Closer Readings +

Interview with Amy and Leon Kass

What is the American Calendar project? Why this project? Why should teachers teach about American civic holidays?The American Calendar project is a series of nine e-anthologies—one for each national holiday—whose stories, speeches, songs, poems, letters, and essays help us think about the meaning of each holiday.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

On Discovering Pearl S. Buck

Immigrants at Ellis Island
We are a people still young and we know that we have not yet come to the fullest of our powers.—Pearl S. Buck, Nobel Prize Banquet Speech, 1939.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

The Declaration of Independence as a foundational document

"The Declaration Committee," 1876 lithograph print
One of the more thought provoking of the CCSS ELA standards, and yet the one that may give ELA teachers some anxiety is:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9: Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Carl Sandburg: Chicago’s poet

Wabash Ave north from Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1900
Ask your students to recall the last time they heard a poet reading a poem on TV. They might mention watching the last presidential inauguration, or perhaps a televised poetry reading at last summer’s Olympic Games. Most likely, though, they won’t be able to remember a time when they heard a poet anywhere, let alone on television.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

A Middle School Teacher Leads the Way: Tim Bailey and Common Core

“Who should be mentoring other teachers? The Tims of the world should.” —Arne Duncan, Secretary of EducationWe have been following the career of Tim Bailey ever since he won the Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year award in 2009. Currently on a sabbatical from teaching in the Salt Lake City School District, Tim is serving as a Senior Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings