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US History

Take the Journey: Historic Place-Based Service Learning Projects

--James A. Percoco Place-based service-learning projects connect young people with the past in ways that can range from producing mini movies of a historic site to planting a tree geo-tagged with a Civil War soldier’s life story.
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The 1915 U.S. Invasion of Haiti: Examining a Treaty of Occupation

--Jennifer Bauduy A close look at the U.S.-Haiti treaty signed 100 years ago can launch an engaging lesson on U.S. involvement in Haiti and the commercial interests that fueled American interventions throughout Latin America.

Voting Rights Act of 1965: In Whose Interest?

--Jane Bolgatz and Ryan Crowley In this lesson, students consider important factors that converged to help civil rights activists win a decades-long struggle for voting rights.
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Events in History Do Not Happen in Isolation: Studying a Letter Written by Thomas Jefferson in 1815 (Sources and Strategies)

--Lee Ann Potter After the British torched the Capitol and its library in 1814, Congress purchased Thomas Jefferson’s renowned book collection. The featured letter by Jefferson, written at the conclusion of the transfer, can serve as an introduction to the global context of the War of 1812.
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Prequel to Independence: Who Fired the Shot Heard Round the World? (Teaching with Documents)

--Annie Davis The 1775 deposition from a militia commander at Lexington, featured in this article, can be used to spark student inquiry about why the American colonials decided to go to war.
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Deepening Student Understanding of the Debate over the Constitution through a Description of a Grand Procession (Sources and Strategies)

--Stephen Wesson The featured document from a parade to celebrate the Constitution can serve as an engaging entry point into a lesson about the founding document and the campaign for ratification in 1788.
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ARCH -- Assessment Resource Center for History

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Center for History Education and Howard County Public School System

The ARCH project, developed through a Teaching American History grant partnership between the Howard County Public School System (Maryland) and the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), is a framework for assessment that measures the process of historical thinking, as well as the retention of prior knowledge. As effective history instruction relies on active student learning of the reading, writing, and analytical skills involved in historical inquiry, effective assessment items should measure how well that learning has taken place.

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Mark Stout
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Freedom of Speech in Times of War: The Sedition Act of 1918 (Teaching with Documents)

--Annie Davis
The records of an immigrant accused of sedition during World War I can spark a classroom debate about national security and freedom of speech.

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Connecting Students to Local Communities through the Work of the Federal Writers’ Project and Zora Neale Hurston (Sources and Strategies)

--Rebecca Newland
The featured documents from a WPA project that employed authors to write state travel guides will spark student interest in local history and can help launch a lesson on the Great Depression and New Deal programs.

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