Middle Level

A Closer Look: The Representation of Slavery in the [em]Dear America[/em] Series


--T. Lee Williams
A critical review of four books from this popular juvenile historical fiction series, focusing on their depiction of the experience and institution of slavery in the United States.

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Reflecting on the Great Black Migration by Creating a Newspaper


--Angela Hines
Students in third and fourth grade use historical fiction and primary source materials to create their own classroom newspaper about a historical era.

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Rope Circles and Giant Trees: Making History Come Alive


--Robert Millward
Students in grades 4-8 can get a feeling for what the colonial frontier was like when the lesson includes physical activity, paintings, artifacts, diaries, and discussions. (Includes 2-page color poster by Robert Griffing.)

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Resources from National Museum of the American Indian


A brief, illustrated introduction to the exhibits and website of this great, national collection and learning center.

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Talking with Children about the Columbian Exchange


--Lynette Field and Judith Y. Singer
The authors describe books for youth about 1) the early encounters between Native Americans and Europeans, and 2) cultural and economic wealth generated by the coming of horses to the continent, and 3) forced marches and separation of families.

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Pocahontas: Comparing the Disney Image with Historical Evidence


--Margaret Golden
Fourth grade students critically compare the fictionalized account with various historical sources. In the 1615 English engraving, that Elizabethan collar on Pocahontas "probably hid tattooing."

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A River Through Time:The Gila River and the Akimel O’odham


--Carol Carney Warren
Through the use of primary source materials, students can investigate the effects that dam construction on the Gila River has had on the lifestyle of the Pima Indians in central Arizona.

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American Indians: Hands-On Lessons


--Ann Lyle Rethlefsen
Fourth and fifth grade students learn about the Lakota tradition of creating a buffalo hide "graphic history" to mark important events.

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Conflict Resolution in History: The War with Mexico as a Case Study


--Arlene L. Gardner and John Chambers
By applying conflict resolution strategies to such events as the Mexican-American War, students grapple with difficult historical disputes, learn mediation and negotiation skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the costs, complexities, and consequences of conflict.

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Puritan Day: A Social Science Simulation


By Joan Brodsky Schur
Eighth-grade students gain a greater understanding of social control and tyranny when they participate in a Puritan Day simulation.

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