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History eNews from Emerging America - December 8, 2021

Published on Wed, 12/08/2021

Emerging America logo against vista of sky, river, distant mountains.

EMERGING AMERICA HISTORY eNEWS Vol. 8, Issue 21 for December 8, 2021


  • News
  • Events @ Emerging America 
  • New at the Library of Congress
  • Disability History Resources & Updates
  • Other Professional Development Events
  • Other Resources
  • Blog post preview: Guest Post: Building Student Engagement in a Special Education Classroom - Esther Lee, New York City Schools. Link to blog post.


Inquiry, Compelling Topics, and Access for All Learners

Question Formulation Technique & study of child labor engaged a high needs classroom 

Link to blog post

See below for spring courses on compelling topics (immigration, fighting fascism) and accessible teaching (Accessing Inquiry for students with disabilities, History’s Mysteries elementary inquiry, & inclusive civics)

Image from the Right Question Institute

(used with permission)



EVENTS @ EMERGING AMERICA - Info & Registration.

Mark your calendars for these Emerging America courses and workshops. Contact


PDPs / OR optional grad credit available from Westfield State University. 

    • Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources
      • Meets Massachusetts 15-hour recertification requirement on teaching Students with Disabilities. Access FREE K-12 Curriculum on History of People with Disabilities. 
      • Led by Rich Cairn, Emerging America. 
      • Earn 22.5 PDPs (MA), 15 hours (other states), or optional 1 grad credit in History from Westfield State University. 
      • January 14 - February 23. Online. One live webinar. Register for Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities.


    • Introduction to Elementary Inquiry Using History’s Mysteries 
      • Become familiar with History’s Mysteries and ask questions of its authors in preparation for teaching the curriculum. 
      • February 9, or May 18, 7-8:30 pm Eastern. Online. 
      • Register for History’s Mysteries Intro. 


    • Develop a Mystery for Your Own Classroom History's Mysteries Institute
      • The creators of History’s Mysteries will guide you through deep exploration of this powerful K-5 curriculum and its methods. Choose between customizing a unit for your unique classroom needs or creating a new History’s Mysteries-style lesson on a vital topic. 
      • Spring: February 28 to April 4. Online. 
      • Laurie Risler, with Kelley Brown. 
      • Available for 66.5 PDPs or optional 3 graduate credits from Westfield State University. 
      • Register for the History’s Mysteries Institute


    • America and World Fascism - From the Spanish Civil War to Nuremberg and Beyond: 
      • Study extremism and resistance to it across the 20th century to today. Explore strategies to teach difficult and controversial subjects. 
      • Led by Peter Carroll, Stanford University; Sebastiaan Faber, Oberlin College; and Rich Cairn, Emerging America. 
      • Earn 22.5 PDPs (MA), 15 hours (other states), or 1 grad credit in History from Westfield State University. 
      • March 3 - April 15. Online. With four live webinars. 
      • Register for America and World Fascism course.


    • Make Your Civic Engagement Inclusive
      • Design civic engagement projects and civics education that are fully inclusive, especially of students with disabilities and English Learners.
      • Led by Rich Cairn, Emerging America. 
      • Earn 10 PDPs with submission of an inclusive civic engagement plan. 
      • March 3. Online. 
      • Register for Inclusive Civic Engagement


    • Teaching World Geography and Ancient Civilizations
      • Gain practical training in the geographic and historical content and inquiry-based strategies and resources for instruction to address Social Science Standards. Focus on regions of the world that have been underrepresented in K-12 classrooms. 
      • Led by Nicholas Aieta, Westfield State University, and Rich Cairn, Emerging America
      • Earn 22.5 PDPs (MA), 15 hours (other states), or optional 1 grad credit in History from Westfield State University. 
      • April 19 - May 24. Online. With two live webinars. Register for Teaching World Geography and Ancient Civilizations


    • Emerging America: Immigration Issues in Perspective for Diverse Students
      • Harness current events to deepen understanding of immigration across American history, from the founding of the nation through today. Focus on access strategies. 
      • Alison Noyes, Emerging America. 
      • July 8 to 29. Online. With three live webinars. 
      • Register for Immigration Issues.



    See complete list of short webinars, poster presentations, and more. 




    TPS Teachers Network - Teachers with interest in working with primary sources are welcome to join this network. Featured this week - (log in to see DISCUSSIONS; no log-in needed for ALBUMS):

    Library of Congress Teacher Blog

    • Coverage of an Early Labor Movement: Using Historical Newspapers to Analyze the Pecan Sheller Strike
    • Teaching with Music from the Voices Remembering Slavery Collection
    • Exploring Native American Constitutions and Treaties Using Primary Sources
    • Raising Bread and Curiosity
    • Sailing the Ozone Ocean Blue: The Wright Brothers Tour the Solar System
    • Early Labor Rights and Activism: Learning about the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike
    • Gleaning Veterans’ Stories and Primary Sources Related to Military Service
    • Just Launched: “Living Nations, Living Words” Guide for Educators




    EVENTS - All times in Eastern Time Zone - Online unless noted.





    Guest Post: Building Student Engagement in a Special Education Classroom - 

    By Esther Lee, New York City Schools

    Reproduced with permission

    As a special education teacher in New York City, I had gotten used to my heterogeneous classroom of kids. Last year, however....So when I came across the new fourth grade English Language Arts bundle, “Child Labor,” I panicked. How will my students understand the deep concepts of this unit and be able to focus on such a serious, heart-aching topic? Will my students make fun of child laborers the way they make fun of each other?

    Luckily, my school had just trained me on the Question Formulation Technique (QFT)... [W]e decided to use child labor photographs as a starting off point (the Q Focus). “We ask as many questions as possible without judgment, and write everything in the form of a question,” I explained. I modeled to my students how to follow this procedure. This seemed simple enough for my students. I divided them up into three small groups of 4 and distributed a black and white picture of child laborers. I gave them the cue to begin...

    Link to the full blog post

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    Rich Cairn

    Civics and Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Collaborative for Educational Services
    Rich Cairn founded Emerging America in 2006, which features the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History program, "Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry." The Accessing Inquiry clearinghouse, supported by the Library of Congress TPS program promotes full inclusion of students with disabilities and English Learners in civics and social studies education.