I wanted to share some ways that the American Memory Collection has been a
part of my classes thusfar this year. I look forward to hearing how others
are incorporating its wonderful resources.
1.) Daily Document: I've resolved to begin each US History class with some
sort of a primary source as a "bell-ringer" or "mood-creator" or whatever
you want to call it. So far, I've managed to meet my goal each day with
most of the documents provided by the AmMem Collection (although I did start
the Civil War unit by sharing the diary of my husband's great-grandfather.)
2.) Parents' Night: When the students received their books on the first day
of class, I also gave them a LOC or NARA bookmark (thank you, LOC!) On last
Thursday's Back to School night, I gave the leftovers to the parents.
3.) Workshop: I gave a little workshop to my colleagues at school last week
and asked them to let me know if any of the professional organizations to
which they belong might be interested in a similar presentation. (Yes, I
wrote this up on our Leadership Page, and I encourage all of you to write up
your dissemination activities. Seeing what others had done helped me to
plan my session.)
4.) Classes: I've used the collection in class in the following ways:
Reconstruction Role-Playing: I used photos from the Daguerrotype
and Civil War collections to "jazz up" the role descriptions for this
Western Expansion: It took only about 1 hr. to found 1-2 pg.
primary sources (mostly from the American West and Federal Writers' Project)
which offer insights into the Western experience. I found documents by
farmers, cattlemen, miners, Native Americans, Hispanics, and a buffalo
hunter for the railroad. We'll be using these in class next week to help us
answer the questions: Whose West? Whose Frontier?
Farmers and Populists: I am designing a lesson (which will have to
be finished by Tuesday!) using the photographs and documents from either the
Northern Great Plains collection and/or Rural Life in the US page (from the
Learning Page.) I anticipate that this will be a two day lesson in which
students do some research on these pages and then present their results to
I've got to get back to actually working on these lessons, so a hui hou
(until next time.)