-old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. There are hundreds and hundreds of downloadable pages from original documents: diaries, maps, letters, court records, town records, and more as well as a searchable copy of the twenty-seven year diary of Martha Ballard. DoHistory engages users interactively with historical documents and artifacts from the past and introduces people to the pivotal questions and issues raised when”doing” history. DoHistory was designed and maintained by the Film Study Center at Harvard University and is hosted and maintained by the Middle for History and New Media, George Mason University.
The Valley of the Shadows The Valley of the Shadow depicts two communities, 1 Northern and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil War. The project targets Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and it presents a hypermedia archive of thousands of resources that makes a social history of the coming, fighting, and aftermath of the Civil War. Those sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photos, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students may explore the conflict and write their own histories or reconstruct the life stories of girls, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. The project is intended for secondary schools, community colleges, libraries, and universities.
Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association/Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts has established a rich and impressive site which concentrates on the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, with the goal of commemorating and reinterpreting the event from the viewpoints of all the cultural groups who were current — Mohawk, Abenaki, Huron, French, and English. The site brings together many resources — historic scenes, stories of people’s lives, historic artifacts and documents, essays, voices and tunes, historic maps, and a deadline — to light broad and competing perspectives on this dramatic event.
Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition
The Missouri Historical Society has developed an extensive award-winning web site and web-based curriculum designed to complement their Lewis and Clark, The National Bicentinnal Exhibiton. Written for grades 4-12, the components concentrate on nine important topics of the exhibit and feature hundreds of primary sources in the display. The program uses the Lewis and Clark expedition as case studies for larger themes such as Diplomacy, Mapping, Animals, Language, and Trade and Property. It presents both the Euro-American standpoint and a particular Native American standpoint. The online exhibit has two segments. One is a thematic approach that highlights the content from the main galleries of the exhibit. The other is a map-based travel that follows the expedition and presents primary sources along the way, including interviews with present-day Native Americans.
The Sport of Life and Death
The Sport of Life and Death has been voted Best Site for 2002 by the Internet and has won a ton of other internet awards. The website is based on a traveling exhibition currently showing at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey and bills itself as”an online travel to the ancient spectacle of athletes and gods.” The Sport of Life and Death features dazzling special effects courtesy of Macromedia Flash technologies and its overall layout and organization are excellent. There are useful interactive maps, timelines, and samples of art in the Explore the Mesoamerican World section. The focus of the website, however, is the Mesoamerican ballgame, the oldest organized sport ever. The game is explained through a beautiful and engaging combination of text, images, expert commentary, and video. Visitors can even compete in a competition!
The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
A first-rate exhibition created by the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University. There are two major parts: the background of Chicago from the 19th century, and also the way the Chicago Fire was remembered over time. Included are essays, galleries, and sources.
Tech at the U.S. History in the Classroom
Here are some creative, engaging and technology-infused classes & internet sites on U.S. History:
“Day in Life of Hobo” podcast
This interdisciplinary creative writing/historical simulation action incorporates blogging and podcasting and requires students to research the plight of displaced teenagers during the Great Depression and then create their own fictionalized account of a day in the life of a Hobo. This undertaking will probably be featured in the spring edition of Social Education, published by the National Council of Social Studies.
“Telling Their Stories” — Oral History Archive Project of the Urban School
Visit”Telling Their Stories” and see, see, and listen to possibly the very best student-created oral history project at the country. High School students in the Urban School of San Francisco have generated three notable oral history interviews featured at this site: Holocaust Survivors and Refugees, World War II Camp Liberators, and Japanese-American Internees. Urban school students ran, filmed, and transcribed interviews, generated hundreds of movie files associated with every transcript, and then posted the full-text, full-video interviews on the public site. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has acknowledged Urban School’s Telling Their Stories project with a Leading Edge Recognition award for excellence in engineering integration. Teachers interested in running an oral history project can contact Urban School technology manager Howard Levin and should think about attending his summer teacher workshop.
Student News Action Network
This student-produced current events journal includes contributions from around the globe and is led by five student-bureaus: The American School of Doha, Bishops Diocesan College, International School Bangkok, International School of Luxembourg, along with Washington International School. The pupils have cleverly adopted the free Ning platform and far-flung students work tirelessly to create an interactive, multimedia-rich, and student-driven online paper.
“Great Debate of 2008″
Tom Daccord produced a wiki and a private online social network for the”Great Debate of 2008” project, a student exploration and discussion of candidates and issues surrounding the 2008 presidential election. The project connected pupils across the country in a wiki and a private online social network to share ideas and information related to the 2008 presidential elections. Students post advice on campaign issues into the wiki and partake in online discussions and survey together with different students in the private online social networking.
The Flat Classroom Project
The award-winning Flat Classroom job brings together large school and middle school students from around the globe to learn more about the notions presented in Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat. These collaborative projects harness the most effective Web 2.0 tools available including wikis, online social networks, digital storytelling, podcasts, social bookmarking, and much more.
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