Although the Iran-Contra, arms for hostages deal of the Reagan administration can be used as a lesson itself, there is one sentence that could be used as part of a critical thinking lesson
A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.
It's easy to see that this collection of maps and charts would provoke debate - but maybe that's precisely what a US History course needs at the end of the year. What would students think of this?
Although some escaped slaves made it to New York City, there were active slave catchers/kidmappers who captured and brought african americans in front of judges to have the returned to the south. This article details one of these cases and explains the resistance offered by the Vigilance Committee and Manumission Society of New York.
This comic appeared in newspapers on the date of the Bicentennial. It's prefect for any Civil Rights or 3/5ths compromise lesson.
Maryland standards mention northern resistance to integration " including local implementation of busing (PS, PNW)"
History teachers grade writing - a lot of it. yet unlike English teachers, they don't spend merely enough time reading good writing. Some of the examples here can be thrown into a lesson or "do now" to show students the power of well-chosen words
In this TV commercial for Richard Nixon's reelection in 1972, the narrator claims that George McGovern and the Democrats wanted to put more than 47% of the American population on welfare. Students could be shown this commercial and asked how much this sounds like something they would hear today. Was there anyway to fact check this information? After they agree that it was more difficult to fact check this information in 1972 - then how do we explain that it is not fact checked now, even though it could be?
Madison (NJ) High School's plagiarism and academic integrity review
Rethinking everything we do is vital to teaching. Teachers should honestly ask themselves - what are we getting out of the "Do Now" activity. On many occasions it may result in just the sort of first minute miasma it was designed to eliminate. In addition to these six alternatives, consider the power of simply talking to students about the lesson. Not "teaching", but really talking. There's power in the honesty of simple conversations
Although we are eager to teach about the Little Rock Nine of 1957, the 1919 massacre of hundreds of African Americans in Elaine, Arkansas puts the Civil Rights movement in context. If teachers invest any energy in finding more about it and the debt peonage system of labor that prevailed in much of the south for decades after the Civil War, they'll think differently about teaching that the 13th Amendment itself ended slavery.
It is also interesting how events like this don't make into the curricula canon of the "Roaring Twenties"
This video includes time markers and text details that explain many of the correlations that have been found between Pink Floyd's 1973 Album "Dark Side of the Moon" and the MGM's 1939 Wizard of Oz. Use clips from this videos to introduce student to the concept that The Wizard of Oz could mean more than we think. After they argue about the correlations for a minute or two - introduce the alternate interpretation that links the story to the Politics of the Gilded Age
Using this as the basis for instruction would be a crime. It would be much better for teachers to use this as source material themselves and allow students to find these correlations for themselves.
Look at 3:20 to 4:15 of this video to get a different impression on immigration. Henry Kravis and George Roberts are two of the most successful businessmen alive, in this interview they expose a side to the immigration issue seldom addressed. Students could understand this video as well, just be sure to let them know that Roberts is referring to colleges when he uses the word "institutions" at the start of the clip.
This is an excellent example of project-based, authentic assessment. What's more, it shows what 6th grade students are capable of . Work like this must be considered in any discussion of developmental ability. Our students can do much more than we are inclined to give them credit for.