Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teacher Resources
America's History in the Making

A video course for middle and high school teachers; 16 half-hour video programs, faculty guide, online textbook, and Web site;

This course for middle and high school teachers uses video, online text, classroom activities, and Web-based activities to explore American history from the Pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. The video programs are divided into three segments: Historical Perspectives, an overview of the historical era; Faces of America, in which biographies of individuals illustrate larger events; and Hands-on History, a behind-the-scenes look at how history is studied, documented, and presented. Additional units introduce methods to strengthen teachers' knowledge of American history, while reviewing content. The online text, facilitator guide, and Web site supplement the video content.

Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2007.

Closed Caption     flagged    ISBN: 1-57680-865-3

This series was discontinued on July 31, 2019.

Native Americans' experience in the
building of America is examined, along with that of Europeans.
Native Americans' experience in the building of America is examined, along with that of Europeans.

Enter the Series Web Site
Individual Program Descriptions
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Individual Program Descriptions

1. Pre-Columbian America
This six-hour workshop focuses first on the Historical Thinking Skills, as developed by the National Center for History in the Schools. The second portion of the session introduces Pre-Columbian societies in North America. (This unit includes a facilitator guide and short video clips which are available on DVD and on the course Web site.)

2. Mapping Initial Encounters
Columbus's arrival launched an era of initial encounters between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans that continued for nearly 300 years. This unit examines how these contacts began the phenomenon now known as the Columbian Exchange, profoundly altering the way of life of peoples around the globe. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

3. Colonial Designs
As encounter changed to settlement, relations between Native Americans and European colonial powers became more complex. This unit charts the changing interactions between competing European powers and Native Americans, and the increasing reliance on the race-based enslavement of Africans. Go to this unit.

4. Revolutionary Perspectives
In the eighteenth century, Enlightenment ideas of freedom and equality swept through the British colonies. This unit traces the effects of those ideas and the impact on diverse groups such as British Loyalists, Revolutionary leaders, Native Americans, yeoman farmers, and enslaved blacks. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

5. Classroom Applications 1 (Print Only Unit)
This unit steps out of historical content to focus on the pedagogy of assessment techniques, revisiting the Historical Thinking Skills introduced in Unit 1. Beginning with self-assessment of previous unit activities, teachers will develop a student assignment based on content learned to date. (This unit includes a facilitator guide only.)

6. The New Nation
Following the War of Independence, Americans disagreed — often passionately — about the form and function of the federal government. This unit explores how those conflicts played out as the new republic defined its identity in relation to other nations. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

7. Contested Territories
The United States acquired vast territories between the time of the Revolution and the Civil War, paying a price economically, socially, and politically. This unit examines the forces that drove such rapid expansion, the settlers moving into these regions, and the impact on the Native Americans already there. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

8. Antebellum Reform
As a response to increasing social ills, the nineteenth century generated reform movements: temperance, abolition, school and prison reform, as well as others. This unit traces the emergence of reform movements instigated by the Second Great Awakening and the impact these movements had on American culture. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

9. A Nation Divided
Although the Civil War is viewed today through the lens of the Union's ultimate victory, for much of the war, that victory was far from certain. By examining the lives of the common soldier, as well as civilians, this unit examines the uncertainty and horrible destruction in the war between the states. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

10. Reconstructing a Nation
Emancipation was only the beginning of a long road to freedom for those released from slavery. Following the Civil War, an immense economic and political effort was undertaken, focused on reunifying the divided nation. This unit examines the successes and failures of Reconstruction. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.) Go to this unit.

11. Classroom Applications 2 (Print Only Unit)
This unit provides an opportunity for teachers to generate student assignments for use in their classrooms. Building on techniques learned in Unit 5 for teaching Historical Thinking Skills, it also reviews content from the final two interactives and Units 6 through 10. (This unit includes a facilitator guide only.)

12. Using Digital Technologies
This workshop unit introduces procedures to develop or improve Internet research skills, as well as related copyright laws so teachers can effectively use and teach with historical primary sources. The unit also demonstrates strategies for finding, and using a wide variety of high-quality Web sites, videos, DVDs, and historical documents. It includes templates for classroom lesson plans developed by the National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS).

13. Taming the American West
Western settlers' assumptions of an endless, bountiful frontier were tested when they moved to the Great Plains and attempted to cultivate the unfamiliar, arid landscape. This experience led to the rise of populist politics, which championed farmers' and industrial workers' critique of political and economic powers. Go to this unit.

14. Industrializing America
From factories in San Francisco to sweatshops in New York, productivity flourished — fed by waves of immigrants from Asia and Europe. This unit explores how growing urbanism contributed to changing social norms, from the working classes to the elite. Go to this unit.

15. The Progressives
Overburdened cities led Progressives to agitate for reforms on political, economic, and social fronts. While most Americans agreed that government intervention was needed to address large-scale problems such as child labor or food contamination, there was little agreement on proper solutions. Go to this unit.

16. A Growing Global Power
Fueled by patriotism, capitalism, and religion, the U.S. extended its reach beyond national borders. New partnerships between government and big business drove an evolving diplomacy that would set the tone for American foreign policy in the twentieth century. Go to this unit.

17. Classroom Applications 3 (Print Only Unit)
The thematic strands and historical eras from Units 13, 14, 15, and 16 are re-examined. This unit helps teachers develop a series of lesson plans that use primary sources and historical thinking skills, covering the content learned in previous units. Exemplary lesson plans from The National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS) are used as touchstone models.

18. By the People, For the People
Plummeting agricultural exports, the stock market crash, and environmental disaster all led to an unprecedented economic depression. Subsequently, a new relationship between individuals and the government arose, with a strong communitarian spirit drawing the nation together before World War II. Go to this unit.

19. Postwar Tension and Triumph
This unit examines the tensions of the Cold War era, reflected in divergent dichotomies: a growing suburban, white, middle-class and increasingly ghettoized blacks and Latinos; a faith in scientific progress contrasted with a fear of the bomb; and an idealization of individualism tempered by an anti-Communist call for conformity. Individuals and groups raised their expectations for equality as veterans returned from the global conflict of World War II. Go to this unit.

20. Egalitarian America
Brown v. The Board of Education was one of the significant results of Americans demanding political, social, and economic equality. This call for parity in all walks of life was symptomatic of a growing social and political liberalism, which was fueled by the growing presence of mass media. Go to this unit.

21. Global America
As the turn of the century approached, the pendulum of American politics and social structures began to swing back toward conservativism. With immigration from Asia and the Americas on the rise, the face of America changed rapidly. This unit examines the competing forces of ethnic and American identity in a world dominated by globalization and one remaining "superpower." Go to this unit.

22. Classroom Applications 4 (Print Only Unit)
The thematic strands and historical eras from Units 18, 19, 20, and 21 are re-examined. Participants develop lesson plans using primary sources, historical thinking skills, and content learned in previous units. The emphasis of this unit is on the use of digital primary sources, writing biographical accounts, and planning for student-written biographies.



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