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FDR and Hoover with top-hats riding to inauguration in 1933
Date: Aug 22 2012

Last summer, a distressed teacher friend shared an all too common story. Throughout the school year, she had sparked students’ skills and passions with a cross-curricular exploration of slavery. It was heady, demanding, and bang-on target for both state content standards and her 4th graders’ interests in fairness, difference, and understanding where we come from. At year’s end, her principal co…

Chicano farmworkers with voting registration papers
Date: Jun 23 2012
The good news is that New York State just released sample questions that address the Common Core. Yet if this is what testing mastery of the Common Core looks like, then the standards themselves are in trouble. Let's look closely at one of the questions related to primary sources. The sample 5th grade question below follows a passage about civil rights organizer, Cesár Chavez, accompanied by the p…
Title page of 1817 cookery book showing woman milking a cow
Date: May 23 2012

Guest Post: Rusty Annis, Belchertown, Massachusetts, Teacher

Archivist shows documents to 5th graders
Date: May 12 2012
Fourth and fifth grade students at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School published their research at: Colonial Voices of Williamsburg. The site lays out students' entire path of discovery, including: photos and discussions from visits to local archives, student-created traditional Colonial floor cloths, a historical timeline, and ultimately, the gravestone of Master, Jonathan Warner. Document E…
Martin Luther King and Malcom X together in 1964
Date: Apr 21 2012

In Fairbury, Nebraska–pop. 5,000–where I grew up in the 1960s, there lived literally zero black people. It was not by chance: the Klan and its allies had driven blacks out of much of the rural Midwest. (My parents' Civil Rights advocacy found scant welcome in my home town. But that's another story.) When I was in 6th grade, my older, wiser brother (a 9th grader) handed me the Autobiography of M…

Date: Mar 28 2012
Guest Post: Rusty Annis, Belchertown, Massachusetts, Teacher World War II marked a watershed for American identity, equality and opportunity. Advocates called bastions of racism into question and for the first time effectively challenged many aspects of discrimination. The war gave minorities (including women) a chance to contribute in a noticeable way to American society. It was not an easy tran…
gateway MS mill
Date: Mar 19 2012
Since before the American Revolution, it has been common knowledge in Western Massachusetts that there lies a tension between the wealthy centers of farming and trade along the Connecticut River and the steep, rocky, and isolated "Hilltowns." Yet these small towns, like communities everywhere, have sometimes played outsized roles at key turning points of our nation's history. Over the winter of 2…
Three soldiers take a long paper feed from a wireless machine
Date: Mar 7 2012

Emerging America embraces social media as a means to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality professional development to K-12 teachers on History, primary sources, and the Common Core State Standards. Quality professional development is more than just attending workshops and seminars. It requires a sustained process of learning and developing ideas about how our work impacts students. Socia…

arguments of the chivalry
Date: Mar 6 2012
"Civility in politics is a contradiction in terms," declared a historian colleague with a chuckle when I suggested the topic for a possible lecture series. Still, like most Americans, I find the current national political discourse worrisome. My history educator's mind makes me wonder, "Has it always been this way?" Well… of course, there were the Revolutionary War, Shays Rebellion, the Whiskey Re…
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Date: Mar 6 2012

The Common Core approaches the content areas (Social Studies and the Sciences) with a particular emphasis on literacy. This has several implications. First, note that literacy in the Common Core means listening and speaking as well as reading and writing. Audio files from the Library of Congress, for example, have an important role to play. Further, English Language Arts components of the stand…

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