So many of our students arrive with a negative impression of the discipline of history. They have come to the conclusion that the study of history is about memorizing a ton of dull facts. Why wouldn’t they feel this way? It is not until later in life that they will be exposed to the real work of historians through taking an upper-level college history course or researching family genealogy.
In the past few years, we highlighted how the writings of Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain (1874–1965) could profitably engage students in the study of informational texts through memorable language and powerful arguments. “Blood, Toil, Sweat, and Tears,” the speech Churchill delivered as he took office as prime minister during the dark days of World War II, illustrates the kind of complexity, quality, and range expected in college-bound student reading.
Last time, I began to survey how American artists viewed the Great War (1914–1918). This NEH-supported exhibition, World War I and American Art, has uncovered forgotten works that could help teachers illustrate and illuminate the course of the war, the political opinions pro and con, and the enormous human toll it had on the nation and the world. This week, I’ll talk about some neglected artists who deserve to be remembered as powerful and passionate witnesses to the carnage both on the battlefields and in the hospitals afterward.
World War I (1914-1918) has been called the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century, leading to the destruction of four empires (Russian, German, Austrian-Hungrian, and Ottoman), the rise of communism and fascism, the Second World War, and even the Cold War.
“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.
Americans elect a president through the state-by-state mechanism of the Electoral College rather than direct nationwide popular vote. Today, all but two states award all of their electoral votes to the statewide winner.
How can we help students better understand the long history of immigration to the United States and the experiences of contemporary immigrants and refugees? How do we encourage students to compare immigrant groups and eras of immigration through the experiences of individuals and families? How can students understand their place within this long history and immigration’s impact on shaping an increasingly diverse society?
“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 Time
You 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?
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.
Using art as a teaching resource. Whether you’re in the classroom or on a field trip, artworks are a fantastic way to engage students. But how do you go beyond art as illustration and use it as rich informational text? How do you deepen your skill set when integrating visual art into your curriculum?