Library of Congress
An outstanding and invaluable site for American history and general studies. Includes primary and secondary files, exhibits, map collections, prints and photographs, 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 enlightening as well. The Library of Congress also offers a Learning Page that provides tools, activities, thoughts, and features for educators and students.
The Library of Congress American Memory particularly is a superb resource for American history and general research. Contained are multimedia collections of photographs, recorded sound, moving images, and text that is unread. Utilize the Teachers department to research primary 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, record analysis tools, offline and online activities, timelines, presentations and professional development resources.
Center for History and New Media: History Matters
A production of this American Social History Project/Center of Media and Learning, City of University New York, along with 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 numerous digital resources are lesson plans, syllabi, links, and exhibits. The Center for History and New Media’s tools include a listing of”best” internet sites, links to syllabi and lesson plans, essays on history and new websites, a link for their excellent History Matters web site for U.S. History, and more. The CHNM History News Network is a weekly web-based magazine which has articles by several historians. Resources are designed to benefit professional historians, higher school teachers, and students of the history.
Teaching American History
This is a wonderful collection of thoughtful and comprehensive lesson plans and other resources on teaching history. Each job was created by teachers in Virginia at a Center for History and New Media workshop. All projects include a variety of lesson plans and resources, and a few even provide educational videos on source evaluation. The lesson plans cover a range of topics in American history and use engaging and interesting sources, activities, discussion questions, and assessments. Take your time browsing–you will find many to select from.
National Archives and Records Administration
The NARA delivers federal archives, exhibits, classroom tools, census documents, Hot Topics, and more. In addition to its newspaper holdings (which will circle the Earth 57 days ) it has over 3.5 billion digital records. Users can research individuals, places, events as well as other popular topics of interest, as well as ancestry and military documents. Additionally, there are features exhibits drawing from many of those NARA’s popular sources. Among the most requested holdings are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, WWII photographs, and the Bill of Rights.
The National Archives: Teachers’ Resources
The National Archives Lesson Plans section comprises incorporates U.S. main files and its exceptional teaching tasks correlate to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government. Lessons are organized by averaging era, from 1754 to the present.
The National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults is an interactive exploration of background that examines thousands of files, photographs, and parts of history which have been incorporated in an electronic format. Upon entering the homepage, the user is given eight arbitrary archives to choose from. Clicking on one will give a description and a brief record of that archive, in addition to displays a large assortment of similar archives. The user has the ability to shuffle, rearrange, collect, and explore archives, in addition to search for specific points in history utilizing a keyword search. Although a lack of initial organization or index might seem overpowering, Digital Vaults is a superbly imaginative resource for exploring history in a compiled manner.
Teach Docs With DocsTeach, educators can create interactive background 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 maps, puzzles, and graphs.
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. Attributes a teacher’s toolbox and competitions for teachers and students.
A great resource for advice on a myriad of historic events and personalities. PBS’s assorted and varied web exhibits supplement their television series and normally include a summary of every episode, interviews (often with sound bites), a timeline, primary sources, a glossary, photographs, maps, and links to relevant sites. PBS productions include American Experience, Frontline and People’s Century. Go to the PBS Teacher Source for lessons and activities — organized by subject.
PBS Teacher Source Proceed to the PBS Teacher Source for classes and activities — organized by subject and grade level — and then subscribe to their newsletter. Groups include American History, World History, History on Television, and Biographies. Many lessons include primary sources. Some lessons require watching PBS video, but many don’t.
The Smithsonian Education site is divided only into three chief classes: Educators, Families, and Students. The Educators section is key word searchable and features lesson plans — lots of pertaining to history. The Students section features an interactive”Secrets of the Smithsonian” that teaches about the special collections in the Smithsonian.
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
This Smithsonian website logically incorporates Flash text and video to analyze armed conflicts involving the U.S. in the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each conflict contains a brief video clip, statistical advice, and a set of artifacts. There is also a Civil War mystery, an exhibition self-guide, and a teacher’s guide. The New American Roles (1899-present) section includes an introductory movie and short essay on the conflict in addition to historic images and artifacts.
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 websites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and educational impact in the classroom. This impressive site 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; center school courses are the most numerous.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
There is a lot of excellent stuff for art students, teachers, and enthusiasts 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 art from the Museum’s collection, a graph of time periods, a map of the region, a summary, and a listing of key events. The timelines — accompanied by regional, world, and sub-regional maps — supply a linear outline of art history, and permit people to compare and contrast art from around the world at any moment in history. There’s plenty more here apart from the Timeline:”Just for Fun” has interactive activities for children,”A Closer Look” assesses the”hows and whys” behind Met objects (such as George Washington Crossing the Delaware),”Artist” enables visitors to get biographical stuff on a selection of artists in addition to general details about their job, and”Themes and Cultures” presents past and current cultures with special attributes on the Met’s collections and displays.
C-SPAN in the Classroom
Access C-SPAN’s complete program archives including all videos. C-SPAN from the Classroom is a free membership service that offers advice and resources to assist teachers in their use of primary source, public events movie out of C-SPAN television. You do not need to be a member to use C-SPAN online resources in your classroom, but membership includes access to teaching ideas, activities and classroom applications.
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 background, and slavery; and succinct essays about the history of ethnicity and immigration, film, personal 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 Background feature lets users rebuild 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 talks and e-lectures by historians, and historical maps, music, newspaper articles, and graphics. The site’s Ask the HyperHistorian feature lets users pose questions to professional historians.
Civil Rights Special Collection
The Teachers’ Domain Civil Rights Collection is Made by WGBH Boston, in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Washington University in St. Louis. Materials are free but you have to register. Features an impressive array of audio, video, and text resources out of Frontline and American Experience reveals, Eyes on the Prize, along with other resources. Also offers an interactive Civil Rights movement deadline and four lesson plans: Campaigns for Financial Freedom/Re-Examining Brown/Taking a Stand/Understanding White Supremacy.
Science and Technology of World War II
One of the most impressive technology advancements of the modern age happened during World War II along with the National World War II Memorial has 8000 objects directly linked to science and engineering. This impressive exhibit includes an animated timeline, actions (such as sending encrypted messages), professional sound 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 assesses long-term patterns in presidential elections politics in the USA in the 1840s to now in addition to some patterns lately congressional election politics. The project offers a vast spectrum of interactive and animated visualizations of how Americans voted in elections within the last 168 decades. The visualizations can be used to research individual elections beyond the state level down to different counties, allowing for more sophisticated analysis. The interactive maps highlight exactly how significant third parties have played in American political history. You can even find expert analysis and comment videos that discuss some of the most intriguing and important trends in American ideology.
Do Background: Martha Ballard
DoHistory invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of ordinary people previously. It is an experimental, interactive case study based on the study that went into 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 thousands of downloadable pages from original records: diaries, maps, letters, court records, town records, and much more as well as a searchable copy of this twenty-seven year diary of Martha Ballard. DoHistory engages users interactively with historical artifacts and documents from the past and introduces people to the pivotal questions and issues raised when”doing” history. DoHistory was developed 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, one 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 creates a social history of the forthcoming, combating, and aftermath of the Civil War. These sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photos, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students may learn more about the conflict and write their own histories or rebuild the life stories of girls, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. The project is meant 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 occasion from the perspectives of all of the cultural groups who were current — Mohawk, Abenaki, Huron, French, and English. The site brings together many resources — historical scenes, stories of people’s lives, historical artifacts and papers, essays, voices and songs, historic maps, and a deadline — to light broad and rival perspectives on this spectacular event.
Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition
The Missouri Historical Society has developed an extensive award-winning web site and on-line program developed to match their Lewis and Clark, The National Bicentinnal Exhibiton. Written for grades 4-12, the units focus on nine major topics of the exhibit and feature tens of thousands of primary sources from the exhibit. The program uses the Lewis and Clark expedition as the case studies for bigger themes like Diplomacy, Mapping, Animals, Language, and Trade and Property. It presents both the Euro-American standpoint and a distinct Native American standpoint. The internet display has two segments. One is a thematic approach that highlights the material from the main galleries of this exhibit. Another is a map-based journey that follows the expedition and presents primary sources on the way, including interviews with present-day Native Americans.
The Sport of Life and Death
The Sport of Life and Death was voted Best Site for 2002 by Museums and the Internet and has won a ton of other internet awards. The website is based on a traveling exhibition now showing at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey and bills itself as”an online journey into the ancient spectacle of gods and athletes.” The Sport of Life and Death features dazzling special effects owing to Macromedia Flash technologies and its general design and organization are excellent. You will find helpful interactive maps, timelines, and samples of art in the Explore the Mesoamerican World section. The attention of the site, however, is the Mesoamerican ballgame, the oldest organized sport ever. The game is clarified through a beautiful and engaging combination of images, text, expert commentary, and movie. Visitors can even compete in a competition!
The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
A top notch exhibition created by the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University. There are two major parts: the history of Chicago in the 19th century, and also the way the Chicago Fire was remembered over time. Included are essays, galleries, and even resources.
Tech at the U.S. History in the Classroom
Here are some innovative, engaging and technology-infused classes & web sites on U.S. History:
“Day in Life of Hobo” podcast
This interdisciplinary creative writing/historical simulation action incorporates blogging and podcasting and calls on 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 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 read, watch, and listen to perhaps the best student-created oral history project in the country. High School students in the Urban School of San Francisco have generated three notable oral history interviews featured at this website: Holocaust Survivors and Refugees, World War II Camp Liberators, and Japanese-American Internees. Urban school students conducted, filmed, and transcribed interviews, created hundreds of movie files associated with each 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 using a Leading Edge Recognition award for excellence in technology integration. Teachers interested in running an oral history project can contact Urban School technology director Howard Levin and should consider attending his summer teacher workshop.
Student News Action Network
This student-produced current events diary features 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, and Washington International School. The students have adopted the free Ning system and far-flung pupils work collaboratively to create an interactive, multimedia-rich, and student-driven online newspaper.
“Great Debate of 2008″
Tom Daccord created a wiki and a private online social media for the”Great Debate of 2008” project, a student exploration and discussion of issues and candidates surrounding the 2008 presidential election. The job connected students around the country in a wiki and a private online social network to share information and ideas associated with the 2008 presidential elections. Pupils post information on campaign issues to the wiki and partake in online discussions and survey with different students in the personal online social network.
The Flat Classroom Project
The award-winning Flat Classroom job brings together large school and middle school students from all over the globe to learn more about the ideas presented in Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat. These collaborative endeavors harness the most powerful Web 2.0 tools available including wikis, online social networks, digital storytelling, podcasts, social bookmarking, and more.
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