Explore primary sources to learn about daily life in Colonial Massachusetts.
Students will practice with posing questions about primary source documents and then analyzing the resources to learn more about life in Colonial Massachusetts. Students will summarize their learning in the final lesson.
What was everyday life like for people who lived near the ocean in Massachusetts 250 years ago?
What can a newspaper tell us about the lives of men, women, and children in 1767 Massachusetts?
Focus skills include:
Disability History: From Almshouses to Civil Rights
UPDATED IN 2020. The following primary source set, created using materials from the Library of Congress, contains an array of sources focused on Disability History in the United States. Disability has been interwoven into America’s history since the country’s inception through letters, images, newspapers, diaries and other primary sources. The set provides a comprehensive look into a wide range of Library of Congress resources.
Keep at hand all seven items in the Emerging America Lesson Design Toolkit to support strong lesson plan development. You will also need copies of applicable academic standards and, of course, your text set, and any other support materials for the lesson. Refer to each tool to broaden choices for you and for students. The tools help make precise and clear the language in lesson objectives, instructions for assignments, rubrics, graphic organizers, and other handouts.
A Tool to Help Correct Misconceptions
The point of the RAN Chart (RAN stands for "Read and Analyze Non-fiction") is for students to research and confirm or correct their ideas for themselves! (Thus the RAN Chart improves on the old "Know-Wonder-Learned / KWL" chart.)
Step 1: Draw the RAN Chart on a whiteboard or smart board, or arrange note cards or post-its on a RAN Chart template. Ideally, leave the RAN Chart up through throughout an investigation. Create categories to help categorize the important ideas and information of the topic.
From Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project, this powerful site offers more than 60 curated lists of literature and history books on social justice and multicultural points of view for children, young adults, and educators. Book lists are organized by topic areas–including Changemakers, Disabilities, Immigration (and specific immigrant groups), Organizing, and Voting Rights!
Finding Primary Sources on Disability History
Browse the thorough and easy-to-follow: Using the Library of Congress Online: A Guide for Middle and High School Students. Also very useful for teachers!
Emerging America's lesson plan template features a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) grid borrowed from Social Studies & Exceptional Learners (see below). It is designed to support teaching of Social Studies. Three columns call for strategies that support the UDL instructional framework (see description in Accessing Inquiry clearinghouse).
The following set of resources from the Library of Congress was prepared for Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS). The set presents primary source documents and images on two main units of study: The American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution. There are abundant resources on the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this set recommends a careful selection of the most engaging. Teachers and students can focus on the most valuable sources from the era for use in classroom or research settings.
Maps, Knowledge, and Power in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
Maps are a representation of geographical space. As such, they are valuable as a source of information. Yet their makers can also use them to control or alter perceptions of that same information. In the 14th and 15th centuries, cartography, or the science of map-making, changed rapidly due to the explorations of the Americas. Use the maps below to trace some of these changes.
Mappa mundi, Hereford, c.1300