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The American Founding in Practice: Ideals vs. Reality
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The United States was founded on the principles of natural rights, equality, and classical republicanism, but how well did it actually live up to these ideals? In this lecture, Professor Rob McDonald of the US Military Academy at West Point describes the conflict between the ideals of the American Revolution and the unfortunate realities of the time.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Institute for Humane Studies
Author:
Rob McDonald
Date Added:
10/31/2017
American History to 1865, Fall 2010
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This course provides a basic history of American social, economic, and political development from the colonial period through the Civil War. It examines the colonial heritages of Spanish and British America; the American Revolution and its impact; the establishment and growth of the new nation; and the Civil War, its background, character, and impact. Readings include writings of the period by J. Winthrop, T. Paine, T. Jefferson, J. Madison, W. H. Garrison, G. Fitzhugh, H. B. Stowe, and A. Lincoln.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Maier, Pauline
Date Added:
01/01/2010
Causes of the American Revolution
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CC BY-NC-ND
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This kit provides teachers and other educators with the materials and guidance to help fourth grade students understand the reasons that the British colonists elected to declare their independence from King George III between the years 1763-1776. As a part of these lessons students will be encouraged to consider the intent and impact of media documents from a variety of points of view including those of the colonists, King George, patriots, loyalists, slaves and Native Americans.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
History
Languages
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
Ithaca College
Provider Set:
Project Look Sharp
Author:
Amy Eckley
Andrea Volckmar
Chris Sperry
Karen Griffin
Lynn VanDeWeert
Rachel Coates
Sox Sperry
Whitney Bong
Date Added:
05/08/2013
English Language Arts, Grade 11
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CC BY-NC
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The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Pearson
Date Added:
10/06/2016
English Language Arts, Grade 11, American Dreamers
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CC BY-NC
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In this unit, students will take a look at the historical vision of the American Dream as put together by our Founding Fathers. They will be asked: How, if at all, has this dream changed? Is this dream your dream? First students will participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing for his or her vision of the American Dream, and then they will write an argument laying out and defending their personal view of what the American Dream should be.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Students read and annotate closely one of the documents that they feel expresses the American Dream.
Students participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing his or her vision of the American Dream.
Students write a paper, taking into consideration the different points of view in the documents read, answering the question “What is the American Dream now?”
Students write their own argument describing and defending their vision of what the American Dream should be.

GUIDING QUESTIONS

These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.

What has been the historical vision of the American Dream?
What should the American Dream be? (What should we as individuals and as a nation aspire to?)
How would women, former slaves, and other disenfranchised groups living during the time these documents were written respond to them?

BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read

During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Reading Informational Text
Reading Literature
Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
Pearson
English Language Arts, Grade 11, American Dreamers, Setting the Stage, How is an argument structured?
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CC BY-NC
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What is the best way to convince people that you are right? In this lesson, students will look at the structure of the Declaration of Independence, examining how the argument is constructed.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Date Added:
09/21/2015
Fractured Union
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
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Fractured Union is a 60-minute video that examines the complex and often tumultuous relationships between our founding fathers. Historical interpreters — portraying Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Mason — offer students, in grades 9-12, a close look at the presidents engaged in heated discussions. Commentaries from leading historians show why the first presidents’ perspectives led to heated debates. Our guest historians include: Stuart Leibiger — Associate Professor and Department of History Chairman at La Salle University and author of Founding Friendship: George Washington, James Madison, and the Creation of the American Republic; Peter Henriques — Associate Professor Emeritus of History at George Mason University and a member of the editorial board for the George Washington Papers and of the Mount Vernon committee of George Washington Scholars; Ed Lengal — Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and Associate Editor of “The Papers of George Washington”; and William Ferraro — Assistant Editor of “The Papers of George Washington”.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
Fairfax County Public Schools
Provider Set:
Fairfax Network
Date Added:
09/16/2011
Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase – America in Class – resources for history & literature teachers
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CC BY-NC
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In this lesson students will analyze a private letter that President Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) sent to Robert Livingston (1746–1813), his minister plenipotentiary (ambassador) to France, regarding the negotiations for what would become the Louisiana Purchase. Livingston and James Monroe (1758–1831, 6th president of the US) negotiated the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. It is important to note that at the time this letter was written — April 18, 1802 — the area had not yet been offered for sale.

In this letter Jefferson, unaware of the possibility of outright purchase, focuses upon retaining commercial access to the Mississippi River and rights of deposit (economic access) in New Orleans. He also comments upon the danger of an aggressive France locating outposts just across the Mississippi River from the United States. While some historians characterize Jefferson as a Francophile, in this letter Jefferson sees France as a potential enemy to the United States.

This lesson allows students to contextualize what will become the Louisiana Purchase prior to its acquisition by viewing the Purchase through a lens of national economic and military defense rather than an act of territorial expansion. As Jefferson considers the possibility of an aggressive France led by Napoleon Bonaparte on America’s doorstep, he states, “…perhaps nothing since the revolutionary war has produced more uneasy sensations through the body of the nation.” Original spellings and punctuation are retained.

This lesson is divided into two parts, both accessible below. The text is accompanied by close reading questions, student interactives, and an optional follow-up assignment. The teacher’s guide includes a background note, the text analysis with responses to the close reading questions, access to the interactive exercises, and the follow-up assignment. The student’s version, an interactive PDF, contains all of the above except the responses to the close reading questions and the follow-up assignment.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
Reading Informational Text
U.S. History
Material Type:
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson
Primary Source
Reading
Author:
National Humanities Center
Date Added:
05/03/2019
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This lesson presents 13 documents and photos related to the 1804-6 expedition into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. The documents include a list of Indian presents Lewis purchased, his receipts for wine and tobacco, Jefferson's letter to Madison announcing the purchase of Louisiana, and Jefferson's message to Congress communicating the discoveries of the expedition.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
08/07/2000
Media Construction of Presidential Campaigns
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CC BY-NC-ND
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This curriculum kit helps to teach about the role of media in 28 U.S. elections ranging from 1800-2008. Over 160 media documents are included for decoding, including slides of posters, handbills and political cartoons; audio clips of songs and radio programs; and video clips of speeches, debates, comedy TV and political commercials. Students will learn how to analyze historical documents, the history of presidential campaigns, the crafting and marketing of campaign messages, and the impact of new technologies and new media on presidential campaigns.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
Ithaca College
Provider Set:
Project Look Sharp
Author:
Sox Sperry & Chris Sperry
Date Added:
03/25/2013
Reading Like a Historian, Unit 3: Revolution and Early America
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The Revolution and Early America Unit covers the standard eighteenth century topics that would appear in any textbook. These lessons, however, will push students to dig deeper as they read the documents and develop historical arguments about topics ranging from the Great Awakening (why was George Whitefield so popular?) to the Stamp Act (why were Colonists upset about the Stamp Act?) to the Constitution (why did the Founding Fathers keep slavery in the Constitution?). Each lesson offers primary documents that promote conflicting interpretations. The unit will introduce students to historiography, as they contrast Bernard Bailyn's interpretaton of the Declaration of Independence to Howard Zinn's account. These lessons will emphasize the historical reading skills students will practice all year.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Stanford History Education Group
Provider Set:
Reading Like a Historian
Date Added:
08/14/2012
Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence - Beginning Level
Read the Fine Print
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In addition to teaching about Thomas Jefferson, this lesson covers background on the War of Independence and the Declaration of Independence. We recommend that you teach the unit on George Washington before introducing this lesson. The readings and pictures should help the students understand the new vocabulary. As with the other history lessons, the goal for the students is to comprehend and answer the Civics Test items correctly, not memorize details about Thomas Jefferson’s life and the War of Independence. Covers civics test items 8, 9, 61, 62, 69, 64, 71, 96, 97, 99, 100.

Subject:
Education
History
Language Education (ESL)
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Provider Set:
Beginning Level Lesson Plans
Date Added:
09/04/2015