Today’s post comes from Kris Jarosik, education specialist at the National Archives at Chicago.
When funds for field trips are sparse or non-existent, turn to the next best thing – combining primary sources and geography using technology.
During a recent teacher workshop, we partnered with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and used a website and app called Historypin to help teachers learn about the origins of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, and the lasting impact in our community.
Historypin brings you out into a community and allows you to see changes in the landscape with primary sources, such as photographs, overlaid or “pinned” on Google maps.
You can do the same for your students, whether it’s creating your own Historypin tour or collection, or using pre-existing samples.
In the case of our workshop, we decided on a local topic that would benefit from a visual treatment to help students learn about change over time and cause and effect. The remnants of the McDowell Grove CCC camp offered lessons not only about the scope of this New Deal program, but also about changing values in natural resource management (the conservation movement and today’s environmentalists).
With these objectives in mind, we identified historical photographs from the National Archives, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, and other local repositories. Scanning these images, uploading to Historypin, and crafting captions came next. Historypin has created a downloadable guide and a set of “how to” video clips on YouTube to help. We used a Historypin collection for our McDowell Grove exploration since most of the camp remains are not currently available on Google Street View.
Taking a tour and viewing historic photographs on-site with mobile devices and the Historypin app can allow you to see something like in these screenshots captured by one of the teachers who participated in our workshop.
But if on-site, smartphone traversing is not feasible, head to the Historypin web site and have your students explore inside. The tour option works exceptionally well for a computer experience. For example, have students learn about the tumultuous 1960s with the National Archives’ 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago tour.
Thousands of cultural institutions and individuals around the world, including the National Archives and the Forest Preserve District of Du Page County, have Historypin profiles with tours and collections. Have fun and help your students connect with history by using primary sources and geography to travel back to the past.
Over thirty National Archives documents are part of a free educational app for the iPad called the New Immigrants: NYC 1880-1924. Created by the New York City Department of Education (via app developer Vanguard Direct), the app includes photographs, written documents, graphs and charts from the National Archives related to the topic of New York City immigration near the turn of the 20th century.
In addition to the 100+ images from National Archives, the app brings together primary sources from the Museum of the City of New York, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage—a Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Each partner provided about 25 documents from their collections that they felt would help students and teachers at all levels (Elementary, Middle, and High School) engage in the study of immigration. Educators from these institutions then met with teachers and staff from across the five boroughs of New York City for 2 days at the National Archives to begin the process of analyzing, sorting, and creating questions for these primary sources.
In New York City public schools, immigration is taught during 4th grade, 8th grade and 11th grade units of US History. While the New Immigrant’s intended audience are those specific classrooms, the diverse collection of primary sources provides teachers, students, and history buffs in general with resources that could help foster a deeper understanding of this complex topic. The app could be used by teachers to engage students in a dynamic class discussion, by students to create their own collections or respond to an assignment, or by the general public to intrigue them to learn more about some of the stories behind these images.
Documents are organized into topic areas that touch on important themes in teaching immigration–including the Migration Process, Tenement Life, and Nativism.
Click on any of these documents thumbnails, and a document detail page loads providing background information about the document. On this page, users can also zoom in and crop the document, find text-based questions for a variety of grade levels and even add the document to their own collections. The document detail page also provides Tags that link to other related documents. For example, the Passenger arrival manifest of the SS Nevada, the first ship processed at Ellis Island on January 1, 1892, is tagged with terms such as Arrival, Ellis Island, and Push-Pull Factors.
For teachers using the app, each document has several text-dependent questions that require students to analyze and look deep within the document for answers. With the photograph of demonstration protesting and mourning the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, questions tiered for all grades are provided.
Just a quick tap on the plus sign on the document details page allows teachers and students to create their own collections of related documents. These collections can then be explored by within the app itself or shared via email with others (including non-iPad users) as a downloadable PDF. For example, users could create and share a collection of just the National Archives documents included within the app to have their students gain a better sense of the changing Federal role in immigration during this time period.
For teachers that want their students to explore the topic of immigration through a deeper Document Based Question (DBQ), several are provided for each grade level that focus on a specific theme in the study of immigration. For each of these DBQs, related historical thinking skill standards and Common Core State Standards strands are provided. In the performance task designed for 8th graders titled “The Immigrant Experience on New York’s Lower East Side”, students are given 10 documents from the collection and are tasked to write a newspaper article that cites specific evidence from at least four of these documents to explain the opportunities and challenges of the immigrant experience.
Each activity also includes a short “Ken Burns” style documentary narrated by Historian Edward T. O’Donnell to provide some historical context and educational scaffolding to the primary source documents.
Reviews and comments in iTunes for the app have been overwhelmingly positive with 23 five star reviews. User nycgal24 calls it a “wonderful resource for teachers, students and history buffs. It’s amazing to have all of these primary documents literally at your fingertips.” And Missbiss1980 called it an “inspiring teacher resource” that led her to develop a new project for her students to analyze primary sources and create documentaries using iMovie.
The focus of this year’s essay and documentary contest is “Voting Rights Today.” The Voting Rights Act was passed as a result of the widespread disenfranchisement of countless Americans who were denied the right to vote based on their race, gender, or class. This act enforced the right to vote nationwide guaranteed by the fifteenth and nineteenth amendments.
Submissions will be accepted January 1–26, 2015.
$2,500 first place award, plus travel for the winner and his/her parent to attend the award ceremony in April 2015
$1,000 second place award
$1,000 award to first place student’s sponsoring teacher, plus travel to attend award ceremony
Today’s post comes from Renee Rhodes, social media intern in our Education and Public Programs division.
The holidays are quickly approaching, followed closely by the end of the year. But we still have more great workshops to offer before 2014 closes. Check out some of the events hosted by National Archives and Presidential Library locations around the country in December. Have a happy holiday season!
(Online) VGo Robot “Millie” Tours
Remotely control a tour of The George Bush Presidential Library World War II exhibit by driving VGO Robot “Millie,” named after the First Dog of the 41st Bush Administration. Free 45-minute virtual tours with an Education Volunteer are available Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with prior registration.
(Online & College Station, TX)“The Wizard of Oz is in You: Stand Up for Yourself!” – Tuesday, December 2, 10:30 – 11:30 am & 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT
Two free programs via distance learning or onsite from the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. For grades 4–8 and adult learners, with author and storyteller Barbara Hailey, to learn how to rely on “The Wizard of Oz” strengths to promote self-esteem and prevent bullying. Free online distance learning (video-conference, live stream or recording) registration at www.connect2texas.net/bushlibrary41.
(Online) National History Day Category Exploration Google Hangout – December 2, 6 pm ET
Explore categories for projects online with the National History Day organization and the National Archives.
(Washington, DC) Making Their Mark Adult Workshop Series: Calligraphy Basics – December 3, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Learn the basics of calligraphy just in time for the holidays in the final workshop in conjunction with the Making Their Mark exhibit at the National Archives Museum.
(Simi Valley, CA) Second Annual Student Film Festival at the Reagan Presidential Library- December 3, 7 pm
Celebrate film at this showcase of student-created documentaries on the American Presidency. Representatives from Hollywood Studios will present winning students with awards at this red carpet event. Bring the entire family! Contact Reaganeducation@nara.gov
(Chicago, IL) They Came From…Using Immigration Records – Saturday, December 13, 9:30 - 11:30 am
Explore historic records from the National Archives related to the arrival and assimilation of immigrants that would be useful in teaching the subject. Learn more and register.
(Atlanta, GA) American History for Home Schoolers - Wednesday, December 17
Bring your home schoolers to the National Archives at Atlanta for “A Very Uncivil Affair: A Documentary History of the Civil War” from 10 am – noon and “Parallel Paths—Part I: Reconstruction to the Beginnings of Jim Crow: from 1 – 3 pm. Curriculum level is appropriate for 8th through 12th grade. Pre-registration is not required but an RSVP prior to each monthly event is appreciated. There is no cost to attend. Students under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent.
(Online) Get Ready for 2015 with Fun Activities & Free National Archives Documents - December 30, 8:30 pm ET
Join this free professional development webinar to prepare for 2015.
(Washington, DC) Boeing Learning Center - Mondays - Saturdays, 10 am – 3 pm
Sinte Galeska, ca. 1880, also known as Spotted Tail, a chief of the Bruleton, band of the Oglala Sioux, was one of the signers of the Fort Laramie Treaty.
American Indian Treaties can be an extremely important starting point for teaching the history of a Native American tribe or tribes from a particular area of the United States.
These historic documents mark the beginning of a tribe’s transition from Sovereign Nation, with it’s own independent government and land base, to a “domestic, dependent, Nation” (Supreme Court 1831). Over time, these “dependent” Nations were sometimes further reduced to “confederations” where from just a few to twenty or more separate tribes, bands, and communities were moved into one reservation area together and treated as one governmental entity.
In addition, we’ve prepared the first of a series of DocsTeach teaching activities related to these treaties, entitled Treaties and Treaty Making. It can help teachers explain, in a simple way, the concept of treaty making between governments and the original sovereignty and independent nature of Native American tribes. More DocsTeach activities will be added in the near future to further illustrate these concepts and to provide easy materials for classroom use.
American Indian Treaties currently available on DocsTeach include:
* 1795 – Treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795 (Ratified Indian Treaty #23, 7 STAT 49), between the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomie, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, and Kaskaskia Tribes and signed by “Mad” Anthony Wayne, that ended the Indian War on the Northwestern Frontier, commonly called “Wayne’s War, 8/3/1795.
* 1865 – Treaty of Little Arkansas River, October 14, 1865 (Ratified Indian Treaties #341, 14 STAT 703) between the U.S. and Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians (Black Kettle Band) granting lands in reparation for the Sand Creek Massacre, 11/29/1964.
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