Visual Literacy: Making Lessons Accessible and Inclusive
Guest Blog Post by Wendy Harris, High School Social Studies & Teacher of the Blind at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota.
You want to get your students to work with primary sources, but you have students who struggle with reading English text. Maybe they have a learning disability, English is not their most comfortable language, or any number of other reasons. Sound familiar?
Emerging America, in a partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, has a produced a primary source-filled lesson on the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) – arguably the start of World War II. In this complex conflict, all sides used propaganda to sway the opinions of Spanish citizens and nations around the globe. The most apparent form of propaganda used was posters created by each side of the war. The Library of Congress has over 120 colorfully detailed posters. Students will use these posters to discuss and evaluate the tools of persuasion.
The following 5 day unit plan uses primary source images of the National Mall and a modern tourist primary source map to observe, reflect, and explain some the varied historical sites available to students, educators, and travelers alike. In particular, students will explore three of the following sites:
The Eugenics movement in the early 20th century United States, a pseudo-scientific amalgamation of social Darwinist philosophy and animal breeding management, gained widespread approval across the country and influenced many internationally, most notably in the the Nazi racial policies of the era leading up to World War II. This primary source set includes newspaper articles, photographs, cartoons, notes on legal cases, a video interview with a man sterilized without consent when he was a boy, a radio report on non-conse
Emerging America has two teacher-assembled sets of primary sources that offer rich detail and related classroom activities to engage student inquiry about Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7 and the events that followed.
Care for veterans is a topic not only relevant to the understanding of the aftermath of war, and to the understanding of the role of government, but is a critical topic within the longer arc of disability history. In this lesson, students gather information through a variety of primary sources on the experiences of veterans from the War of Independence through today, and ask the question, ‘How has U.S.