Tuesday, July 18, 2017

MA 54th Regiment & The Assault on Fort Wagner

Photo by Lance Mosier on Morris Island
looking South from Cummings Point
Today the Massachusetts Historical Society is opening up their exhibit of the newly discovered sword of Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. I remember him best as the character portrayed by Matthew Broderick in the movie Glory that details the story of the MA 54th Regiment. The movie Glory  is probably where I learned the most about the involvement of African-Americans in  the US Civil War in High School.




The sword's discovery is pretty amazing find and the Sword's history can be found on the Massachusetts Historical Society blog The Beehive: A Treasure Rediscovered: The Civil War Sword of Robert Gould Shaw, 54th Regiment

The battle the MA 54th is probably most famous for is their assault on Fort Wagner in the harbor of Charleston, SC which took place July 18th, 1863. I was vacation in Charleston, SC back in 2012 and the closest I got was from Cummings Point where my family was searching for Shells as part of a charter experience. I wish I could have explored further down the beach but was limited with time and having two of my children excited about what they could find washed ashore.

I wanted to share some resources on the MA 54th and African-American Soldier experiences in the US Civil War I've collected the past few years to help tell their stories to my students I teach in my 8th Grade US History classroom. If you have other resources I would love to hear about them.

Video Lecture via CSPAN: U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War by History Professor Roger Davidson (April 2012) is a good overview of the history of the U.S. Colored Troops. I don't typically share this lecture with my students, but I do use this to help strengthen my own understanding of the topic.

The Civil War in 4 Minutes has two great short videos that I like to share with students to help them get a short overview of Black Soldiers in the US Civil War.

Black Soldiers



The 54th Massachusetts



The Battle of Fort Wagner via Civil War Trust has lots of information, maps, and pictures on the battle.

As I learned this summer while visiting The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington D.C., Fredrick Douglass two sons served in the MA 54th. The National Archives has a scanned image of their Company Descriptive Book that I hope to share with students this coming school year. The National Archives has a nice Educator Resources page on Black Soldiers in the Civil War I hope to incorporate with my students during the next school year.

The Library of Congress has a great collection of Photographs of African Americans During The Civil War that you can use as resources for students to analyze. Check out one of my earlier blogs on Getting Started With Primary Sources for ideas on using these images with students.

The NPS Solider and Sailor Database is a great resource that I have mentioned in an earlier blog post Making The Most of Memorial Day. Here is a list of soldiers who fought in the MA 54th: Search for Soldiers MA 54th to give students a starting point to research a particular soldier.

Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial in Boston is a place I hope to visit someday. The NPS Park Website has some good general information on the memorial and the regiment.

History Channel Links On The Topic:

Do you have some great resources on The Massachusetts 54th Regiment or on African-American Soldiers in the US Civil War? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Emoji Summary Exercise: A Civil War Soldier

I wanted to share a fun way I learned about last fall about helping students with summaries. I can not take credit for this lesson. I saw this posted on Twitter and used these ideas to shape this lesson on a Soldier's Life during the US Civil War.




Most of these ideas come from the following resources. I would ask that you take a look at their posts on this idea's development.

Using Emojis to develop vocabulary and source analysis skills via @russeltarr

Emojis In the Classroom via @Erintegration

What Are 10 Key Issues In MegaCities Like New Delhi? Emoji Time via @MattPodbury

My Lesson:


For this lesson I wanted students to do some research on what life was like for your typical Civil War Soldier.

I had students read a section out of our US History Textbook that summarized some of the basic experiences of a Civil War Soldier's experience.

I had students examine the following infographic to that compare and contrast's soldiers from the Civil War to today's modern soldier.  The American Civil War

I required students to watch the following Civil War in 4 Minute Videos via Civil War Trust.

The Civil War in Four Minutes: Soldier Life



Students were given these videos and told to pick at least two (they can watch more if they wanted). I wanted to give students an opportunity of some choice on areas that might interest them. There are lots of these Four Minutes Episodes and I use several others throughout my Civil War Unit. I like their short nature, stories, artifacts, and how full of information they are.

The Armies



 The Flags



Infantry Tactics



Military Engagements




Artillery



 Small Arms



I gave students an emoji handout that I modified from What Are 10 Key Issues In MegaCities Like New Delhi? Emoji Time via @MattPodbury and had them pick 4 emoji's and write short captions on why they felt those icons best represented a Civil War Soldier.



Overall I really enjoyed this as a way for students to summarize some key elements of life of a soldier during the US Civil War. I hope to use this as a summarization technique in some of my other lessons throughout the new school year. I also shared this idea with my Language Arts teacher on my team and she used this as a similar summarization tool they were using with one of their short stories they were reading. She really enjoyed reading her student's summarizes and thought they came up with some good connections.

Do you have great ways to help students summarize text or reflect on their learning? I would love to hear about it the comments section below.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Podcasts: PD On The Go

I wanted to share some of the podcasts that I listen to throughout the year and some of the new ones I've picked up this summer. With things slowing down during the summer I try and get caught up with podcasts episodes. I love podcasts because  I can download them and take them on my walks or for long car/plane rides. Below is a list of some of my favorite podcasts and some new ones I'm trying out.

(1) Ben Franklin's World

Hosted by Liz Covart and now produced the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture this podcast explores a wide variety of topics in Early American History. This weekly podcast highlights interviews with historians on important people and events in early US History. Liz Covart is very active on Twitter (@lizcovart) and has an active Facebook community and web presence. This has grown into one of my favorite podcasts and a must listen for historians, history teachers, or lovers of history. History Teacher's should check out OI's Doing History Series that corresponds to several BF World Podcasts.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Episode 141: A Declaration In Draft

(2) BackStory

BackStory is a weekly podcast hosted by U.S. Historians and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. This podcast takes a topic each week and digs deep into the history behind the headlines. Each episode is so well done and the historians provide great context for each topic that is covered. Check out their extensive back catalog of episodes and search by topic to find something you might be interested in.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Crowning Glory: A History of Hair in America

(3) My History Can Beat Up Your Politics w/Bruce Carlson

This podcast hosted by Bruce Carlson takes issues in the news today and provides some historical context behind the news. I have always appreciated the extensive research and time taken to explain some of the history behind these topics.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: There's Nothing To Fear Of The 25th Amendment

(4) LORE

I love folklore and spooky stories. LORE is one of those podcasts with a focus on the supernatural that are typically 30 minutes with some amazing twists and turns to keep you interested. I love listening to these stories because the host Aaron Mahnke is a fantastic storyteller. I hope to be able to use elements of his storytelling techniques to help stories I share with my students come alive for them. If you are interested in the scary story with a historical twist this is a podcast to add to your list. 

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Episode 63: Homecoming 

(5) We The People via the National Constitution Center

Hosted by Jeffery Rosen, this podcast produced by the National Constitution Center brings in legal scholars to discuss important constitutional questions of the day. There are so many great episodes, but I've really enjoyed the episode Jeffery Rosen Answers Your Questions About Constitutional Interpretation. As a non-lawyer I found this episode extremely helpful on different legal interpretations judges use.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: What Just Happened At The Supreme Court? 

(6) Rogue Historian

Hosted by Keith Harris, Keith brings some interesting insight and a "no-holds-bar" candid discussion with his guests on a wide variety of topics. I had a chance to be interviewed by Keith to discuss my The Lincoln Assassination CSI Activity on Episode #13 Teaching With Creativity with Lance Mosier

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Episode #19 Cocktails (and other stuff) with Maggie Yancey 

(7) Whisky Rebellion 

Hosted by Frank Cogliano and David Silkenat these two US Historians provide a unique historical perspective to the news as they bring their show from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Healthcare History Edition 
Professional Development for Social Studies Teachers by Social Studies Teachers. These have been some great Podcasts to listen to this summer to help me think about some of my own teaching practices. This is a relatively new Podcast and hope that these teachers keep the episodes coming.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Group Projects Where Content Meets Skill 
This local Podcast hosted by historian Adam Fletcher Sasse on North Omaha History has been great listening in order to learn about some of the local history. I've been reading his articles  the past few years and enjoy hearing about some of the local history stories I can share with my students to help them connect their home town to the historical eras we are talking about such as Omaha's history in Fur Trading. This would go great my unit on Westward Expansion and The Mountain Men.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Fontenelle Park

I loved Reading Rainbow as a 80's kid and was happy to hear that LeVar Burton is back reading short stories on his new podcast.  I've enjoyed his ability to make a story come to life and I hope I can become a better story teller by hearing these tales.

My Favorite Episode So Far This Summer: Empty Places (Part 1) &; Empty Places (Part 2)

Other Podcasts To Check Out:

Here are some other podcasts I have also enjoyed listening to episodes or wanting to add to my list.
Do you have go to podcasts that you listen to? What are some of your favorite podcast episodes? I would love to hear about it in the comments section below. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

That The Yanks Are Coming...America Enters The Great War

Images of my Great Uncle
Who Lost His Life in WW1
On this 100 Year Centennial of America Entering WW1 I thought I would share some resources to use with students.

Make sure you also check out some of these earlier Blog posts I've done on World War I:






Some Resources to Check Out:
Propaganda Posters at the WW1 Museum & Memorial
Kansas City, MO

World War I Resources via The Library of Congress has lots primary source documents, exhibitions, blogs, and much much more. Check out their online exhibit Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I as a starting place.  Keep checking back on this resource as the Centennial Celebration Continues.

World War I Teacher Guide via The Library of Congress is a great starting place for teachers looking for ways to incorporate primary sources into their lessons with students on World War I.

World War I Centennial via The National Archives has a lot of great resources to dig into World War I. They have a great interactive Timeline, lots of primary sources, photos, and educational resources, and a WWI App that allows you to interact with these resources on mobile Apple and Androied devices. Search their Photo Archives here

Military Resources: World War I via The National Archives has documents, photos, audio files, and lesson plan ideas for using these resources with students.

US Enters WWI - Centennial Animation Video via History.com  Is a great way to introduce the start of US involvement in WW1 through US propaganda posters of this era. There are also great short video clips to share with students.

100th Anniversary US Entry into WW1 via American History TV - Take a tour of the World War I Museum, see some of their exhibits, and listen to experts talking about the impact of this conflict.

Inscription at the base
of WWI Memorial & Museum
Kansas City, MO
The National WW1 Museum and Memorial in Kansas City websites has many online exhibits and education resources worthy of checking out.

United States World War I Draft Registration Cards via Family Search- This free database allows you to search for individual draft cards. If you think you had a family member who served in World War I good chances you can find their original draft card here.

FirstWorldWar.com - A very comprehensive collection of images, artifacts, diaries, letters, and other  resources telling the story of WW1.

WW1 Resource Center: Image Database - A collection of World War images on a crowd source website WW1 Resource Center.

Newspaper Pictorials: Via the Library of Congress is a collection of newspaper images from World War I. Check out their timeline of events of World War I.

American Battle Monuments Commission - Explore through videos and images US Battle Cemeteries throughout Europe from both World War I and World War II.

American Experience: The Great War via PBS will be a three-part miniseries that starts on April 10th. Looking forward to this miniseries.

World War I Collection via EDTools NewseumED has a lot of newspaper documents that explore several topics on World War I.

NMAAHC WWI Collection via the National Museum of African American History & Culture have a lot of great artifacts of African American's involvement in World War I.

Stories About World War I via NPR News is a great collection of stories from NPR they have done on this conflict.

World War I Sources in Special Collections via the Musselman Library has a lot of posters,images, letters, & correspondences in their World War I collections

Summit County and The Great War Via Summit Country Library (Ohio) has various artifacts from those who served in WWI as well as a link to the University of Akron WWI Collections

Artist Soldiers: The AEF Art Program via Smithsonian national Air and Space Museum is a great collection of artwork created by artists who served in WWI and from soldiers who recorded their experiences.

Joseph M. Broccoli Great War Collection: Postcards via The University of South Carolina Library has a lot of great images taken on the Western Front. You can refine your search by country.

World War I Interactive Timeline via World Digital Library gives you a interactive way to look at maps, images, posters, and other documents of World War I from various institutions from around the world.

Photographs of From the World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall via Massachusetts Historical Society is a collection of 246 photographs of Margaret Hall who was a member of the American Red Cross in France during the war.


World War I Films (YouTube Chanel) Via The National Archives

(Link to YouTube Chanel)



Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday Nebraska

This Year Marks The 150th Birthday of Nebraska becoming a State. I thought I would compile some resources on the History of Nebraska and some of the resources on Nebraska's big birthday. Did I forget anything? Make sure you leave me a comment.


Nebraska 150

Check out many different statewide activities at NE150 and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I am Nebraska Oral History Project might be a fun activity for Nebraska Students to practice collecting Oral Histories.  Learn more about collecting Oral Histories at Oral History Interviews via The Library of Congress.

Nebraska History:

Nebraska State Historical Site Main Website:
Also check out there Online Exhibits here.

Nebraska State Historical Marker Text: 
Explore the text of Nebraska's many Historical Markers.

NebraskaStudies: 
Lots of great resources on Nebraska History from Pre 1500 to modern day. Find informational text that go nicely with pre-created Teacher Lessons.

Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letters 1862, 1912. 
This resource from the Library Congress has lots of primary source documents from the Oblinger Family striving on the Great Plains.  Begin searching the database here.

Nebraska Memories
Digital collection of Nebraska cultural and historical materials. Make sure you Browse their vast collections.

Vintage Nebraska Photos on Facebook is a fun place to find historical images of many towns in Nebraska. Search their alphabetical list of towns here.

Explore the history, arts, and architecture of the Nebraska State Capitol and Governor's mansion with Nebraska Virtual Capitol.

The Lincoln Journal Star has published 150 Notable Nebraskans. A great place to learn about some of the many people who have influenced this state.

Videos:

Here are some video Playlists of all things Nebraska.

Now You Know Nebraska: Nebraska 150 Videos
Find all of their Videos on YouTube Here.



Historic Moving Images from the Archives via Nebraska State Historical Society
Great short historical videos.




Discovering Willa Cather's Letters via The University of Nebraska  -Lincoln



International Quilt Study Center and Museum  via the University of Nebraska - Lincoln



Nebraska History via NETNebraska



Nebraska's Natural Beauty via NETNebraska



Nebraska at War via NETNebraska



Nebraska Stories via NETNebraska



Nebraska From Above via WorldFromAbove-HD




Did I forget anything? Do you know of any other great websites to help learn more about Nebraska? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Predictions For the Future: 1900 and Today

Happy New Year! It amazes me how retrospective we get as people at this time of year. Looking back on the past year examining the good and the bad that has happened it is easy for one to get nostalgic . But as soon as the clock strikes midnight and we usher in a brand New Year we are once again filled with hope, optimism, and dreams of what lies ahead in our future. 




Teaching a Full Survey of US History I start my Second Semester transitioning from the 1800's to the 1900's. Second Semester is full of major historical events that have deeply shaped our current present. This is a little activity I like to do with students to help them analyze historical documents working on comparing and contrasting skills. It also gives me a chance to show students what life was like in the 1900's, how we begin to see transformational changes taking place that begin to shape Modern America, and what citizens of the 1900's thought the future might look like which of course is the time period we are currently living in. This lesson usually spans over two days with some additional days for student research or student creation as time permits. 

Start With a Video of the Past

With Thomas Edison's invention of the Motion Camera at the turn of the Century there are lots of great videos of this time period to share with students. I have students watch the following Edison clip to examine clothing, technology present, actions of the participants in the video, etc..

For more ideas on analyzing Historical Images check out some of my earlier Blog Post; Debunking Time Travel or Getting Started with Primary Source Documents

What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

If you haven't checked out the Library of Congress YouTube channel there are lots of great Edison videos you can share with students or have them research on their own as an extension for this assignment.  The Life of the City: Early Films of New York (1898-1906) or Early Films of San Fransisco 1897-1916 

Next We Watch A Video of the Present

We than watch a Street Camera view of Time Square via Earth Cam with the same questions in mind (examine clothing, technology present, actions of the participants in the video, etc..). There is a commercial we have to watch first, but I like this because students are always amazed that they are watching New York live.

EarthCam has a lot of live Street Views from around the world that are also worth checking out.

Students Conduct Research

To finish up the lesson I have students conduct some research to help them complete a Compare/Contrast Venn Diagram of America in the 1900's to today.


To make their research a little easier I give them a handout I created several years ago that gives them a lot of basic information about life in the 1900's so they can compare this to  today. Price Comparisons are always a lot of fun for students to look at. Check out my an earlier Blog Post What Would That Cost Today? for more on price comparisons.
 With students lives in a very Tech-immersed world I also like to focus a little on Technology. PBS Kids had a great website to explore 1900 Tech but unfortunately it has been pulled from their servers. However, using the Internet Archive WayBack Machine you can still access this site at: https://web.archive.org/web/20040419103942/http://pbskids.org/wayback/tech1900/index.html

What The Future May Bring

I share with my students that many Americans were hopeful, optimistic, but also fearful of the new century they were entering. Lots of changes were beginning to take shape not too much different than what we have experienced as we have moved from the 20th Century into the 21st Century. Making predictions of the future were common in the 1900's as they are today.

I have student's examine the following Post Cards to see what people a hundred years ago thought how we might live today. I encourage students to see if there were any areas they think they guessed correctly.




I also will have students read this article from the Lady's Home Journal of 28 future predictions for the year 2000 via Open Culture. (Skip right to the Lady's Home Journal Article here.)


Another interesting prediction article to have student's read is The Boston Globe of 1900 Imagines the Year 200 via Smithsonian Magazine.


This 1939's British Pathe film on clothing of the Future is also pretty fun to watch. It's not from the early 1900's, but could serve as inspiration for students.


Howard Stark presentation in Captain America: The First Avenger also might help with student inspiration.




I end this lesson with having students making their own predictions of what life in the year 3000 might look like.  I give students a lot of flexibility on how to do this whether its a list like the Lady's Home Journal or create images like the Post Cards.

What are some ways you introduce the early 1900's? What lessons do you have the help students work on compare/contrast skills or historical analysis skills? I would love to hear more about them in the comments section below.