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Classroom Connections: Lists for Lesson Planning (Gr. 6-12)

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 young people's librarians and students, 1938., Digital ID 434280, New York Public LibraryAguilar Library, 1938 - Librarian w/ students. Want to know more about our current educational initiatives? See The ABC of Education: Why Libraries Matter by Maggie Jacobs, Director of Educational ProgramsWe have just shuttered the doors on our first Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute. During this three week Institute, master teachers from NYC (and further afar) met curators from our Research Divisions, explored our Archives, and connected with members of our Strategy Department—all with the intention of addressing how we can better identify materials from our collections for use in the classroom, and how we can better connect these materials to teachers. The New York Public Library offers some of the best collections in the world. Our Digital Collections alone encompasses more than 700,000 images including historical photos, political cartoons, maps, and more that you can explore digitally. The challenge for us becomes—how do we curate this wealth of material in an accessible and efficient way for classroom use, especially to help meet Common Core State Standards?

Over three weeks, August 5th-August 23rd, this is exactly what the Institute teachers did. Each teacher choose a research topic to build a lesson plan around, and then explored our archives to uncover primary source materials to enhance their knowledge and teaching of this topic. In some cases, teachers discovered forgotten treasures in the archives. The teachers then collected these primary source materials into curated lists alongside complimentary secondary source materials. The next step was turning these lists into Texts and Task Units for Lesson Planning. Over the next few months we will roll out blog posts written by the teachers on their topics, which include topic descriptions, suggestions for lesson planning, and downloadable Texts and Task Units for each topic with information on text complexity and text dependent questions. Until then, check out their amazing annotated lists of primary and secondary materials on the following topics for classroom use:

Classroom Connections: Lists for Lesson Planning (Gr. 6-12)

Declaration of Independence - This list provides links to the documents, the signers, and the social and cultural history of the era, including several lesser known primary sources of the period such as: colonial maps from both the British and French perspectives depicting territorial points of contention; information on the individual signers; and historical prints (such as the one at the right) that depict the Declaration as not just a document, but as the event that its signing and announcement was. This list also includes a link to a transcription of the Declaration of Independence that can be used as a class handout; this provides for ease of use in the classroom, and an accesible way for students to begin to interact with this seminal text. After all, the Declaration was intended to be read aloud (Grades 9-12)

Double V Campaign: African Americans in World War II—Primary and secondary source resources describing the efforts of African-Americans to achieve victory in the war effort abroad, and in the civil rights struggle at home. This list gives particular focus to the role of the Pittsburgh Courier—then the highest circulating African American newspaper—in mobilizing this campaign, and in the role of women who joined the war effort through the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'World War II and the Double V Campaign' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance tasks for a Social Studies Unit (Grades 10-12)

Grace Aguilar's American Journey - Did you know that the NYPL Aguilar Library, founded in 1886, is named for Grace Aguilar, a nineteenth century writer and feminist who never made it to the United States? Ever wondered, 'why?' This list gives teachers and students the resources to begin a common core-aligned research journey rebuilding the bridge between this influential nineteenth century figure (seen here on the right), and how and why her impact was still felt an ocean away in NYC more than 40 years after her death. This list not only provides suggestions on how to research this particular topic, but also gives direction on how to develop benchmarks for classroom informational literacy consistent with Empire State Information Fluency Continuum. Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'Grace Aguilar's American Journey: A Common Core-aligned Research Experience' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance tasks (Grades 11-12)

Reconstructing Reconstruction - A historical analysis of how twentieth century textbooks have changed in their teaching of Reconstruction. The list includes excerpts from early twentieth century textbooks and from more recent ones. Trends include the shift from the ‘Dunning’ school of thought – in which African Americans were seen as minimal or obstructionist players in Reconstruction – to the more modern view from the 1970s onwards, and the omissions in earlier textbooks of pivotal events, such as the Brooks-Baxter War in 1872 (on right) that ultimately led to the end of Reconstruction in Arkansas two years earlier than the rest of the country. Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'Reconstructing Reconstruction' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance task (Grades 11-12)

Kids in African-American Civil Rights Protests - this list focuses on civil rights as seen through the lens of children and young adults. This list centres on three civil rights events in which children and young adults played pivotal roles including: the 1939 sit-in at the Alexandria, Virginia library; Claudette Covin's bus arrest in 1955 (nine months before Rosa Parks); and the Birmingham Children's March in 1963—also called the 'Children's Crusade.' Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'Little Lionhearts: Young People in African-American Civil Rights Protests' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance task (Grades 6-8)

Social Darwinism - A reading list for advanced high school students on the historic use of Social Darwinism as a justification for European imperialism between 1871 and 1939. This list includes primary source materials on influential figures like Cecil Rhodes-founder of the Rhodes Scholarship, self professed beliver in the 'superior Anglo-Saxon race' and the subject of this infamous political cartoon (on right) that depicted his vast colonizing plans for the African continent-along with secondary sources. Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'The Role of Social Darwinism in European Imperialism' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance task (Grades 9-12)

A Doll's House: A Social and Cultural History of the Era - Provides primary source historical background on women's lives as affected by property and marriage laws in the 19th century; commentary on women's education and role in society; and information on Norwegian feminists who influenced Ibsen. This list also looks at more recent responses to Ibsen's A Doll's House and sequels written to help explain the difficulty of a wife walking out on her husband and children as depicted in the play. This list has been compiled to align ELA literature curriculum to common core standards emphasizing review of primary sources-reading non-fiction- looking at literary works as the result of an author's point of view placed in a context of other contrasting views-and seeing works in their historical and social contexts (Grades 11-12)

Immigration to Washington Heights, NYC: New York, Then & Now - Using maps, first hand accounts, secondary sources, and historical fiction this collection tracks changes over time in Washington Heights, NYC from the colonial period to present day. List begins with Washington Heights' history - its original inhabitants, its colonial ties to George Washington (seen on right), its modern connections as a haven for German Jewish populations fleeing the Holocaust - and leads right up to present day. This list also directly ties into the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum Standards as it encourages students to approach their work with the following standards in mind: 'we are thinkers', 'we are explorers', and 'we are citizens.' Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'New York, Then & Now: Immigration to Washington Heights/Inwood' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance tasks for a Social Studies-infused English Language Arts Unit (Grades 6-8)

African Americans and the American Revolution - Primary, secondary, and historical fiction titles (including Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson at right) representing African American participation in the American Revolution. List includes information on the social, political, and legal issues surrounding slavery, manumission, and military participation as a means towards emancipation at the time—from both the American and British perspectives; can be used for an English Language Arts (ELA) or Social Studies classroom.  Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'Two Wars: African Americans, Emancipation, and the American Revolution' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance tasks (Grades 6-8)

Slavery in the United States & the Underground Railroad to Canada - This list includes primary and secondary sources (such as this historical photo at right of former slaves who settled in Ontario, Canada), as well as works of historical fiction that represent multiple perspectives on slavery in the United States and those slaves who traveled via the Underground Railroad to Canada. This list aks the question: 'what next?' So much is written about the Underground Railroad - both now and during its historical time period (Uncle Tom's Cabin, for example, sold 300,000 copies in 1852) yet much less is written about what happened to these slaves after they made their way North, South, or through the multiple other terminus points of this intangible 'railroad.' Want to use this list in your classroom? See our blog post, 'Slavery and the Underground Railroad' for more details including a common core-aligned Texts and Task Unit with text complexity, text dependent questions, and recommended performance tasks (Grades 6-8)

 

Latinos on Broadway - Resources to research Latino cultural contributions and developments to the American musical theater. This list includes information on such iconic figures as Carmen Miranda, Rita Moreno, and Chita Rivera, as well as providing historical background through primary and secondary sources from the 19th and 20th century on Latin culture and depictions on Broadway and in popular culture - with particular focus on West Side Story. This list provides resources for not only an arts and music education, but also asks questions about race, identity, and citizenship very relevent for a Social Studies classroom as well (Grades 9-12) 

 

Travel Journals and Depictions of the Mongol World - In 1326, Ibn Battuta began a pilgrimage to Mecca that ended 27 years and 75,000 miles later. His engrossing account of this epic journey provided vivid scenes from Morocco, southern Russia, India, and elsewhere - including China. His writings, along with those of Marco Polo, were some of the first historical depictions and primary source documents (outside of Asia) describing the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire (1206-1368). From Marco Polo to Ibn Battuta, this Social Studies list chronicles impressions of the Mongol imperial world as observed by early explorers (Grades 9-12)

 

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