When we think of using primary source oral histories in our classrooms, there is one resource that is often overlooked but ideally suited to the world history, civics, or global studies curriculum -- the oral histories of our diplomats.
Teaching composition or expository writing in high school is an enduring challenge, perhaps even more so today, when the rapid-fire exchange of Tweets among students can lie at the hub of daily communication before, during, and after class. Nuanced thought, however, requires a greater gestation period than the nearly instant gratification made possible on Twitter.
“Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” is a series developed by the Academy of American Poets in collaboration with EDSITEment that enlists the voices of nine contemporary American poets, each delivering a poem that has been selected in support of the National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman’s initiative, “The Common Good.” The discourse is guided by nine companion lesson plans with activities designed for secondary-level students.
Each of these twenty-one poems or poetic forms for AP Literature and Composition includes a link to the poem and multimedia resources such as EDSITEment lessons and EDSITEment-reviewed websites that discuss the poem, the poet, and its context.
Teacher guide “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W. B. Yeats includes information about the poem and discussion questions. The included supplementary documents provide contextual background on Irish traditional sources including Celtic mythology and Irish aisling poetry.
In their book Salem Possessed, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum remark upon the prominent place the Salem witch trials have in America's cultural consciousness. They observe, “For most Americans the episode ranks in familiarity somewhere between Plymouth Rock and Custer's last stand.”
This feature outlines the context of The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 which produced the “Declaration of Sentiments,” a CCSS exemplar for grades 11 – CCR. This document made a bold argument, modeled on the language and logic of the Declaration of Independence that American women should be given civil and political rights equal to those of American men, including the right to vote.