Earth's history in 4.56 meters: constructing a timeline with calculator tape
In this short activity, students make a timeline of Earth's history using calculator tape. The tape is 4.56 meters long, so that one billion years is equal to one meter. This exercise is designed to introduce students to the scale of Earth's history and help them gain a familiarity with some major events. It also teaches about scaling, the metric system, as well as the concepts of large numbers and deep time. The activity may be used in an introductory geoscience course. Learning goals, context
Driving Through Geologic Time - An analogy
This activity uses an analogy to illustrate the scale of geologic time and our limited view of the Earth's history. It relates the history of the Earth to a drive across the country. The drive is 4560 km (rough distance between Washington D.C. and Seattle), with 1 km equaling one million years of Earth's history. This analogy is used by the author as a springboard to talk about the limits of our personal perceptions and experiences when making conclusions. Learning goals, context for use, teachi
Making Treaties and Weaving Wampum: Communication Across Cultures
In this lesson students will be exposed to the cultural and artistic importance of wampum belts to the Native American tribes that George Catlin encountered on his travels, and the importance of the belts in American history as markers of relations between tribes and the U.S. Government between 1776 and 1878. Students will gain insight into the differing ways in which these cultures expressed ideas, values, and policy through objects, written documents, and oral traditions.
Hall of Presidents
The media for presidential imagery has ranged everywhere from the traditional oil-on-canvas and marble to cotton handkerchiefs and sewing-box lids, and the Gallery houses today a richly varied array of presidential likenesses. In the selection of portraits on view here, some are more sophisticated and striking than others; some are quite rare or altogether unique; some are calculated to impress us with their gravity while others are warmly intimate. Taken collectively, however, they all have one
You Be the Conservator
This web activity, recommended for grades 5 and up, is designed to teach both content and process. The content areas addressed in this activity are the science of conservation and the history of the Hispanic American tradition of making santos. Santos are painted woodcarvings of saints in the Catholic Church. Conservators use scientific tools and procedures such as xeroradiography and microscopy to analyze objects. The science behind these tools and procedures is explained in this web activity.
Glidden's Patent Application for Barbed Wire
This lesson presents the drawing and description that helped Joseph Glidden, a farmer from De Kalb, Illinois, win a patent for barbed wire in 1874. Glidden's design remains today the most familiar style of barbed wire. This site also examines the considerable impact of barbed wire on the economy, society, and politics in the West.
Charters of Freedom
This site features primary documents that shaped U.S. history. See images of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Learn about the Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, Marbury v. Madison, Louisiana Purchase, slavery, Civil War, 13th Amendment, immigration, and woman suffrage.
Eli Whitney's Patent for the Cotton Gin
This site provides facsimile reproductions of the handwritten patent application and its accompanying drawing, together with explanatory text and lesson plans. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences
Drinking Water Treatment
This lesson provides an introduction to the treatment of drinking water to remove harmful or distasteful substances. Topics include the history of treatment and a brief listing of treatment processes.
Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War
The Spanish-American War was a complex and significant event that should be examined from all angles and perspectives. Students may be particularly interested in Spanish-American War issues that remain relevant today, namely the role of the media in the war and questions regarding foreign intervention. Educators are encouraged to use the film CRUCIBLE OF EMPIRE: THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR to complement their lessons in history, journalism, government, and political science classrooms.
Ancestors in the Americas
These classroom guides have been designed to help educators use the ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS series and companion web site in history, geography and social studies classes (grade levels 9-12). The lesson plans may also be adapted for use as stand-alone exercises. The ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS companion Web site helps to round out the stories and ideas presented in this groundbreaking series. Visit the Asian American Timeline to learn about specific moments and events that shaped Asian America
The Secret Life of the Brain
This site presents a history of efforts to understand the brain, a three-dimensional tour of the brain, optical illusions, and an animation showing how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) works. Video clips examine how the brain evolves and differs from infancy to childhood, adolescence, and through adulthood.
We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover
Since the advent of book musicals such as "Show Boat" and "Oklahoma!", many Broadway shows have touched upon relevant social and historical issues. In this lesson, students will investigate how Broadway musicals can reflect the times in which they were created. Students will examine video clips and Web sites related to relevant productions, study song lyrics, and compare and contrast actual history with Broadway history. By becoming "historical detectives," they will determine how accurately Bro
Van Gogh's Van Goghs
This site features nine paintings, a history, and a chronology of the life of this ingenious Dutch painter. Van Gogh was 27 years old when he decided to become an artist after unsuccessful attempts at being an art dealer, a teacher, and a clergyman. He taught himself mostly by studying the prints and reproductions he collected. The paintings he produced before his death at age 37 set the direction for many of the expressionist tendencies in 20th century art.
This is an exhibit that features the works of French artists who painted in the time of Napoleon. With the revolution, French painting resumed its moral and political purpose and embraced the style known as neoclassicism. After 1789, artists increasingly sought noble themes of public virtue and personal sacrifice from the history of ancient Greece or Rome.
West Coast Field Guide of the National Marine Sanctuaries
Our five West Coast national marine sanctuaries encompass nearly 12,000 square miles of ocean, which includes hundreds of miles of dramatic coastline. Teeming with life and filled with history, they offer countless opportunities for exploration, recreation and contemplation. This guide will introduce you to the natural and cultural wonders of your national marine sanctuaries. Whether you're traveling on foot or bicycle, by car or by boat, above water or diving below, it can lead you to new disco
Digital Government 1: Information Technology and Democratic Politics, Winter 2009
Course is the first in a two-part sequence exploring contemporary practices, challenges, and opportunities at the intersection of information technology and democratic governance. Whereas the second course focuses on challenges and innovations in democratic administration, this first course focuses on theories and practices of democratic politics and the shifting role of information technologies in supporting, transforming, and understanding these. The first half of the course seeks to ground co
Digital Government I: Information Technology and Democratic Politics, Winter 2007
This seven-week course is the first in a two-part sequence exploring contemporary practices, challenges, and opportunities at the intersection of information technology and democratic governance. This first half of the course focuses on theories and practices of democratic politics and the shifting role of information technologies in shaping, transforming, and understanding these. The course seeks to ground contemporary discussions around IT and politics in various flavors of democratic, polit
The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food
This course encompasses the study of eating as it affects the health and well-being of every human. Topics include taste preferences, food aversions, the regulation of hunger and satiety, food as comfort and friendship, eating as social ritual, and social norms of blame for food problems. The politics of food discusses issues such as sustainable agriculture, organic farming, genetically modified foods, nutrition policy, and the influence of food and agriculture industries. Also examined are prob
World History Survey Course on the Web
World History teachers face many challenges to incorporating primary sources in their teaching—the pressures of coverage in survey courses, the lack of available materials, and inadequate training in dealing with unfamiliar sources from a range of cultures. World History Sources responds to these challenges (as well as the new opportunities offered by the Internet) by creating a website to help world history teachers and students locate, analyze, and learn from online primary sources and to fu