Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Resourceslink-primary sources homelink-site map

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Workshops:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

  General Resources

Print Resources

Teaching with Documents: Using Primary Sources from the National Archives. The National Archives and Records Administration and The National Council for the Social Studies: Washington, D.C., 1989.

Web Resources

The Library of Congress: The Learning Page
This site includes general, open-ended activities using a wide range of primary sources. It explores ways to use sources such as cookbooks, tools, fashion, photographs, documents, and music to bring history to life for students in any classroom. It also provides links to more in-depth classroom activities on topics ranging from the Civil War to World War II.

Library of Congress: American Memory Timeline
The site includes links to primary sources and resources on a variety of topics in United States history ranging from the close of the Revolutionary War through the 1960s.

  Workshop 1: The Virginia Company

Print Resources

Billings, Warren M., ed. The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606-1689. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Selections from this book were read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but were not included in the online workshop. They include:
•  A Share of Stock in the London Company, 1610
•  How to Plant Tobacco, 1615
•  The Beginnings of Representative Government
•  The Massacre of 1622

Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1975.

Web Resources

The Virtual Jamestown Archive
This site contains a brief summary of the history of the Virginia colony, as well as a number of primary source documents from the Jamestown settlement, dating from the early to late 17th century. These documents include maps and images, court records, labor contracts, censuses, personal letters, and newspapers. The site also contains ideas for using the primary source materials in American history classrooms.

The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities: Home of the Jamestown Rediscovery
This site details the excavation of the remains of 1607 Jamestown. Through two separate online "exhibits," the site examines aspects of the Virginia settlement, including the reasons for the settlement's location and obstacles faced by the settlers, as well as how artifacts found at the "rediscovery" archeological site shed light on the lives of the early Jamestown settlers.

The American Colonist's Library: Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History
This site includes links to primary source documents from Jamestown, as well as from the settlement of other early colonies.

Curriculum Resources

Jamestown Virtual Colony: Teaching About Jamestown
This site contains a series of lesson plans surrounding five themes in the colony's formation and settlement: Corporate Colonization, Development of Government, Economic Matters, Organization of Society, and Broader Themes of Jamestown.

"A Practical Experiment in Colonization"
This is an online lesson plan for grades eight through 12 that gives students the opportunity to explore the obstacles faced by the settlers in the early colonies.

  Workshop 2: Common Sense and the American Revolution

Print Resources

Foner, Eric. Tom Paine and Revolutionary America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.

Fruchtman, Jack, Jr. Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994.

Keane, John. Tom Paine: A Political Life. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995.

Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. New York: Vintage Books, 1998. Also published by New York: Alfred A. Knopf, distributed by Random House, Inc., 1997.

Web Resources

Thomas Paine National Historical Association
This site contains texts of biographies of Thomas Paine, information on the Paine Memorial Museum and the Thomas Paine Cottage, as well as links to other pages relating to Paine's life and work.

Chronicle of the Revolution: The Remains of Thomas Paine
The site details how Paine's work acted as inspiration for the coming revolution. It also contains links and information on the Revolutionary War.

Curriculum Resources

Lesson Plan — Ending the War, 1783
Students will consider the various peace attempts made by both sides during the Revolutionary War. By reading a series of documents and comparing them with what was happening militarily at the time, students will gain an understanding of how peace came when it did, and why it took the form that it did.

Liberty! The American Revolution - A Teacher's Guide PDF
In this lesson, students will explore what drove these reluctant colonists to become "revolutionaries."

  Workshop 3: The Lowell System

Print Resources

Dublin, Thomas. Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979

Eisler, Benita. The Lowell Offering: Writings by New England Mill Women (1840-1845). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1977.

Martineau, Harriet. Society in America. London, Saunders and Otley, 1837. New York: AMS Press, 1966.

Selections from this book were read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but were not included in the online workshop. They include:
• Manufacturing Labour
• Manufactures

Prude, Jonathan. The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810-1860. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Wheeler, William Bruce and Susan D. Becker. Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence, Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.

Selections from this book were read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but were not included in the online workshop. They include:
• "Slave Labor Versus Free Labor," Orestes A. Brownson, Boston Quarterly Review 3
• "A Lowell Boardinghouse," Reverend Henry A. Mills, Lowell, As It Was, and As It Is

Web Resources

Lowell National Historic Park
This site gives historical background on the Mill Girls—who they were and where they came from. It also contains links to historical information and classroom activities on early manufacturing and industrialization in Lowell.

Women in the Workplace: Labor Unions
This article describes the labor movement in Lowell in the context of the larger women's movement, as well as in the context of the labor and organization movements.

A Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers: Sponsored by the Illinois Labor History Society
This site contains four primary source documents detailing the conditions in the Lowell Mills. Documents include a handbook of factory rules, a Massachusetts investigation into the labor conditions in the mills, a description of factory life, and a listing of boardinghouse rules.

Curriculum Resources

Liberty Rhetoric Among Lowell Mill Girls
This site describes how the women of Lowell used writing and literature to portray a more positive view of their lives and conditions. It contains both primary source documents (the writings of the Mill Girls) and questions designed for teachers to use as discussion starters.

Women, Work and Protest in the Early Lowell Mills
This lesson allows teachers and students to explore a contemporary scholarly journal article regarding the Lowell Mills. The activity focuses on discussions of the lives of the women who worked in the mills, as well as their efforts to organize into labor unions.

  Workshop 4: Concerning Emancipation

Print Resources

Berlin, Ira, et al. Slaves No More: Three Essays on Emancipation and the Civil War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992

Delbanco, Andrew, ed. The Portable Abraham Lincoln. New York: Viking, 1992.

McPherson, James M. Drawn with the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Web Resources

Documenting the American South
This site contains information on Southern history, literature, and culture, including first-person narratives and contemporary essays on life in the Old South.

Excerpts from Slave Narratives, edited by Steven Mintz
The site includes a number of narratives, both of slaves and free men and women, including Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman.

Women of the American Civil War
This site includes biographical sketches and excerpts from writings of women who experienced different aspects of the Civil War.

Forever Free
This photograph is of a sculpture called Forever Free, created by African American artist Mary Edmonia Lewis in 1867. It is a depiction of emancipation that is markedly different from the Lincoln Freedmen Memorial. It portrays former slaves in a celebratory pose, shackles broken and facing a future full of hope. There is no image of a white emancipator. This image can be viewed as part of an activity in which students compare and contrast it with the Lincoln Freedmen Memorial.

Curriculum Resources

The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
This site provides a history of African American soldiers fighting in the Union Army. Using primary sources such as letters, propaganda, and other documents, this lesson plan has students explore the issues surrounding the entrance of African American men into the Union Army and the feelings about them on both sides.

Slavery in the United States
This lesson has two sections, one which introduces students to primary sources, and one which asks them to analyze primary source documents on slavery in the United States.

  Workshop 5: Cans, Coal, and Corporations

Print Resources

Cronon, William. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992.

Gilbert, James. Perfect Cities: Chicago's Utopias of 1893. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Kasson, John F. Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century. New York: Hill & Wang, 1978.

Summers, Mark Wahlgren. The Gilded Age: or, The Hazard of New Functions. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Web Resources

The World's Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath
This site has general information on the fair, including an "official tour" of the fairgrounds, complete with photos and maps, as well as contemporary reactions to the fair, descriptions of the culture, and an exploration into the fair's technology.

Interactive Guide to the World's Columbian Exposition
This site explores the art, architecture, and exhibits, as well as the urban planning, behind the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

The Dream City: Views of the Chicago Columbian Exposition, 1893
This site includes photographs of major art and architecture exhibited at the fair and gives detailed annotations for each.

How Did African American Women Define Their Citizenship at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893?
This site explores the issues surrounding race and gender experienced both before and during the Chicago World's Fair. The site features primary source documents, including newspaper excerpts and speeches given by African American women of the time. The "Teacher's Corner" provides lesson plan ideas for using this information and these documents in the classroom.

Curriculum Resources

Thomas Edison, Electricity, and America
Appropriate for grades seven through 12, the exercises in this lesson from the Library of Congress's American Memory Fellow Program allow students to explore the social and technical impact of electricity on American society through primary sources.

How Transportation Transformed America
This Library of Congress lesson contains a number of primary source photographs from the turn of the past two centuries (circa 1900 and circa 2000). Framed by open-ended discussion, the photographs allow students to explore the changes in transportation over the past 100 years.

Petition Signed by Thomas A. Edison for Sunday Openings at the World's Columbian Exposition
This lesson plan includes an analysis of a petition signed by Thomas A. Edison and others requesting that the act requiring the closing of the World's Columbian Exposition on Sundays be repealed. The lesson also includes other activities and discussion focusing on the World's Fair, including a detailed summary of the event.

  Workshop 6: The Census

Print Resources

Brodkin, Karen. How Jews Became White Folks & What That Says About Race in America. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

Ignatiev, Noel. How the Irish Became White. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Pascoe, Peggy. "Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of 'Race' in Twentieth-Century America." Journal of American History. Vol. 83, no. 1. June 1996. Pp. 44-69.

Piper, Adrian. "Passing for White, Passing for Black." In Out of Order, Out of Sight. Vol. I. Selected Writings in Meta-Art 1968-1992. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996.

Wright, Lawrence. "One Drop of Blood." The New Yorker. July 25, 1994. Pp. 46-55.

Web Resources

Census Bureau Home Page
This site contains updated Census 2000 information, as well as general information on the census process.

Uses for Questions on the Census 2000 Forms
This site provides downloadable documents in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format that contain an explanation for each Census 2000 question, as well as the reasoning behind the questions.

Historical Census Data Browser
This site gives historical background on the census from its inception to the 20th century. It also allows users to browse data collected by the census from 1790 through 1960.

Curriculum Resources

Making Sense of Census 2000
This site contains six separate lesson plan ideas for high school classrooms that use data and forms from Census 2000. The lessons span the different aspects of the census, including how maps are read, how census data affects communities and districts (and thus, local government), and finally, how statisticians compile the census data. All of the lessons can be easily downloaded in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, or teachers can order a free guide from the Census Bureau.

  Workshop 7: Disease and History

Print Resources

Hammonds, Evelynn Maxine. Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

Payer, Lynn. Medicine & Culture: Varieties of Treatment in the United States, England, West Germany, and France. New York: H. Holt, 1988.

Rogers, Naomi. Dirt and Disease: Polio Before FDR. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1992.

Tomes, Nancy. The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Ziporyn, Terra. "Disease in the Popular American Press: The Case of Diphtheria, Typhoid Fever, and Syphilis, 1870-1920." From Contributions in Medical Studies. No. 24. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Web Resources

Center for Disease Control: Typhoid Fever and Diphtheria
This site contains information on the symptoms, causes, and methods of prevention for typhoid fever from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
This portion of the CDC site provides similar information on diphtheria.

National Vaccine Information Center: Polio
This site contains information about the polio virus, including current news and opinions and background information, such as a historical perspective on the development and make-up of the polio vaccine.

Long Island History: Dinner with Typhoid Mary
This site offers a brief version of Mary Mallon's story, giving details of the length of her incarceration and her encounters with George Soper.

  Workshop 8: Korea and the Cold War

Print Resources

Boller, Jr., Paul F. and Ronald Story, eds. A More Perfect Union: Documents in U.S. History, Volume II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

A selection from this book was read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but was not included in the online workshop. It is:
• "Security and Peace," John Foster Dulles

Gaddis, John Lewis. Cold War Statesmen Confront the Bomb: Nuclear Diplomacy Since 1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

----. The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

----. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Leckie, Robert. Conflict: The History of the Korean War, 1950-53. New York: Putnam, 1962.

Sorensen , Theodore C., ed. Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy. New York: Laurel, 1991.

A selection from this book was read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but was not included in the online workshop. It is:
• President John F. Kennedy's "I am a Berliner" Speech, May 26, 1963

Web Resources

"The Sources of Soviet Conduct," by Mr. X
This document, written by George Kennan under his alias, was read by the onscreen participants in Primary Sources, but was not included in the online workshop.

U.S. Air Force Museum: Korean War History Gallery
This site includes photographs and descriptions of the U.S. Air Force's military efforts during the Korean War.

The Truman Library
This site includes primary source documents, photographs, cartoons, historical links, classroom activities, and personal information and correspondence by Harry Truman before, during, and after his presidency.

Cold War International History Project
The goal of this site is to release newly declassified documents from both sides of the Cold War.

Curriculum Resources

The United States Enters the Korean Conflict
This lesson from the National Archives and Records Administration has students read and critically examine Truman's June 27, 1950, statement in which he outlined his reasons for entering the Korean conflict.

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