Closer Readings +

Telling America’s Stories with Quilts

Harriet Powers’s pictorial quilt 1898. Wikimedia Commons.
“We Americans have adopted quilts as a symbol of what we value about ourselves and our national history,” —Laurel Horton, “Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Late 20th century.”Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Igniting a Passion for History with Chronicling America

"Daily Missourian" headline from 1917
So many of our students arrive with a negative impression of the discipline of history. They have come to the conclusion that the study of history is about memorizing a ton of dull facts. Why wouldn’t they feel this way? It is not until later in life that they will be exposed to the real work of historians through taking an upper-level college history course or researching family genealogy. It is through piecing together a compelling and insightful narrative from primary sources that students begin to understand that history is based on evidence and inference, insight and analysis.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Walking the line in spring with Robert Frost: “Mending Wall”

Photograph of a low stone wall on farmland in Derry, N.H
“My poems—I should suppose everybody's poems—are all set to trip the reader head foremost into the boundless. Ever since infancy I have had the habit of leaving my blocks carts chairs and such like ordinaries where people would be pretty sure to fall forward over them in the dark. Forward, you understand, and in the dark. I may leave my toys in the wrong place and so in vain. It is my intention we are speaking of—my innate mischievousness.” —Robert FrostRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

Five Essential Resources for Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“One of the things people don’t understand about Eleanor Roosevelt, because she seemed so ladylike, and she has that aristocratic voice and that manner: she was tough as nails. In fact she was one of the best politicians of the 20th century.” — Geoffrey Ward, Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt was a key figure in some of the most important social reform movements of the twentieth century, including the progressive movement, the New Deal, the women's movement, the struggle for racial justice, and the founding of the United Nations.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Finding Archetypes in Beauty and the Beast

An illustrátion by Warwick Goble for Beauty and the Beast, 1913
The appeal of the Beauty and the Beast story, with its accent on compassion and the universal message “love conquers all,” transcends the boundaries of age and time. It continues to delight young and old, generation after generation, through its many adaptations.Read More »