The realities of slavery and Reconstruction hit home in poignant oral histories from the Library of Congress. In these activities, students research narratives from the Federal Writers' Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S. -- both before and after emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Explore the role and impact of recent First Ladies through research and family interviews.
Students employ the screenwriter's craft to gain a fresh perspective on notable women in American history.
Explore the ways in which First Ladies were able to shape the world while dealing with the expectations placed on them as women and as partners of powerful men.
Using the life of Davy Crockett as a model, students learn the characteristics of tall tales and how these stories reflect their historical moment. The lesson culminates with students writing a tall tale of their own.
Work with primary documents and latter-day photographs to recapture the experience of traveling on the Oregon Trail.
This lesson concentrates on Anne Frank as a writer. After a look at Anne Frank the adolescent, and a consideration of how the experiences of growing up shaped her composition of the Diary, students explore some of the writing techniques Anne invented for herself and practice those techniques with material drawn from their own lives.
Drawing upon the online archives of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, this lesson helps students to put the events described by Anne Frank into historical perspective, and also serves as a broad overview of the Nazi conquest of Europe during World War II. After surveying the experiences of various countries under Nazi occupation, the lesson ends with activities related specifically to the Netherlands and Anne Frank.