Elevating the Everyday: Garry Knox Bennett
Spark visits vanguard furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett at work as he produces the last in a series of fifty chairs for an upcoming exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California. This Educator Guide addresses the history of art furniture.
Dance Masters: Margaret Jenkins
SPARK follows Artistic Director Margaret Jenkins as she rehearses her company dancers in preparation for "Danger Orange," an outdoor site-specific performance in downtown San Francisco. This Educator Guide is about the history of modern dance and the contributions of some its most innovative choreographers, including Jenkins.
Coastal Clash: Analyzing Political Cartoons
"Coastal Clash" is a one-hour documentary focusing on the urbanization of California's coastline. The activities and lesson plans for the film "Coastal Clash" target students at the high school level and align with the California State Standards for Government. In this lesson plan students will evaluate the different elements of a media platform and how these elements affect the media message and will also create their own media productions.
By Hand: Gary Stevens
SPARK follows sculptor Gary Stevens through his creative process, from harvesting unusual pieces of wood from ancient redwood forests through the painstaking work that produces his uniquely beautiful wood vessels. This Educator Guide is about the history and tradition of wood carving.
Artist in Search of a Medium: Jonathon Keats
SPARK trails writer, critic, and Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats as he works on his project, Divine Taxonomy, which attempts to find God's place on the phylogenetic tree. This Educator Guide explores the history of Conceptual art and the role of science in contemporary art.
Art Meets Pop Culture: Keith Knight
SPARK follows cartoon artist and rap musician Keith Knight as he peddles his strip the K Chronicles at a massive comic convention. This Educator Guide explores the history and form of the cartoon.
American Music: David Grisman
Musician David Grisman combines bluegrass with elements of swing, jazz and gypsy music as he prepares for a performance at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage. This Educator Guide is about the history of bluegrass music.
"American Made" is a film about a Sikh American family whose car breaks down en route to the Grand Canyon, and their only hope for escape is the remote desert highway and the occasional passing car. When car after car fails to stop, family members are forced to confront their notions of faith, conformity, tradition, and sacrifice-and question what it means to be "American" today. This lesson plan includes discussion activities about the definition of family, cultural research activities, and wri
All Natural: Jim Denevan and Chris Drury
SPARK tails artists Jim Denevan and Cris Drury as they create large earth works. This Educator Guide is about the history and tradition of artists making work in and about the natural environment.
All in the Family: Gypsy Snider
Veteran circus artist Gypsy Snider launches a circus of her own, Les Sept Doigts de la Main, and brings her two-year-old daughter along with her. This Educator Guide traces the history of the circus and acrobatic performance.
This site profiles Presidential inaugurations of the past using primary sources from the American Memory historical collections of the Library of Congress. Through images, film, and personal recollections users can view the pomp and circumstance of Inaugurations.
Immigration/Migration: Today and During the Great Depression
This is a 4-week American history unit for high school. Students conduct oral history interviews, analyze photos, evaluate the relevance and accuracy of primary and secondary sources, discuss changes in immigration and migration over time, and more.
History of the American West, 1860-1920
This site features 30,000 photos of Colorado towns and landscapes that document the role of mining in the history of Colorado and the West. Photos of Native Americans from more than 40 tribes are included.
offers photos, diaries, and timelines for learning about women pioneers, women during the Civil War, women's suffrage in the Progressive Era, eight women who served on the front during World War II, First Ladies, literature about women and discrimination, African-American women in the sciences, women in Muslim societies, Native American women writers, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Mead, research in women's history, and more.
Great Depression: Dust Bowl Migration
includes photos, a teachers guide, and other resources for learning about the largest migration in American history. This migration occurred in the 1930s when poor soil conservation practices and extreme weather in the Great Plains exacerbated the existing misery of the Great Depression.
George Washington Papers
This site includes letters, diaries, financial accounts, military records, and other writings from Washington's youth and service as a surveyor and colonel, as delegate to the Continental Congress, as commander during the Revolutionary War, and as president (1789-97). His many interests and correspondents make these papers are a rich source for almost every aspect of early American history.
From Slavery to Civil Rights
This is a timeline of African-American history. Photos, broadsides, maps, and other items are organized around time periods: slavery, abolition, antebellum, Civil War, reconstruction, progressive era, World War I, between the wars, World War II, and civil rights.
From Fantasy to Flight
This site provides photos, letters, articles, and resources for learning about the history of flight -- aircraft and balloons, Alexander Graham Bell's aerodynamic studies, the Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky's helicopters, and Amelia Earhart.
Doing the Decades, 1890-1941: Group Investigations in Twentieth Century U.S. History
This is a two-month team research project for 9-10th graders that uses Library of Congress resources to focus on long-term change in U.S. history. Students gather, analyze, and evaluate primary and secondary sources; develop their own conclusions; and refine their writing.
Civil War Maps
This site features detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for General Lee and General Sherman, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts -- all available for the first time in one place. An essay, History of Mapping the Civil War, looks at Union maps, Confederate maps, battlefield maps, commercial maps, and others.