Thursday, April 17, 2008

Smithsonian Opportunities

The Smithsonian is a wonderful resource for teachers wishing to integrate primary source documents and other artifacts into history instruction. Their online sites include rich collections of visual resources for student analysis. In addition, they offer training for teachers interested in using their resources. One such training is "Teaching with Documents and Works of Art: An Integrated Approach" taught by LeeAnn Potter and Elizabeth K. Eder.

In particular, students of arts in U.S. history may enjoy browsing the National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian American Art Museum (particularly see "Teachers and Students" which links to interactive features such as "Campfire Stories with George Catlin," a timeline of Native American history described through art and primary sources), and National Portrait Gallery sites.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Examples of Dance as a Reporting Technique

The following videos are wonderful examples of the use of dance for teaching social studies content.

Resources on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

The Roosevelt Library is an excellent resource for gaining information about Roosevelt, his life, and his policies. The site also includes teacher's resources with rich collections of primary sources including "Growing Up At Springwood" (preparation for visiting the museum).

Books and Activities on the Great Depression

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site includes a section on the 1930s. This website includes recommended books on the topic as well as activities appropriate for use with the books.

Of course, Bud, Not Buddy is a classic children's book focusing on the era. Teacher Anya Fontes had her fourth grade students create a quilt about the story. One child was responsible for each quilt square and each square represents one chapter summary. Behind each square is a chapter summary written by the artist's own hand on an index card.

In addition to the quilt, Ms. Fontes' students created a glossary of terms to use with the book.