Classroom Activities - High School  


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Analyzing the Historical Content of American Romanticism

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In small groups, students will analyze a primary source set from the late 1700s and early 1800s to draw conclusions about the historical context in which American Romanticism literature was written. Additionally, the students will compare and contrast this historical context with the previously studies historical context and literary period of Colonial and Revolutionary literature. Finally students will infer how this historical context might be reflected in the American Romanticism literature. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Four Freedoms

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This lesson will explore a seminal document, President Roosevelt's Message to Congress, and the theme of freedom from fear-one of the four points of President Roosevelt's speech. After listening to the speech, the class will read and discuss an excerpt from Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family by Yoshiko Uchida and explore the theme of freedom from fear.

A Home Reunited

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Throughout the full unit, students will read several texts and explore the different concepts the authors have about home and what it is. In this lesson, students will synthesize what they've read from other authors while concentrating on President Lincoln's role in creating one "home" for all Americans through "The Gettysburg Address".

The Whitman in Everyone

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This lesson will introduce the students to Walt Whitman and his ability to convey the feelings of powerful images through his journaling.

Political Activism through Music: Civil War Era

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Students view an image of song lyrics from a chosen Civil War era song in order to understand the impact the political climate of the times had on the music of the same period. Students will analyze one song as a large group and one as a small group. Extension would include student research and comparison. 

Professional Political Cartoon Examination and Original Political Cartoon Construction

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Students examine political cartoons with focuses including but not limited to encoded messages, evident political statements, and symbolism. They will speculate-in writing- about the cartoonists' original intent, research obscure names and symbols, revisit original interpretations, and present findings to the class. They will then construct original political cartoons on a current event or historical topic using the professional cartoonists' tools. 

Telegrams, Texts, and Tweets: An Exploration of Technology and Communication Past to Present

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This lesson will explore changing technologies of the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of a novel. The novel used in this lesson is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Students will analyze various primary sources  and communicate through various modes of writing.

American Sheet Music Published in America, 1870-1885

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Using primary source information, the students will learn about American Sheet Music from the years 1870-1885. The students will view examples of how printed music was produced as well as see the copies of that music from the time period. Students will analyze the differences in publishing styles by visual recognition. Audio samples from the time period will also be used to help students understand how music was being performed in the time period.

The History of Amazing Grace

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Using primary source information, the students will learn about Amazing Grace as it evolved into one of America's most popular hymn tunes. The students will learn about the history, the variations and hear audio recordings of Amazing Grace from early American history.

Using Primary Sources to show the Shifting Understanding and Public View of Cancer

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This lesson is designed for high school level biology students. This lesson focuses on cancer and the history of the development of cancer research. After discussing cell division and normal mitotic divisions in the body, we will discuss what cancer really is and the abnormalities in the normal mitotic steps that can cause cancerous cells. We will be using primary sources, including old newspaper articles, awareness posters, and magazine covers that show past ideas, strategies, research, and treatments that were used and how research strategies and treatments for cancer changed over the past century with the discovery of new info.

Volleyball: The Evolution of the Sport

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Using primary source pictures, students will analyze Library of Congress photos to identify differences between then and now. Students will identify how the sport was utilized during the time frame of the photo as well as how culture at that time factored into how the sport was used.

Declaration of Independence: Analysis with Picture and Document

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Using primary sources (the Declaration of Independence and an artist rendition of the signing) to study the document setting us free from Great Britain. Students will look at and analyze the picture first before reading the document.

Timeline of Notable Scientists in Physics and Chemistry

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To review, students will match the names of scientists with their respective contributions to science. The teacher will guide the students through the correct chronological sequence of achievements. In groups, students will use reasoning and deduction skills to match the name of the scientist to the picture of the scientist.