Learning Activities To Teach American History & Culture

February 1st, 2007 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:

Library of Congress:
The Learning Page

List member Barb suggested today’s website that was designed to help educators use the American Memory Collections from The Library of Congress to teach history, literature, and culture in the school classroom. Most of the offerings can be tweaked for use in the homeschool environment. You’ll find suggestions on how to use primary source documents and materials, along with lesson plans and activities to further learning.

The American Memory Collection is an online archive of rare materials that document America’s heritage. There are primary source documents, photographs, films, and recordings from other periods in time. You can view old letters, photos, clothing and keepsakes that provide a glimpse into America’s past. You can use the info to develop your own curriculum or just satisfy your child’s curiosity about a particular historical event, topic, or era.

When you get to the site you will see a menu that includes:

  • Getting Started — This section is especially for educators and explains how to use this site to get the most effective results. It’s worth reading as it will help you navigate the site in a time-efficient way — there is so much content here that you’ll be glad to have these tips.
  • Lesson Plans — You won’t believe the array of teacher-created lessons that you can search by theme, topic, discipline or era. Click on any title and a new page opens with an outline of the lesson plan. Then, click on the links within the outline to get to the actual lessons and activities. Many are interdisciplinary and employ full media presentations that include printable handouts. There are a few duds, but overall the content is of high quality. Just remember these were created by teachers for standardized classroom use — so home educators shouldn’t be afraid to use what works (based on your child’s interest and ability) and leave the rest. :)
  • Features & Activities — JACKPOT! In this section, if you scroll down the page, under the caption “Activities” you’ll find a menu of interactive, multi-media presentations that focus on a specific topic such as the history of flight, slavery and the Civil War, women’s history, inventions, and more. If you look in the far right-hand column under “Audience” you will see age and grade range recommendations (from “all ages” to grades “4-12”) that will help you determine if your child can negotiate the activity independently. Under the title “Feature Presentations” you’ll find a menu of broader themes that use the American Memory Museum Collections to provide historical background, helping to tell the story behind the themes that include a comprehensive look at American history, immigration, elections, and more.
  • Collection Connections — Get more ideas for how to use the Library of Congress American Memory Collections to learn more about U.S. History and World History.

Bookmark this site, as you’ll never be able to cover it all in a single visit. :)


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