Ever wonder what women were doing during the 1800s or what is known as the antebellum period of United States history? Men are well represented in our history books as they were the powerful, educated leaders of our country. Women, on the other hand, rarely had opportunities to tell their stories. Powerful stories of brave women who helped shape the history of the United States are revealed to students through journals, letters, narratives and other primary sources. Synthesizing information from the various sources, students write their impressions of women in the Northeast, Southeast, or the West during the Nineteenth Century.
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Examine the tension experienced by African-Americans as they struggled to establish a vibrant and meaningful identity based on the promises of liberty and equality in the midst of a society that was ambivalent towards them and sought to impose an inferior definition upon them. The primary sources used are drawn from a time of great change that begins after Reconstruction's brief promise of full citizenship and ends with the First World War's Great Migration, when many African-Americans sought greater freedoms and opportunities by leaving the South for booming industrial cities elsewhere in the nation. The central question posed by these primary sources is how African-Americans were able to form a meaningful identity for themselves, reject the inferior images fastened upon them, and still maintain the strength to keep "from being torn asunder." Using the primary sources presented here, look for answers that bring your ideas together in ways that reflect the richness of the African-American experience.
The collection African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907, contains pamphlets and other materials, most of which were written by African American authors about pressing issues of the day. In this lesson, students use the collection's Timeline of African American History, 1852-1925 to identify problems and issues facing African Americans immediately after Reconstruction. Working in small groups on assigned issues, students search the collection for documents that describe the problem and consider opposing points of view, and suggest a remedy for the problem. Students then present the results of their research in a simulated African American Congress, modeled on a congress documented in the collection's special presentation, Progress of a People.
This lesson encourages students to identify problems facing African Americans immediately after Reconstruction. Students then work in small groups to identify documents describing a particular problem, consider opposing points of view, and suggest a solution and present their research findings.
This lesson invites students to search and sift through rare print documents, early motion pictures, photographs, and recorded sounds from The Library of Congress. Students experience the depth and breadth of the digital resources of the Library, tell the story of a decade, and help define the American Dream.
In 1782 Jean de Crevecoeur published Letters from an American Farmer in which he defined an American as a "descendent of Europeans" who, if he were "honest, sober and industrious," prospered in a welcoming land of opportunity which gave him choice of occupation and residence. Students will look at life histories from the interviews of everyday Americans conducted by Works Progress Administration officials between 1936-1940 to see if his definition still holds true in this country 150 years later. Students will conclude by working toward a modern definition.
This site helps teachers and students navigate the vast online collections of primary source materials at the Library of Congress. The links, arranged by chronological period, lead to sets of selected primary sources on a variety of topics in U.S. history.
This is a lesson in which students take a trip around the world in 1896 using an online collection of 900 images. The collection includes photos of railroads, elephants, camels, horses, sleds and sleighs, sedan chairs, rickshaws, and other types of transportation, as well as city views, street and harbor scenes, landscapes, and people in North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
This is an annotated collection of Library of Congress resources about America's pastime. It includes early baseball pictures, baseball songs and stories, baseball cards, the first all-professional baseball team in America (the Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1869), Cy Young, Ty Cobb, home run kings, and letters and speeches by Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major league baseball.
This site offers twelve puzzle sets. Each set challenges you with four or five jigsaw puzzles made from images found in the American Memory collections. As each puzzle in the set is completed, a new puzzle will appear...until you have completed all of the puzzles in that set. You will then have a chance to use what you have learned to discover the Big Picture...the theme the images in the set have in common
This lesson relates to the westward movement in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Students analyze the role that gunfighters played in the settlement of the West and distinguish between their factual and fictional accounts using American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940.Billy the Kid alias, William H. Bonney, alias Henry McCarty, alias Kid Antrim, etc. is an example of the typical gunfighter. He was born in the 1850s and died in 1881 when he was shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Billy serves as the focus of the lesson.
This site offers thumbnail histories of nearly 30 well-known brand names associated with soft drinks, potatoes, cereal, fruit, airplanes, buses, pianos, sewing machines, jeans, shoes, and other products.
The New Deal programs and agencies, created under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had a powerful impact on the relationship of government to the people of the United States. Yet a study of New Deal programs often leaves the student with a disconnected list of 'alphabet soup' programs and no real grasp of the impact of the New Deal.This lesson takes a student through a process of examining primary sources, both photographs and life histories, to develop a sense of the profound impact the Great Depression had on real people's lives. Then after studying New Deal Programs, students apply what they've learned to improve the situations of those people, whose life history interviews they have read. They synthesize the information gathered into an essay which has both an expository and a creative component. For 10th grade students.
This unit provides a flexible investigative structure for the study of selected themes in U.S. history and culture using the American Memory collections and related resources. Core goals are the development of relationships between selected themes and resources, refinement of student skills in interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of primary sources, and the creation of multimedia projects drawing upon different modes of expression.
This is a teaching unit that leads middle and high school students through the process of critically examining photographs (by Lewis Hine) as historical evidence.
This activity explores how and why war has been photographed and affords students an opportunity to see bias within war reporting. In addition to analyzing war photographs, students learn about Mathematics and Statisticsew Brady's process for photographing the Civil War and how photographic equipment has improved over time.
The Civil War through a Child's Eye lesson focuses on the use of historical fiction and primary sources to expand students' perceptions of the Civil War era. Literature and photographic images reflect, communicate, and influence human perspectives of historical events. Specifically, the unit helps students to view the Civil War era through a child's eye, rather than from an adult perspective.Following an introduction to the Civil War using photographic, daguerreotype, and non-fiction sources, students read Paul Fleischman's Bull Run in Readers Theater format. Next, students examine and interpret primary source images of Civil War era children. Then, students reveal their understanding of a child's perspective in a literary portrait. In sum, this lesson integrates reading, writing, and US history standards.
This is a two-part teaching unit about the controversy among conservationists over a proposal to turn part of Yosemite National Park into a dam to furnish water to San Francisco. The first part explores the history of the conservation movement in general, while the second links to primary records, such as Congressional debates, of Hetch Hetchy itself.
This lesson plan casts students in the role of politically active citizens in 1787, when the Federal Convention in Philadelphia presented the nation with a new model of government. Students, using primary documents from American Memory, produce a broadside in which they argue for or against replacing the Articles of Confederation with the new model of the Constitution.
This site includes images of newspaper articles (1787), notes Washington and Jefferson wrote on drafts of the Constitution (1787-88), Jefferson's chart of state votes (1788), Washington's diaries (1786-89), Hamilton's speech notes for proposing a plan of government, a Philadelphia map (1752), the broadside Bill of Rights (1791), and other artifacts.