Posts Tagged ‘American history’

Adventure Through History with Liberty’s Kids

January 27th, 2022

YouTube – Liberty’s Kids

(https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHeaIWvdbER3Ic90BzhPsH2aJ5KI3UtmM)

Grades 2-8, with parental supervision

YouTube has over 40 episodes of the historically-based cartoon series “Liberty’s Kids” that was aired on PBS Kids back in 2002 and 2003.

What do cartoons have to do with history? Plenty. The primary goal of the “Liberty’s Kids” animated television series was to provide 7-14 year olds with an engaging look at the years 1773-1789 in American history. Although the series ended, each 23-minute episode is on YouTube. When you get to the site, click on any show and the cartoon will begin to play.

Meet famous historical figures through the eyes of two young apprentice reporters named Sarah and James including:

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Paul Revere
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • John Adams
  • Benedict Arnold
  • Baron von Steuben
  • Patrick Henry
  • and more!

Viewers of Liberty’s Kids will go on adventures in search of the real stories of the American Revolution.

NOTE: All of the videos are prefaced with advertisements, so parents (as always) must supervise Internet use.

Books that Have Shaped American History

November 3rd, 2021

Library of Congress: Books That Shaped America’s History

(www.loc.gov/exhibits/books-that-shaped-america/)

Grades 5 & up, with parental supervision

The Library of Congress has a current exhibition called “Books That Shaped America” that highlights books that have had a historical impact on the lives of Americans through the ages.

The titles featured are by American authors and as the website explains, ” Some of the titles on display have been the source of great controversy, even derision, yet they nevertheless shaped Americans’ views of their world and often the world’s view of the United States.” The Library of Congress encourages visitors to read the books exhibited to explore the breadth and depth of America’s literary tradition.

This online exhibit presents a unique opportunity to identify books of historical importance by era. When you get to the site, you’ll see a menu of featured “Themes” or periods of time, with icon images of a few of the book titles. Click on the link that says “View all items…” under each era including:

  • 1750 to 1800 – Find book titles such as, Experiments and Observations on Electricity by Benjamin Franklin, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, and even the first American cookbook.
  • 1800 to 1850 – You’ll find Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a book featuring papers written by Lewis & Clark about their great expedition, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas. You’ll discover why these books were of great historical importance
  • 1850 to 1900 – The titles here will most likely be much more familiar and include,The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and many more.
  • 1900 to 1950 – Book titles you’ll recognize include The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Jack London’s Call of the Wild, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and more.
  • 1950 to 2000 – Discover Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, The Double Helix by James D. Watson, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, etc.

Click on any book image and a new page opens that explains what the book is about and why it is historically significant. Some of the explanations are thought-provoking – and could stimulate lots of discussions.

You might want to copy the titles and use them as a guide the next time you head to the library for a good read.

History & Performing Arts with Bob Hope

October 9th, 2021

Library of Congress: Bob Hope and American Variety

(www.loc.gov/exhibits/bobhope/)

Grade 5 and up (approximately), with parental supervision

The Library of Congress offers this free online presentation of the life of entertainer Bob Hope and the history of American Variety entertainment including Vaudeville, Radio, Movies, Television, and more.

Using photographs, illustrations, and text this exhibit provides a biography of Hope’s career that provides fascinating historical information about the performing arts as well.

When you get to the website use the menu located under the title, “SECTIONS” that includes:

  • Early Life – Find out where Bob Hope was born, his real name, and how he got his start in show business.
  • Vaudeville – Discover Hope’s journey through vaudeville and get some terrific insight about what made this artform so popular.
  • Motion Pictures – Learn about the country’s transition to film making and the role of Hope’s series of “Road” pictures from 1940-1962 with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.
  • Joke File – Explore Hope’s theft-proof joke vault with more than 85,00 pages of bits, sketches, and jokes created by his team of comedy writers.
  • On The Road: USO Shows – Read about Hope’s 50-years of performing variety shows for U.S. troops.

This interesting exhibition about Hope’s life provides keen insight into American history, culture, life, and values. It may springboard interest in watching some of Hope’s films that the whole family may find entertaining. You can rent DVDs of Hope’s “Road” pictures such as Road to Singapore and Road to Rio. Your public library may have them as well.

Take a Fun & Interactive Trip on the Transcontinental Railroad

September 9th, 2021

Linda Hall Library: The Transcontinental Railroad

(railroad.lindahall.org/index.html)

Grades 3-12, with parental supervision

Explore the history of the Transcontinental Railroad and the technology of trains with this website from the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri.

When arriving at the site an interactive map will load with hotspots along the train route to click on providing images and brief explanations. Links at the bottom of the summaries lead the visitor to more in-depth information about the topic. Or use the left-hand menu to explore:

  • A Brief History of the Pacific Railway
  • Black Powder & Nitroglycerin
  • Couplers & Brakes
  • Cultural Impact
  • Locomotives
  • Rail Cars
  • Rail Gauge
  • Snow Sheds
  • Time Standardization
  • Tunnels & Bridges
  • Each page includes interesting articles and images concisely explaining the topic.

Continue learning about the railroad using the links on the right-hand sidebar. Here you will find:

  • Search the Railroad Journal Collection – links to the Linda Hall Library digital collection of railroad journals from the 19th century
  • Who Was Who – Discover the people involved in early railroad transportation.
  • What Was What – a glossary of 19th century railroad terms
  • Maps & Plans – Explore the Linda Hall Library digital collection of railroad maps and plans.
  • Travel Along the Pacific Railway – Take an interactive trip through time with this clever timeline that includes images, animations, and tidbits of information (needs Flash to work).
  • Hop on the Quiz Train – Test what you have learned with an interactive multiple-choice quiz.

Add this site to your list of must-visits for your American history studies.

Celebrate the Ratification of the US Constituation this September with this Excellent Resource!

September 2nd, 2021

Oak Hill Publishing: Constitution Facts

(www.constitutionfacts.com/)

Grades 6-12, with parental supervision

Celebrate the ratification of the United States Constitution that happened on September 17, 1787 with the resources available at this website as well as explore other important documents in American history.

When arriving at the site, visitors can begin by taking the “What’s Your Constitution I.Q.?” quiz by selecting the main image link under the navigation menu. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the answers correct. Wrong answers are explained. After taking the 10-question quiz, there is an opportunity to do an advanced challenge with more difficult questions. Or learn all about the Constitution and the Amendments, Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation, our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court and more by selecting a topic from the upper menu. Not only can visitors read through the documents online, but they will find a timeline of related events, learn about the people involved with the drafting and signing of the documents, discover constitutional trivia, dig deeper into significant events surrounding the inception and implementation of the document, browse through papers of our Founding Fathers, review synopsis of landmark Supreme Court cases and much more.

Use the link under the home page main image to locate the “Fun Zone.” On this page you will find games, printable word search and crossword puzzles, printable Treasure Hunt quizzes, and online quizzes.

Check out the “The Founders Library” link in the top menu to find:

  • a list of U.S. Presidents and their portraits
  • reading lists and links of books and journals written by the Founding Fathers
  • things invented by the Founding Fathers
  • a history of the American postal system
  • the content of the Magna Carta
  • modern performances of the music from the American Revolution
  • what traveling was like during colonial times
  • Constitution landmarks such as Independence Hall, Old North Bridge, and “Old Ironsides”
  • Information about the first political parties
  • Constitution inspired artwork
  • Fashion worn by the Founding Fathers
  • Colonial currency

And just for fun, be sure to check out the “Founding Documents in Pop Culture” to see video clips of Captain Kirk and Barney Fife quoting the Preamble, The Preamble Song from Schoolhouse Rock, Benjamin Gates reading from the Declaration of Independence in National Treasure, celebrities reading the Declaration of Independence, and more.

Add this website to your bookmarked links for your American history studies.

Supplements For Your Revolutionary and Colonial American History Studies

August 19th, 2021

IHA: U.S. Revolutionary & Colonial History

(www.ushistory.org/)

Grades 5-12, with parental supervision

This website is sponsored by The Independence Hall Association (IHA) whose mission is to educate the public about the Revolutionary and Colonial eras of American history – as well as Philadelphia history.

This amazing site has many multi-media features that will supplement any study of U.S. history.

The IHA has created what they call a “Congress of Websites” under the umbrella of USHistory.org. Each of these mini-websites focuses on a particular topic that includes:

  • American Anti-Slavery and Civil Rights Timeline
  • Commodore John Barry
  • Betsy Ross House
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Germantown
  • Liberty Bell
  • Thomas Paine
  • Revolutionary War
  • 7 Tours Thru Historic Philadelphia
  • Town Criers
  • Valley Forge
  • Washington Crossing
  • William Penn
  • and many other topics!

This site also offers extensive information on Benjamin Franklin! Here’s the direct link-

www.ushistory.org/franklin/index.htm

This site contains thousands of pages covering all aspects of U.S. History. You can use the search feature at the top of the page, or browse one of the following topic headings in the middle of the page. Click on any topic of interest and a new page opens to an educational adventure in American history.

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