Exploring Borderland-Unit 2
Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldúa tells us that the border is "una herida
abierta [an open wound] where the lifeblood of two worlds is merging to form a third country — a border culture." This program explores the literature of the Chicano borderlands and its beginnings in the
literature of Spanish colonization. Learning activities that go with this lesson can be found at: http://www.learner.org/amerpass/unit02/index.html
Puritan and Quaker Utopian Visions, 1620-1750-Unit 3
When British colonists landed in the Americas they created communities that they hoped would serve as a "light onto the nations." But what role would the native inhabitants play in this new model community? This Unit compares the answers of three important groups, the Puritans, Quakers, and Native Americans, and exposes the lasting influence they had upon American identity.
Declaring Independence, 1710-1850-Unit 4
The Enlightenment brought new ideals and a new notion of selfhood to the American colonies. This program begins with an examination of the importance of the trope of the self-made man in Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, and then turns to the development of this concept in the writings of Romanticist Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Masculine Heros-American Expansion, 1820-1900-Unit 5
In 1898, Frederick Jackson Turner declared the frontier the defining
feature of American culture, but American authors had uncovered its
significance much earlier. This program turns to three key writers of
the early national period (James Fenimore Cooper, John Rollin Ridge, and Walt Whitman) and examines the influential visions of American manhood offered by each author.
Gothic Undercurrents-Unit 6
What was haunting the American nation in the 1850s? The three writers treated in this program ‹ Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson ‹ use poetry and prose to explore the dark side of nineteenth-century America.
Race and Identity in Antebellum America-Unit 7
How has slavery shaped the American llterary imagination and American identity? This episode turns to the classic slave narratives of Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass, and the fiction of Harriet Beecher Stowe. What rhetorical strategies do their works use to construct an authentic and authoritative American self?
Regional Realism Depicting the Local in American Literature, 1865-1900-Unit 8
Set in the antebellum American South, but written after Emancipation,
Mark Twain's novel The Adventure's of Huckleberry Finn remains a
classic of American Literature. This episode compares Twain's depiction of Southern vernacular culture to that of Charles Chestnutt and Kate Chopin, and in doing so, introduces the hallmarks of American Realism.
Social Realism-Class Consciousness in American Literature, 1875-1920-Unit 9
This program presents the authors of the American Gilded Age, such as Edith Wharton, and juxtaposes them with social realists like Anzia
Yezierska. These writers expose the double world that made up
turn-of-the-century New York: that of the elite and that of the poorest
of the poor. Which of these realities is the more truly American?
Antebellum Reform Unit 8
As a response to increasing social ills, the nineteenth century
generated reform movements: temperance, abolition, school and prison reform, as well as others. This unit traces the emergence of reform movements instigated by the Second Great Awakening and the impact these movements had on American culture. (This unit includes a facilitator guide, video, and online text chapter.)
A Growing Global Power Unit 16
Fueled by patriotism, capitalism, and religion, the U.S. extended its
reach beyond national borders. New partnerships between government and big business drove an evolving diplomacy that would set the tone for American foreign policy in the twentieth century.
Global America Unit 21
As the turn of the century approached, the pendulum of American politics and social structures began to swing back toward conservativism. With immigration from Asia and the Americas on the rise, the face of America changed rapidly. This unit examines the competing forces of ethnic and American identity in a world dominated by globalization and one remaining “superpower.
The Amistad Case
Gary Fisher is a teacher at Timilty Middle School in the urban community of Roxbury, Massachusetts, part of the greater Boston area. In his eighth–grade U.S. history class, Mr. Fisher examines the history of African American slavery through a dramatic mock trial based on the Amistad case in 1839. Serving as the defense, prosecution, judges, and other historical characters in the trial, students develop their cases and present them in a formal court setting created in their classroom. In his cl
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Wendy Ewbank teaches seventh and eighth grade at Madrona School in Bellevue, Washington. In a civics lesson on landmark Supreme Court cases, the students focus on the tension between the rights of the individual and the good of society. In the lesson, students work in
groups, presenting various cases to the class in the form of a press
conference. Key issues include the right to privacy, equal protection,
and the First Amendment. On day two, students hold a town meeting to d
Public Opinion and the Vietnam War
Liz Morrison is a ninth–grade American history teacher at Parkway South High School in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. In a lesson on the Vietnam War, Ms. Morrison explores how public opinion was shaped by key events.
Students create a timeline and work in groups to discover how public
opinion changed from approval to disapproval. The students view
television footage from this period and listen to popular music that
reflects both sides of public opinion. Ms. Morrison
Migration From Latin America
Mavis Weir teaches 10th–grade history at Casa Grande High School in
Petaluma, California. In this lesson, students explore the various
reasons people emigrate from their homeland. The class is broken up into six separate groups, each representing a different Latin American
country with its own set of resources. Using both primary and secondary sources, students examine the economic, political, and environmental circumstances that cause people to emigrate. Each group presen
Tim Rockey teaches 12th–grade American government and politics at
Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Rockey reviews the
concept of civil rights, with a focus on women’s rights. Students
evaluate the "reasonableness" standard as set by the court and come to understand where the court has drawn the line for gender–based
decisions. They explore the following questions: Can public taverns
cater only to men? Can females be excluded from contact sp
We learn how to foster and appreciate students' notations for their
richness and creativity, and we look at some of the possibilities that
early work on problems that engage students in creating notation
systems might open up for students as they move on toward algebra.
Cubes and Containers
Kindergarteners sort Unifix cubes in various ways, focusing on the
properties of the objects’ similarities and differences. By creating
patterns, children develop an early understanding of geometry. NCTM
standards: concepts of whole number operations, number sense and
numeration, communication, reasoning.
Teaching Diverse Learners Workshop 7
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how
teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their
classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Living With Earth, Part II
Since the nineteenth century, humans have turned to the Earth for energy sources to fuel their industry. This program discusses where oil comes from, how it is extracted, and how it is converted into energy. The effects of oil drilling and the burning of fossil fuels are also addressed, and the potential of alternative energy sources is considered.