--Stephen J. Thornton
Standard accounts of U.S. history present a chronology of events that begins in the East and moves west. An alternative approach traces Spanish exploration and settlement in what is now the American Southwest.
Two key maps that show the “known world” from the European perspective before Christopher Columbus’s voyages illustrate the knowledge of intellectuals of that period and reveal tales of exploration, conflict, and change.
--Luis Martínez Fernández
Approaching the encounter between Europe and the Americas as an intellectual rather than a physical discovery enables students to go beyond memorization to gain an understanding of Medieval and Renaissance ways of acquiring knowledge.
NPR's StoryCorps can be a opportunity for students to conduct an oral history project, or interview people about their daily experiences, or survey opinions regarding a current event. This project involved team teaching.
A painting inspired by the 1960 court-ordered escort of Ruby Bridges into a New Orleans school offers an entry point into the study of the civil rights movement and a significant event in American legal history.
--James A. Percoco
Teaching about the Civil War through the study of historic sites, such as the Confederate prison at Andersonville, challenges students to wrestle with tough interpretations of American history.
The featured letter to President Truman about the murder of an NAACP official can be used as a springboard into the exploration of the civil rights struggle and violence, as well as the issue of presidential powers.
A unique online tool helps students analyze documents from opposing perspectives, weigh each source’s significance, and come to evidence-based conclusions.
Dealing with Disaster through Compassionate Giving: San Francisco Earthquake Survivors Write to President Theodore Roosevelt, January 3, 1909Submitted by Jennifer Bauduy on Thu, 01/19/2012 - 1:00pm
The featured letter from a San Francisco couple seeking to help earthquake victims in Italy can serve as a jumping off point into the study of natural disasters and emergency relief efforts.
Primary-source documents can provide students with fresh perspectives on topics often laden with stereotypes—such as the issue of Native Americans and treaty rights.