Closer Readings

80 Result(s)
Slavery in the Colonial North

Philipsburg Manor, located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, is a historic site owned and operated by Historic Hudson Valley. The site tells the story of the 23 enslaved Africans who were the only full-time, year round residents of the Manor, and whose forced labor was the backbone of the Philipse’s international trading empire. In July 2019, Philipsburg Manor will host a summer teachers’ institute on Slavery in the Colonial North for K-12 teachers. For more information, visit www.HudsonValley.org.

Truth and Memory in the Mississippi Delta: What the Emmett Till Case Means Today

On the same day when the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other national media outlets announced the reopening of the Emmett Till case, 36 K-12 educators from across the country were gathered for a panel discussion in the Tallahatchie County Courthouse, where the Till murder trial took place in 1955.

Bring Your Classroom to Life Through Diplomatic Oral Histories

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.

What Does It Mean to Be American?

The story of America—its founding, its shaping, its mythology—is told in many ways. Their influence may not always be obvious, but artists and their works have played an essential, powerful role in telling some of these stories.

The Things They Carried: Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War Novel Endures

Critics have hailed The Things They Carried as one of the finest examples in American literature of writing about war. O’Brien served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, and, in The Things They Carried, wrote a co-created collection of linked stories that reads like a memoir. Used in high school literature and history classrooms across the U.S., our essay offers analysis of this popular book. 

War Literature: Being There or Not

Literature about war—whether the lived experience of the author or not—has over the centuries taken the form of many genres: epic, tragedy, comedy, narrative poetry, history play, novel, short story, memoir, and lyric poetry. While reading works from Homer’s Iliad  to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, students can benefit from identifying not only the wide variety of genres depicting battle and its consequences but also from recognizing the stark contrasts these genres can represent in tone, style, point of view, and intent. Students may also find it of value to consider the war experience, if any, of the authors in question.

Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy

On April 14 we commemorate the death of Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The years in which Lincoln served as president, 1861–1865, were among the most momentous in America’s history. A month after his election, South Carolina seceded from the Union, triggering a four-year conflict that would leave nearly a million Americans dead or wounded, four million slaves free, and a nation changed forever.

Women’s History through Chronicling America

Last week’s blog post introduced Chronicling America, a deep repository of historic American newspapers covering the years 1836–1922. Students can use newspapers available through Chronicling America to expose the rich texture of the women’s rights movement and its many milestones, meetings, and debates right from the beginning and in a way that few other resources can. As an added bonus, they will be working with the kind of complex informational texts that the Common Core English Language Standards recommends. In what follows, we'll be suggesting articles written from a variety of points of view that make arguments based on appeals to evidence.

Teaching Classic Novels through Popular Adaptations: An Interview

Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis* and Sean Connors** received an NEH grant for their Summer Institute for K-12 educators, “Remaking Monsters and Heroines: Adapting Classic Literature for Contemporary Audiences.” What follows is a conversation between EDSITEment and Dr. Szwydyky-Davis and Dr. Connors about adapting literature for the classroom.

From Montaigne to E.B. White, Some Sound Advice on Writing the Personal Essay

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.