Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outline of US History
Interesting enough this is put together by the US Department of State. If you want a detailed look at US history go to here, but this is a very concise, 15 chapter history. Perhaps it could be used for review or for 7th grade US history students. It also has a detailed collection of pictures.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How Stuff Works Video
While the Annenberg videos (see below) are up to 30 minutes long, these 609 (yes, 609 with a search engine to help you find everything) are generally very short. To cite one example, next week my students will be looking at Thomas Jefferson, so I typed that in the search engine and found American Presidents: Thomas Jefferson Time: 03:58, The Real Thomas Jefferson: Monticello Time: 01:23, The Real Thomas Jefferson: Jefferson Returns To The US Time: 02:50, America Under Thomas Jefferson: Jefferson Takes Charge Time: 01:35, The Real Thomas Jefferson: Jefferson Goes To France Time: 00:55, The Real Thomas Jefferson: Program Introduction Time: 02:06, The Real Thomas Jefferson: Complex And Contradictory Time: 26:00, America Under Thomas Jefferson: 1800 To 1808 Time: 15:02, America Under Thomas Jefferson: Video Quiz Time: 01:00 and America Under Thomas Jefferson: The US In 1800 Time: 01:52. The only negative is that you have to watch a 30 second promo clip, but the actual videos are made from pictures, current video, period music, maps and more. (photo from
Annenberg Video for US History
Wow! There are a number of great videos here to help you highligh your teaching of the pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. Some of the titles include "Pre-Columbian America," "Revolutionary Perspectives," "The New Nation," "A Nation Divided," "Taming the West" and so much more. Once you get to the page, you will have to sign up (it's free) and then you can click on the videos. Also go here if you want to see other US history related video and more. (Picture from
History Is Never As Neat As It Appears
I am always telling my students that their history books are nice neat stories. Case in point is the Depression. As this great article in the Washington Post today points out, only 2% of Americans had their stocks in the market when it "crashed." It took until Feb ruary 1929 for bread lines to appear and the famous picture above took place in Manhattan long before such lines appeared anywhere else. In fact it took until 1932 for the stock market to actually hit bottom. The Post even went as far to say "98 leading businessmen ... insisted that the engine of American capitalism was still revving. " So this would be a great article to share with students. To go along with the article, go here for a short video on the Great Depression. (photo from Associated Press)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A New History Book Online
If you have been following this site, you know about Hippo Campus which has text and video for AP US and US history (among other subjects). McDougell Littell site which has primary documents, quizzes and more. Now, though, there is a potentially better site in the making. The site titled, US History, Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium," already has a great text online, and links to first person accounts, other related webpages and some video with the promise to continuously evolve to include interactive displays, video streaming, simulations or dynamic versions of the text, and opportunities for collaboration by students and teachers (all of which makes you wonder what textbook companies are going to start offering to compete with free sites like this). Really this is what a textbook should be in today's world, a growing "organism" which changes as new items are added to the internet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gilder Lehrman Summer Institutes for Teachers
The Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminars are designed to strengthen participants' commitment to high quality history teaching. Public, parochial, independent school teachers, and National Park Service rangers are eligible. These weeklong seminars provide intellectual stimulation and a collaborative context for developing practical resources and strategies to take back to the classroom. Seminars offer: Room and board, Books and teaching resources, Stipends of $400 (international seminar stipend of $500). Click here to apply

Adams' Administration
On Monday my classes will be discussing the Adams' administration. To help the kids learn I sometime like to show short video clips. While I normally look to the great site, it does not have any age appropriate (high school) clips on the XYZ Affair and the Alien and Seditions Acts. Enter Hippo Campus. Here is a short clip on the XYZ Affair and here is one on the Alien Acts. They also have the VA Resolution as well as the KY one. The site also differentiates between advanced placement and regular US history. You could also couple this with Adams' inaguration speech which is on the site, mentioned in an earlier blog, which talks about the importance of following the Constitution. It would be an interesting class discussion to look at the speech in contrast with the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Short Video on the Electoral College

Click above to see a short video on how the electoral college works which you could show as a review for your students. It also might prove as an example if you wanted your students to create their own simple movies (for example you can use movie maker).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Can A President Tame an Economy?
This is a great graphic where you can roll over each item and see the changes from Truman through W. Bush. As the article says Today, Americans save less and earn a lower minimum wage — in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms — than at nearly any other time since 1950. Can voters reasonably expect these and other indicators to change significantly after a new president takes office in January? Click here for the article.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Library of Congress
Visit here to see the new lesson plans on the Huexotzinco Codex, the creation of the Constitution, the voyage of Sir Francis Drake and The Minerva Mosaic at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. You might also want to look at the two newest activities The Declaration of Independence: Rewriting the Rough Draft and Thomas Jefferson's Library: Connecting the Books to the Life.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Deliberating in the Classroom
First off what is deliberation? This site explains the technique and gives you plenty of lessons that work in the classroom. Go here to see the site.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

About Mapping the Americas
Teachers—take your students on a journey across the Americas, from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, with Geography Action! Mapping the Americas. Get the whole school involved in creating a jumbo-sized map of the Americas that's so big it can cover the side of a school building or the floor of the cafeteria. Map builders will learn about the cultures, climates, landmarks, and critical issues found in the diverse countries of the Americas. More

Monday, October 6, 2008

Time Lines Made Easy by Google
Certainly there are several other time lines devices out there, but has just started this one where you can type something like "American Revolution" and it instantly comes up with one and then there are links to the apprpriate subjects. It can also divide it even further so you could just see the year 1775 for example. When you get to this site, click on any of the predone example. When you get there, erase the choice and put in yours and press return. After this click on "timeline."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Immigration Ideas
The theme for this set is challenges facing new immigrants. Included are maps, images, a sound recording and several documents that will help when discussing immigration in American History. Go here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Road to Revolution Game by PBS

This game to the right allows the students to answer questions about the Road to Revolution and links additional information. This could be used as a source to create a guided reading or have students learn new things to add to class. The link to the left is a timeline that has some PBS made Newspaper articles.
Bring Actual NEH Pictures Into the Classroom
Picturing America, an exciting new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings masterpieces of American art into classrooms and libraries nationwide. Through this innovative program, students and citizens will gain a deeper appreciation of our country’s history and character through the study and understanding of its art. More