All Community Comments

This is a very informational article about the transcontinental railroad in US. I think the understanding of its history behind the building of the railroad must be read in order to appreciate how railroad men work. I really like the photo that was captured by Andrew Russell about East and West Shaking Hands at Laying Last Rail”

Excellent information for everyone: students and teachers alike. Thank you Gilder Lehrman.
Jane Officer
Lyme School
Lyme, NH

I love the speech. I am very passionate about Martin Luther King Jr.

These lessons are fabulous. They are well-paced, researched, and the directions are well-written enough for even the newest teacher to follow. Great work. Thank you for these. I appreciate them.

I had the opposite. I had to do a research paper on some type of slavery event and I found out about the Grimke Sisters and saw that I agreed with almost everything I read!

Great essay!

I have to agree. It is not realistic if your state mandates end of course tests or your students are taking AP United States History.

This is a great opportunity for students to practice the source analysis skills associated with the Common Core. The various audio, visual and text sources provide chances for close-source study with terminology, main idea, etc.

Is this a Primary or Secondary source?

This is a great lesson, and easily revised for different grades and ability levels. One thing that would be an excellent addition is a rubric for writing the essay.

I agree that it is important for students to understand the meaning of the Gettysburg Address, but really, how can you teach meaning if you are to "resist the temptation to put the speech into context"? The context of the Gettysburg Address is the important part. It's just a speech until you understand the surrounding events. If this lesson is really for highschoolers, I think they should have something more in-depth. They also ought to spend 5 days focusing on something other than a speech. While the Gettysburg Address is important, there are many more historical events that deserve attention as well.

I'm trying to reshape these questions away from "shoulds" and yes/no, so for example, I took # 84 Should the United States fight wars to make the world safe for democracy? Or: Should the United States have entered World War I? and changed it to: For what objectives was America fighting in World War I? I think this question could then be plugged into any war and perhaps students could see a trend over time as to why the US becomes embroiled in wars. Thoughts?

Hi Mark,

Yes, Gilder Lehrman will be there! Keep an eye out for our booth and presentation!


Will you be represented at the California Council for Social Studies (CCSS) in Los Angeles this coming March?

Excellent resource to use as a DBQ document with my my Middle School Students

it is a good source

WOW! I loved this. It was very helpful and guided my lesson. THank yoU!

Great lesson and doc analysis

President Obama has been the least unifying President of my lifetime. He constantly vilifies those of the opposing party then falsely accuses them of being divisive. Any disagreement with his policies has been termed racist. His Admisistration has used the IRS on political opponents and tried to attack religious freedom, freedom of the press and the right to bear arms. He may use conciliatory words occasionally, but it is only lip service, not his true beliefs.

In our school district, we have a social studies coordinator. Can I have that person fill out the Affiliate School application and info, rather than our school principal?


I have been on this site for two days, never have as as a teacher or as a student been more entertained, educated and more enthused by the materials that are being used to bring to life American History!

I last attended a G-L Seminar in 2012, and apparently there have been some changes in the application process. I must get my school approved as an Affiliate School in order to even apply for a Seminar? Just want to make sure I understand....thanks. Dan Close

I really like the use of primary sources here. This will be great for my classroom. I look forward to using them.

I am giving this letter to my principal-- but where does he "approve" us applying?



If I am doing the affiliate application as well as my own application for a teaching seminar and I submit it some time next week, I should be okay for the February 14th deadline for the summer seminars, right?

Hi Bill,

All participants are eligible to receive travel reimbursement.

Best regards,

Love the primary sources for my students to use as exhibits for DBQ style questions, which is in keeping with skill development for the new PARCC assessments.

Hi Cathy,
Teachers can download an use any images that are on our website. If you need a coy of an image that is not on our site, please send our librarian an email at and let him know what you would like. Teachers are entitled to 5 free electronic copies per year. Affiliate School Members, TAHG or GLI Seminar
participants qualify for 20 free copies.

Great detail

Using eyewitness and real source material to discover history is an excellent way to make history real and alive. Use history to teach history!

I am now using G.L. Documents for the first time. I teach S.C. History and would love to use some of you primary documents in my classroom however it appears that I must pay for anything I use. Is that the case?
Cathy Zion

Thank you for the paired resource. I teach both ELA and history and spend a good deal of time gathering resources to complement the fiction I use. These lesson plans meet my needs, and those of my students who are learning to evaluate fiction in the light of non-fiction information.

This music is simply moving! Are the lyrics available? I would like to do some Close Readings with my young students.

Are the lyrics for the songs on the jutebox available?

I am giving the letter to my principal. Does he need to send anything to you in return? Thanks, Amy

How do I cite this primary source? Anyone?

Great well planned lesson.Organized very well. Thank you for sharing,

Dear Jill,
Congratulations! It is so wonderful that the GL History Teacher of the year comes from our First State!

You can find the poster "The Man is not Bought at the Library of Congress:

Very excited to incorporate into my WWII unit...we are making a lot of effort to incorporate more primary source analysis activities into our lessons!

Agree with EA. In addition, incorporation of topography brings the battle to life visually in a way that is typically hard to capture so long after the fact.
Stuvesant High School

Although the Battle of Gettysburg was unexpected by both sides, each minor detail whether it involve the terrain or the soldiers, added to the result. War in the 19th century may have been more coincidence and circumstance than strategy and war heroes.

It's really interesting how the topography played such an important role in both sides' military strategy and execution. Cemetery Hill, The Round Tops, and Culp's Hill all affected the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg. This is something that is not usually taught in classes, but remains a topic in need of recognition.
Stuyvesant High School

Really insightful and thought provoking on the political ideas of the north. Details about the military conflicts were also enlightening.

Stuyvesant High School

Great connection to the modern day - the "handshake" is a powerful bridge for learning.
Stuyvesant HS

Wonderful essay!

This is a great essay

I teach in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District in upstate New York. I noticed that the High School, which I worked at last year, is on the affiliate list. I currently work at one of the middle schools in the district, Eagle Hill. I was wondering if I still had to sign up the specific school I work at, even if the high school is one the list.

This is extremely useful. I have modified it so that my 7th grade students can compare the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico to that of the US.