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Here's a site put up by Dickinson College.....I've used it and it's great


Teaching students to analyze primary personal documents with differing points of view on a historical event. This can be used with any event, but I have including journal entries during the Civil War.

A few more websites: has a timeline and info. about parks and upcoming evens is a great resource to search for a soldier, unit, or battle. You can use this to find out what battles a unit or soldier were in and find out about local units from your area. All 3 million soldiers of both sides are in the system! The Museum of the Confederacy has a series of programs you can watch, including one on Secession

This website contains photographs of Storer College which was located in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Storer was founded to education former slaves and opened in 1867.

This is a whole book of foldables geared towards social studies content. Foldables are a great way for students to dynamically organize material in a visually stimulating way. Great way to practice new information or review in a hands-on way!

Great site for primary sources on all kinds of American History topics.

This a website from West Virginia University that explores the government of the Restored government of Virginia and contains the papers and telegrams of the governor Francis Pierpont. I provides insight into the Pierpont's efforts to maintain Union rule in western Virginia during the first two years of the war.

This is my park (come visit!)

The park covers several topics that may be of interest, including:
-Home Front: several house sites on the battlefields and stories about the families caught in the vortex and the participation of slaves
-Confederate War Effort: Tredegar Iron Works, Chimborazo Hospital illustrate the mobilization of resources for the conflict
-Technology- Tredegar and Drewry's Bluff sites cover weapons innovations and scientific research (including naval iron warships)

This is a graphic organizer that allows my students to scaffold their interpretations of political cartoons and any sort of image. It helps them get to the main "IDEA" by moving up Bloom's Taxonomy. First, they identify the main components of the image (simply list what you see! No wrong answers!). Then, we describe what we identified in the image. (So how does this man LOOK? What is he wearing? His expression?). Then, they explain what these descriptions and the caption/title may mean. (Who is this man? Why is he angry?). Finally, they get to the analysis where they determine the author's opinion. (So, based on everything you have described and explain, what is this author trying to convince you of?).

The discussion we had this morning regarding Civil War Pensions and the rise of the modern welfare state reminded me of a lesson plan video podcast my wife and I put together a few years ago.

The 1890 Atlantic Monthly article we used can be found here:;cc=a...

I've also attached a copy of the pension file.

Here is a Structured Academic Controversy I used with my AP class - the SHEG website has great stuff on a good amount of American History topics.

Have students make their own DBQ from a collection of documents they find. Teachers can assist with the question and format.

Here's a little powerpoint I made with some good Civil War political cartoons. Most of these are from which has tons of cartoons from different historical eras.

Effects of Jazz on the Civil Rights Movement and Integration within the United States, and the Development of Jazz as a Metaphor for America as a “Melting Pot”

Prepared by: James Mason, Glen Este High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

Historical Context and Importance: The focus of this lesson is to expose students to the rich social and cultural diversity of New Orleans that allowed the creation of America’s only original music, “Jazz,” its impact and influence on the Civil Rights Movement and Integration within the United States, and its use as a metaphor for America as a “Melting Pot.” Students will be viewing and discussing various excerpts from the Ken Burns documentary, Jazz, identifying and interpreting primary source information presented in the documentary, answering two “essential questions” to guide their research and analysis, and identifying, documenting, and interpreting additional primary source documents in support of two essays which each student will write in an attempt to answer the two essential questions.

Curriculum Standards and Skills: This lesson will be used as a part of a thematic review approach in preparation for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Exam on United States History. Specific content and skills to be covered include:
1) The African-American Civil Rights Movement and Integration within the United States
2) Cultural Diversity and the idea of an “American Melting Pot”
3) The creation of Jazz music and its impact on American society
4) The Harlem Renaissance
5) Identifying, documenting, analyzing, and interpreting primary sources
6) Writing historical essays with a thesis statement and use of primary and secondary sources in support of the thesis

Essential Questions:

1) Did the social and cultural diversity of New Orleans during the late 19th and 20th Centuries which resulted in the creation of African-American and Creole Jazz music promote or hinder the Civil Rights Movement and Integration within the United States?

2) Can Jazz music that was born and developed out of the social and cultural diversity of New Orleans be used as a metaphor for the idea of America as a “Melting Pot?”

Sources and Materials:

1) Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns, Florentine Films, Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California 90038, Episodes One, Three, and Four (The film contains both documented primary and secondary sources.)

2) DVD Player and Proxima Projector

3) Student access to computers, printers, and the Internet

4) YouTube, “Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday with Lyrics”

5) YouTube, “Elvis Presley - Hound Dog, Live” (The Milton Berle Show, June 5, 1956)

6) Student Journals

Length of Lesson: Three to Five Class Periods

Lesson Activities and Procedures

1) Introduce, clarify, and discuss the two “Essential Questions.”
2) Tell the students they are going to be viewing and discussing several excerpts from the Ken Burns documentary, Jazz, video clips from YouTube, searching for primary sources from various sites on the internet, and writing two essays to answer the two essential questions with primary and secondary source references for support.
3) Begin by brainstorming several questions on what we need to know in order to address the two essential questions.
4) Show the Introduction from the Ken Burns documentary, Episode One, and have the students answer in their Journals, “What is Jazz?”
5) Show Episode One, “Gumbo,” briefly discuss, and have students reflect in their Journals the reasons for such a wide social, cultural, and ethnic diversity in New Orleans, and what different ethnic and cultural groups were involved.
6) Show Episode One, “The Roux,” and review the different musical styles of gospel, military and marches, ragtime, blues and slave songs, African drumming, Caribbean and Latin, opera, and symphonic music. Have students reflect in their Journals on the question, “What was the recipe for the creation and development of Jazz music?”
7) Show Episode One, “The Soul of the Negro,” and discuss why many white Americans disliked and were even fearful of Jazz and Ragtime music.
8) Show Episode One, “The Creators of Jazz,” Episode Three, “Introduction,” and Episode Four, “Introduction,” and discuss the key points covered in each section.
9) Put students into small groups of three to four and ask them to discuss the two Essential Questions. The instructor will circulate among the small groups to help stimulate the discussions and evaluate how well each group is doing interpreting the content and primary source references from the documentary. Each group will then briefly summarize their group’s discussion for the entire class.
10) In the same small groups, show YouTube videos “Strange Fruit by
Billie Holiday with Lyrics” and “Elvis Presley – Hound Dog, Live.”
Each group will discuss how the two video clips could apply to the
two Essential Questions. The instructor will circulate among the
groups to assist and evaluate the interpretation of the video clips.
11) Using the local and school library and the Internet, assign each
student to find three primary sources that deal with each of the two
Essential Questions. Have students identify, document, and briefly
describe the content of each primary source and write a brief
description of how the source is relevant to the two Essential
Questions. Students will choose one primary source to present to
the entire class.

Final Activity and Evaluation: Each student will write an essay to answer each of the two Essential Questions. Essays must have a clear thesis with support from both secondary and primary source document references.

Application/Transfer Task: Have students Journal on the following
two questions:

1) Can the United States today, still be considered a “Melting Pot?”

2) Does today’s contemporary music have any influence on Civil Rights and Integration within the United States, today?”

My kids love doing this poster for John Brown where they have to decide whether he is a hero or criminal and support their point-of-view.

This site,, has a lot of good animations of various battles from all kinds of wars.

The Women's Emancipation Petition can be found here:

I used this website to discuss urbanization and industrialism. Primarily compiled by Dr. Gilette of Rutgers University (who wrote a book Camden Before the Fall), it shows images of three of the US's major cities as they were during post-industrialism and as they are today.
For example, some of the photos of Camden have aerial views of the same spot in 1988, 92, 94, etc. LOVE this website.

Attached is a lesson plan for teaching the use of primary sources as applied to the effects of Jazz music on the Civil Rights Movement and Integration within the United States as well as using Jazz as a metaphor for the idea of the American Melting Pot.

APPARTS for primary source analysis

This company sells DBQ (Document Based Questions) materials that are excellent. They have mini-Qs for middle school and longer ones for high school. The binders give you everything you need to start your students writing DBQs. The questions the students respond to are very engaging also. These have been aligned to Common Core Standards too. This is an interesting history of slaves escaping to Florida .

More great videos on this site where they take popular songs and re-write them for history. They have one called "Too Late to Apologize" for the Declaration of Independence and "Bad Romance" for Women's Suffrage.

i mentioned to Renee that I love the young adult novel March Toward Thunder by Joseph Bruchac,which traces the experience of a young Native American from NY who serves with the Irish Regiment.

This is a DBQ created at a Gilder Lehrman 2 years ago. It uses primary documents from Lincoln's actions during the Civil War, Jackson and the removal of the Cherokee, FDR and Internment of Japanese-Americans WW2, and Hamdi v. Rumsfield which is Bush post 9/11. Even if you don't teach DBQs the primary sources are excellent.

This is an awesome site with history rap videos you can show your students. The Bill of Rights one is really good.

Hello New Friends,

I used this project for my U.S. History classes, both regular and A.P. The students really enjoyed it. They chose topics such as segregation, the atomic bomb, 1960's counter culture, Kent State, 1972 Olympics, Twiggy. You can modify the project for a one day lesson by using a set of photos, 1-3, about one event that the entire class analyzes.


This is link to the website I mentioned during our Tuesday session

This is from Effective Teaching Strategies by Dr. Marzano. This was created by my entire department and used at all levels. The only change was how the teacher graded the assignment or whether it was an individual assignment or a group task.

AP Gov't- Homework assignment and presentation of material
Modern US History/American Political Systems- Classwork task and presentation
Also, great mini films on a variety of Government topics: Democracy in America

Dorothy just shared with me that the Annenberg Center has a similar series of videos for US History:

A Biography of America presents history not simply as a series of irrefutable facts to be memorized, but as a living narrative. Prominent historians -- Donald L. Miller, Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Douglas Brinkley, and Virginia Scharff -- present America's story as something that is best understood from a variety of perspectives. Thought-provoking debates and lectures encourage critical analysis of the forces that have shaped America. First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history -- how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens' lives.

I can probably get you guys a DVD about media and deseg coverage in Little Rock and Hoxie, Arkansas. Let me now if you want this...

If you've been to the new Lincoln Library in Springfield, you've seen this excellent video that shows the back and forth possession of the land by the Yanks and Rebs during the War. With a death toll counter running on the screen, you can clearly follow the progress of the War. It's a great visual and can be purchased at this link for $12.99.

Gauge the effect of this photo along with similar images of police dogs and fire hoses being turned on civil rights protesters in the early 1960's. What role did these play in galvanizing the movement?

Examine the posture, position, emotions and actions of the students at the lunch counter and the others behind them.

This speech not only wrapped up the Republican nomination for Lincoln, but it is a great summation of his arguments for preventing seccesion, for his Party's platform of outlawing slavery in the territories, etc. I use this not only to remind myself of his arguments, but it is easy to select his main points and present them to the students in his words.

Here is a link to a wonderful website created by the National Archives.

Classic image -- the Big Stick Policy

The links below are to the images used in Tuesday's Gilder Lehrman Session:

1. The Union is Dissolved

2. Women’s National Loyal League
[Men and Women’s Emancipation petitions]

3. Forbes, Edwin (1839-1895)
With Massa Sherman [pen and ink drawing]

This is great - thanks!

I LOVE NBC Learn! Not only do they have great news broadcasts, they have short clips on historical topics that are written just for high school students. For example, just search the Civil War and you will find a lot of videos on various topics such as the growth of federal power during the war, and the role of women during the war. I use these all the time in my classroom!

Here is link to Library of Congress that shows letter from Rep. Dyer to the NAACP telling them he is going to pursue the bill and looking for info from them to help.

Attached are the power points that Professor McCurry referred to throughout the institute. Confederate Reckoning - Public Lecture is the main power point she uses. War and Its Nation States is the power point from Tuesday's lecture.

This is a link to the Gilder Lehrman teaching resources for the Events at Sand Creek - an attack on Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians encamped in southeastern Colorado by Union Soldiers during the Civil War.

Also, this essay written by Elliot West addresses the role of Native Americans and the Civil War:

This is a link to the American Indian resources on the Gilder Lehrman website:

Also for Native Americans, I like to use aspects of the Choices program on Western Expansion to enhance my unit on Native American resistance in the West.