Posts Tagged ‘Library of Congress’

Performing Arts with Bob Hope

November 6th, 2010

Hi! It’s Saturday, November 6, 2010 and time for Electives at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Library of Congress: Bob Hope and American Variety

Age Range: 11 and up (approximately)

The Library of Congress offer 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, “EXHIBITION 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.

Investigate History!

March 25th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Thursday, March 24, 2010 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Historical Scene Investigation Project

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, approximately)

ClickScholar Michael Grice suggested this website that provides social studies students with the opportunity to become virtual history detectives through investigating primary source documents.

Students investigate prepared “case files” about historical events by examining primary source materials archived at this website. Through these “journals, diaries, artifacts, historic sites, works of art, quantitative data, and other evidence from the past” they compare the multiple points of view of those on the scene at the time.

Developed in partnership with the College of William & Mary School of Education, University of Kentucky School of Education, and the Library of Congress, H.S.I. is an effort to take students beyond textbook facts and give them “experiences that more closely resemble the work of a real historian.”

When you get to the website you’ll see a menu that offers information about the H.S.I. Project and a link to the “Investigations” that include:

  • Jamestown Starving Time
  • Bacon’s Rebellion
  • The Boston “Massacre”
  • Lexington & Concord
  • Constitution Controversy
  • Antonio A Slave
  • Finding Aaron
  • Children in the Civil War
  • School Desegregation
  • Dropping the Bomb
  • Case of Sam Smiley
  • March on Frankfort
  • When Elvis Met Nixon

Click on any “case file” and a new page opens with a description of the historic event and a question for the student to answer through investigating documents. Click on “Student View” to read the documents and access a series of questions that guide the student in analyzing the information in order to crack the case.

Video Poetry for K-12

May 13th, 2009

Recommended Website:
Favorite Poem Project

Age Range: 5-18 (Designed for Grades K-12 with parental supervision.)

ClickScholar MC suggested this website that was designed to enhance and improve the teaching of poetry in K-12 classrooms through a collection of 50 short video documentaries showcasing individual Americans reading and talking about poems they love. The Favorite Poem Project was founded by Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, and is dedicated to “celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives.”

The videos are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature. While they have proven valuable as teaching and learning tools for schools, they can be used in the homeschool environment as well.

When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu of the poetry videos. Turn on your speakers, click on any title, and a new page opens that launches the video. It also contains the words to the poem so you can follow along.

Because there are no age/grade ranges mentioned on the individual videos, parents AS ALWAYS should preview the poems to determine suitability of content for their own children. Of the poetry videos I watched, most were geared to Middle and High School age students and beyond. If you want a suggestion for a poem that younger children may enjoy, try “Block City” by Robert Louis Stevenson, read in a very child-like, sing-song voice by an elementary grade student. After he reads the poem, he talks about why he likes it – and it’s utterly charming. :)



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Free History Lessons from Library of Congress

November 29th, 2007

Recommended Website:
Adventure of the American Mind: Online Education Program

Age Range: Maybe 8-17 (In the FAQs at this site, the answer to “what grade level” are these lessons intended, gets this answer: “Lessons vary in their complexity and difficulty. While we will provide guidance for you as to the difficulty of our lessons, we urge you to browse through our catalog to find lessons that fit well with your students.”)

This website from Western Carolina University provides state-of-the-art, multi-media technology to help educators engage students with FREE history lessons covering a diverse range of topics such as:

  • Tobacco
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Culture of Old Salem
  • Elections
  • Music of the Civil War
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Pioneer Women
  • Presidents of Mount Rushmore
  • Thomas Edison
  • Trail of Tears
  • Wright Brothers
  • and much more!

Every topic includes lesson plans, lessons, tutorials, quizzes, tracking ability, activities and extension ideas. Be sure to turn on your speakers
when you visit the site to get the full impact of this multi-media educational extravaganza. While it was designed with classroom teachers in mind, it’s a treasure trove for those who enjoy hands-on, interactive,
online educational explorations.

When you get to the site, simply read the welcome message and the information on “Getting Started.” It is extremely helpful in understanding how to navigate the site for the more effective and easy use.

Bookmark this site – you’ll want to return often.

Learning Activities To Teach American History & Culture

February 1st, 2007

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. :)

Teaching Kids About Veteran’s Day

November 9th, 2006

Recommended Website:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
Kids Page

Veteran’s Day is in November, a day of national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.

List member Dora Moreland suggested this website (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) that teaches students about Veteran’s Day.

When you get to the site you will see a menu with three choices:

VA Kids, K-5 – Read a brief history of the VA, learn the VA motto, discover the origin of the VA seal, read some cool facts about veterans, find out about the history of the American flag and how to display it properly, play some flash games and activities that include online, interactive coloring pages, match games, etc. There are also links to other U.S. government sites for kids.

VA Kids, 6-12th Grades – Provides in-depth information about the history and purpose of the Department of Veterans Affairs, rehabilitative services, information about famous veterans and memorials commemorating veterans’ bravery, and excerpts from student essays about veterans. In addition, you’ll find info about the American flag, links to resources, and even VA volunteer opportunities for students, as well as scholarship info.

VA Kids, Teachers’ Page – JACKPOT! Contains a FREE, 38-page Resource Guide that you can download in pdf and/or print out with classroom activities and interesting projects (for grades 4-7 and 8-12) that can be tweaked for the homeschool. You’ll also find links to other websites with veteran-themed lessons and projects including the “Veterans History Project.” (The Library of Congress invites students to collect audio- and video-taped oral histories, along with documents such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies, of America’s war veterans and those who served in support of them during World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars.) You can even find a VA facility locator in order to send cards and letters to veterans. There is also info on where to find and how to use the National Park Service’s “National Register of Historic Places” to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects.