Closer Readings +

Memorial Day: Commemoration, Rediscovery, and Reconsideration

On the last Monday in May the nation celebrates Memorial Day. It is, of course, a day off from school and work and the unofficial beginning of the summer. There are cookouts, picnics, and always a televised concert on the National Mall.Much more important, it is an occasion to pay tribute to those men and women who have died in defense of the homeland. There is a rich literature of speeches, stories, poems, and essays about these sacrifices.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Encouraging Visual Literacy: Tips and Tools from Internet@Schools

Screenshot of Mission US
If students aren’t taught the language of sound and images, shouldn’t they be considered as illiterate as if they left college without being able to read or write? —George Lucas, film directorRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

Summer Reading for Teachers!

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciples. A noble artist, he has visions of excellence and revelations of beauty, which he has neither impersonated in character, nor embodied in words. His life and teachings are but studies for yet nobler ideals.—Amos Bronson Alcott Orphic Sayings, 1841Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

The Berlin Wall and Beyond: An Online High School Curriculum

Stalin arm wrestles Gorbachev in a work called "?" by Mikhail Nikolaevich Rozhde
The Berlin Wall & Beyond is an online high school curriculum for teaching World History, which focuses on the critical post-World War II period. Once united as allies in their war against the Nazis, the United States and the Soviet Union became the world’s competing powerbrokers for the next 40 years. Amidst the redrawing of national boundaries and the political realignments taking shape, Berlin quickly became the symbolic capital of the Cold War.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

“American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam”: A Classroom-Ready Resource

American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam gives a powerful account of the days leading up to the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Produced and directed by Rory Kennedy and nominated for an Academy Award® for documentary feature, the film, featuring narratives from people who lived through this experience, illuminates the moral dilemmas facing both U.S. military personnel, who would have to disobey orders to save lives, and South Vietnamese, who faced imprisonment or worse if they could not—or chose not to—escape. The producers describe the film:Read More »
Categories Closer Readings