Closer Readings +

Mission US: Mission 5 “Up from the Dust”

Opening image from Mission US: Mission 5 “Up from the Dust”
“Life in the galloping flatlands was a pact with nature. It gave as much as it took, and in 1935 it was all take.”—Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard TimeYou are a teenager growing up on a wheat farm in the Texas panhandle in the 1930s. How will you weather the terrible dust storms that will blanket your farm and survive the coming hardships of the Great Depression? Will you tenaciously fight to remain on the bone dry land of the Great Plains or hop a freight train to seek the golden promise of California? Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Celebrating Hispanic Culture through Poetry and Fiction

Wintering Monarch butterflies
September 15–October 15 marks Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when the nation is called to celebrate the cultures of those Americans whose roots lead back to countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Spain.Read More »
Categories Heritage Months

Constitution Day and the Second Founding

Howard Chandler Christy's painting, signing of the United States Constitutution
Just as students and teachers are adapting to the demands and delights of the new school year, they are asked to learn about a document written 229 years ago that still impacts their lives. September 17, the day the framers signed their draft of the U.S. Constitution, has long been celebrated, but it is only since 2004 that there has been a mandate that every U.S. educational institution that receives federal funds should offer “an educational program” on it.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Engaging with Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study in his home in Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusett
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.—Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar speechRalph Waldo Emerson is an exemplary author whose essays may be used to fulfill the ELA informational texts requirement for the Common Core. Here are some ways teachers can engage 21st-century students with Emerson’s thinking and rhetoric.Read More »

Introducing Photogrammar to Teach Media Literacy and U.S. History

Children at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) Camelback Farms inspect the p
I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs. I knew at that point I had to have a camera. — Gordon ParksRead More »
Categories Closer Readings