Closer Readings Commentary

Taking a Stand: American Revolution and the Founders

What if your students had the vast resources of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and more—at their fingertips for this year’s National History Day project?

Well, they do—through an exciting collaboration between the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) and EDSITEment, the K-12 website of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Using SCLDA’s new tool, Smithsonian Learning Lab, you and your students can discover, create, curate, and digitally share the vast resources of the Smithsonian as well as your own special finds from other sources on this free, online platform.

To help you get started, beginning this week and continuing throughout October, we will be unveiling four specially curated collections of images, primary sources, articles, and curriculum guides on the Learning Lab for "Taking a Stand in History."

These singular resources are drawn from the archives of the Smithsonian and from EDSITEment’s award-winning library of classroom assets. And, while the particular portfolios have been designed with NHD students in mind, you will also find them and the Learning Lab platform invaluable for your classroom.

First up: the Revolutionary War and the Founders

Our first collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support and inspire your students’ beginning exploration of a National History Day 2017 project. It is comprised of an array of artifacts, portraits, videos, and websites that highlight six of the "Founding Fathers": Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Other important figures vital to the American Revolution such as Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine are also included.

Collections on the following topics will be released weekly on Tuesdays through mid-October, so visit often!

October 4:   Women’s Rights Movement

October 11: The Abolitionists

October 18: Civil Rights Era

Be sure to take a look. Let us know what you think tweetng us: @EDSITEment & @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2017 and share what you’d like to see in future Learning Lab collections.