Closer Readings +

Ten Ways to Teach the U.S. Constitution

Preamble to the Constitution
September 17 is officially Constitution Day (celebrated on Monday, September 18 this year). Since 2005, every U.S. educational institution that receives federal funds is required to teach about the United States Constitution. The original Constitution, signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, is the oldest working constitution in the world.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Eight Tips for Making the Most of a Museum Field Trip

Student group at the Musee d’Orsay
For seasoned teachers as well as the newly minted—whether elementary or secondary—here are some ways you can enrich visits to museums by structuring them in the same way as for your classroom activities.Match content with grade level and interest;Choose a manageable bite of an institution’s collection;Create a diversity of sensory engagements.A little attention given in advance to how to shape the students’ visit will pay off immeasurably in what they take away from their time viewing an institution’s collections.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

The National Parks and History

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Source: author photograph
It was, and remains, the bluest blue I have ever seen. As I stood on a rock jutting out over Crater Lake, the remnants of a massive volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago, I thought about the immensity of time and history that gives this place shape and meaning. Then I leapt. The freezing cold water disrupted these thoughts for the moment, but the National Parks have a way of sticking with you.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Building Grit – a key to success!

Female Marine on forced march, Guantanamo Bay
"It doesn't matter if people are playing jazz or writing poetry—if they want to be successful, they need to learn how to persist and persevere, how to keep on working until the work is done." —Jonah Lehrer, Imagine: How Creativity WorksRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

The Blue Humanities

photo of a calm sea
“There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath . . . for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness . . . ” —Herman Melville, Moby-DickRead More »