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US History

A Pocketful of History

--Sherry L. Field and Linda D. Labbo
Read a biography. Then examine "pocket contents." In Lincoln's vest pocket? A draft for a speech, theater tickets, and a photograph of his family, among other items. "Artifacts" are suggested for the pockets of Benito Juarez (president of Mexico), Grandma Moses (artist), Mary McLeod Bethune (black educator), and others.

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Was the Constitution Pro-Slavery? The Changing View of Frederick Douglass

By Robert Cohen
Many have questioned whether the document on which our nation is based sanctioned slavery. But renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who originally condemned the Constitution, came to view it in a much different light.

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Folk in the History Classroom: Using the Music of the People to Teach Eras and Events

The featured lesson uses Woody Guthrie?s ?Dust Storm Disaster? to study the Dust Bowl from the perspective of those most affected.
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George Washington?s Printed Draft of the Constitution and Mike Wilkins?s Preamble

The featured artwork highlights the 52 words of the Preamble to the Constitution. The accompanying document shows, however, that these well known words underwent many changes before reaching their final form.
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Creating Biography Webs to Investigate Individuals' Historical Contexts

Creating biography webs helps young learners recognize how people, economic conditions, and significant events shaped the personal development of historic individuals.
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Letter about the School Lunch Program

The featured document on federal aid for school lunches and the accompanying essay on the School Lunch Act provide students with a unique chance to study the role of government.
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Letter to the Senate Banking Committee about Wall Street Reform Legislation during the New Deal

The featured document on federal aid for school lunches and the accompanying essay on the School Lunch Act provide students with a unique chance to study the role of government.
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Bridge to the Future: Franklin Roosevelt's Speech at the Dedication of the Triborough Bridge

The featured document from FDR's speech inaugurating the Triborough Bridge provides an entry point for the study of New Deal programs and discussion of the government's role in planning, funding, and creating infrastructure.
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The Constitution by Cell

A pilot program at the National Archives challenges students to determine how certain documents illustrate the Constitution ?in action,? then create digital stories using cellular phones and web tools.
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It is My Desire to be Free: Annie Davis's Letter to Abraham Lincoln and Winslow Homer's Painting A Visit from the Old Mistress

A study of the featured document and painting will give students a greater understanding of the multi-step process of emancipation and the changing relationship that developed between freed slaves and former slave owners.
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