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US History

Documents and Civic Duties (Teaching with Documents)

—Lee Ann Potter
A one-sentence letter from school boy Anthony Ferreira to President Ford stating, “I think you are half right and half wrong ” is one of several primary sources featured in this article that highlight for students the value of responsible citizenship.

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Teaching Civics with Primary Source Documents (Teaching with Documents)

—Lee Ann Potter
Thomas Jefferson was shocked when war veteran Jacob Koontz wrote to him asking for presidential help seven years after Jefferson’s presidential term had ended. A look at Jefferson’s letter noting Koontz’s lack of civic awareness highlights for students the importance of civic literacy.

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Telling Tales:The Teaching of American History through Storytelling

—Tony R. Sanchez and Randy K. Mills
Teachers can relate the excitement, paradox, and importance of American history to students by conveying the challenges of life in the past with stories. [John Adams, in court, defends British soldiers after the Boston Massacre. Abigail Adams, speaking to her neighbor, defends the right of James Prince--an African American--to attend the local school.]

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Harvest Ceremony—Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth

--Johanna Gorelick and Genevieve Simermeyer/The Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian
While the modern story of Thanksgiving describes the original feast as a friendly gathering of neighbors, in reality it had much more to do with political alliances, diplomacy, and an attempt at peaceful coexistence.

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