John Biglin in a Single Scull by Thomas Eakins

Eakins’ Vision of American Recreation—“In the Good Old Summer Time”

Summertime is vacation time, time for a break. This month EDSITEment features lesson plans and websites that focus on American leisure, past and present. As middle-class Americans gained leisure time in the late 1800s, sports like baseball, bicycling, and sculling became popular in the U.S.

The great presidential puzzle / J.A. Wales

Electing America’s Presidents

Every four years American citizens make one of their most serious choices as a people when they vote for president. EDSITEment has lessons about some of the most important and dramatic presidential elections in the early decades of the republic. These lessons not only give students opportunities to read significant primary sources authored by the candidates and others but also the path to a better understanding of the historical context of these races.

Histories of the National Mall

Explore historical maps, discover stories you never knew, find people and historical events related to the Mall's past.

  • Lesson 2. “Read All About It”: Primary Source Reading in “Chronicling America”

    Created March 28, 2016
    The Jungle Teddy Roosevelt image

    In Lesson Two, students read several investigative newspaper articles leading to the landmark legislation of the Roosevelt Administration. There is also an optional excerpt from Roosevelt’s “Man with the Muck-Rake” speech from which this style of investigative journalism gets its name.  These documents provide an opportunity for close reading of complex informational texts as well as understanding the historical and political context of reform.

  • Lesson 1. Upton Sinclair, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harvey W. Wiley

    Created March 28, 2016
    The Jungle Teddy Roosevelt image

    In this lesson, students learn how Progressive reformers in government used the public outrage over Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle as a catalyst for legislation. The story of how two progressives, Theodore Roosevelt and Harvey W. Wiley, worked together within the federal government is not as well-known as the role played by Sinclair’s The Jungle, but it provides the needed historical and political context for the landmark Progresssive era legislation

    old print of voters from A Nation Votes

    A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825

    A New Nation Votes is a searchable collection of election returns from the earliest years of American democracy. The American Antiquarian Society and Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives have mounted it online for you with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Anna Mae Wong on her visa certificate

    Chinese American Exclusion Act

    Follow the stories of Chinese immigrants who arrived in America at the height of anti-Chinese restriction.

    American Experience webpage for Freedom Summer

    American Experience: Freedom Summer

    In the summer of 1964, student volunteers joined local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi. The website features historical background essays, bonus video interviews with participants and original art work.

    American Experience webpage for Freedom Summer

    American Experience: Freedom Summer

    In the summer of 1964, student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most segregated states. The website features historical background essays, bonus video of interviews with participants and original art work.