“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” --Harry S. Truman
With election season in high gear, many social studies teachers may be looking for ways to incorporate the campaigns into their classrooms. The University of Virginia’s Miller Center is an highly informative, nonpartisan resource that is very useful for analyzing presidential history.
The Miller Center contains its own blog on elections. Dubbed “Riding the Tiger,” this blog contains informative articles concerning past elections and this current one. It helps provide historical context for issues surfacing in 2012. From the Miller Center blog itself:
“Riding the Tiger looks at contemporary events through the lens of history. It frames the 2012 race by providing scholarly insight into policy and politics and featuring historical resources from the Miller Center’s digital archive.”
There are a couple links within this blog that are especially relevant and interesting. One site is called: “Greatest Hits from Democratic Conventions Since the Progressive Era.” A useful companion for teachers wishing to engage in compare/contrast activities would be: Greatest Hits in the Modern History of Republican Conventions.
Constitution Day is less than a month away. Check out some of these amazing resources for classroom use created by the Bill of Rights institute.
TeachingHistory.org provides this terrific lesson to help students learn to write more effective thesis statements. A great series of activities to help students develop stronger writing skills at the start of a new school year.
The “Valley of the Shadow” Project created by the Virginia Center for Digital History (University of Virginia) details life in two American communities from the time of John Brown’s raid through Reconstruction. The Northern community in Franklin County, Pennsylvania and its Southern cousin in Augusta County, Virginia provide unique perspectives from hundreds of people of Civil War era events. Students, Teachers, and fans of this time period can explore thousands of original letters, diaries, newspapers and speeches, and more from this unique archive.
In 1953, the Abraham Lincoln Association published The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, a multi-volume set of Lincoln’s correspondence, speeches, and other writings. Roy P. Basler and his editorial staff, with the continued support of the association, spent five years transcribing and annotating Lincoln’s papers. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln represented the first major scholarly effort to collect and publish the complete writings of Abraham Lincoln, and the edition has remained an invaluable resource to Lincoln scholars. Through the efforts of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the edition is now available in electronic form at the linked above site. These works can be searched using a variety of methods which will help teacher and student alike save time to more fully grasp Lincoln’s ideas.
Exploring Constitutional Law is a great resource for American Government Teachers and students. This site provides research links to better understand the operation of the Supreme Court, SCOTUS decisions, the Bill of Rights, and a tremendous amount of other material. For starters, see who you match up with by playing “Who Wants To Marry A Founding Father?”
Revolutionary War Animated is an extension of the interactive battle site History Animated. If your students are having trouble envisioning the dynamics of Bunker Hill, Brandywine, or Yorktown you might find it a helpful resource or extension. Be sure to allow for sound as the site has embedded battlesounds to heighten the experience.
Any study of or research project into WWII should include a stop at the Winston Churchill Centre and Museum. This incredible online resource for all things Churchill offers access to audio files of Churchill’s speeches, reviews of books on WWII and Churchill, updates on traveling exhibits, and materials for teachers. Remember to sign up for the Chartwell Bulletin and recieve monthly e-mail updates on Centre news.
No document is more central to securing “the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” than the United States Constitution, and no website is more thorough than ConstitutionOnline.com.
The Heritage Foundation has launched a new site, “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution,” a searchable reference tool revolving around the Constitution. “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution is intended to provide a brief and accurate explanation of each clause of the Constitution as envisioned by the Framers and as applied in contemporary law.” This new resource can compliment a lesson on the Constitution and is a great way to incorporate technology into your lesson. Check-out the Teacher Companion section of the site to see how this resource can be used in your classroom.