- ›› Grade Level : K
For more than 225 years the principle of freedom and our understanding of its implications have evolved dramatically. The selections from this exhibition invite you to read the words and see the images of the men and women who forged this nation. Their words and images provide insights into the complexity of the past. James G. Basker, the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, guides viewers through this exploration of the evolution of liberty in the United States.
On October 16, 1859, John Brown and a band of followers, black and white, attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The raid was part of a larger plan to destroy the slave system by freeing and arming slaves. The raiders were captured and John Brown was executed on December 2, 1859. The unique documents discussed here examine John Brown’s beliefs and actions in the context of growing national divisions over slavery in the 1850s.
The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven joint discussions between Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat, held during the summer and fall of 1858 in Illinois. Lincoln and Douglas had been debating each other for more than twenty years before their famous contest for the US Senate in 1858. They were longtime rivals with contrasting styles and sharp differences in philosophy. But from the beginning almost everyone realized the 1858 debates would be historic.
Take a look at Lincoln, Douglas, and...
Quaker schoolteacher Josiah Forster first published this broadside, Christian Discipline: Or Certain Good and Wholesome Orders for the Well-Governing of My Family, in 1751, thirty years after the death of its author, William Penn, the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania.
During the time of the American Revolution, much of the land in the colonies was not mapped. In his early years, George Washington was a surveyor and measured land to figure out the location of property.Materials Rope or string measuring 10- to 12-feet long Stakes—if working on grass Tape—colored if possible Graph, centimeter, or one-inch grid...
Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and an inventor. As he got older, he noticed he needed glasses for reading and seeing things far away. Franklin solved this problem by inventing bifocals, which were glasses made with two different lenses, one for seeing things up close, and the other for seeing things far away.
Water acts just like corrective lenses made of plastic or glass. The water refracts or changes the direction of a light beam. A water lens is known as a convex lens because it curves out in the middle....
Present the following scenario to your students. You can either read it to them or enlist students to act it out. The scenario is about two children who lived in 1734 and were the age of your students.
“Anna Elizabeth and her brother Samuel live in a small house with a thatched roof. Their father built the house himself. Both children help their parents by completing many chores each day.
Anna Elizabeth is learning how to run a home. She feeds the chickens and gathers eggs each morning. Her mother is...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. The lessons are built around the use of visual evidence and critical thinking skills.
Students will understand the significance of several iconic American symbols: the Flag of the United States of America, the Statue of Liberty, and the Great Seal of the United States. The iconic symbols...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of three lessons the students will analyze text from three documents defining American democracy: the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the...