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Social Justice Books

From Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project, this powerful site offers more than 60 curated lists of books on social justice and multicultural points of view for children, young adults, and educators. Book lists are organized by topic areas–including Changemakers, Disabilities, Immigration (and specific immigrant groups), Organizing, and Voting Rights! 

Emerging America Lesson Accessibility Grid

 

Emerging America's lesson plan template features a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) grid borrowed from Social Studies & Exceptional Learners (see below). Three columns call for strategies that support the UDL instructional framework. Checklist items suggest tools and activities that could effectively support each element. Brief descriptions below explain how the teacher will apply checked items. 

Early America: Maps and Exploration

Maps, Knowledge, and Power in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Maps are a representation of geographical space. As such, they are valuable as a source of information. Yet their makers can also use them to control or alter perceptions of that same information. In the 14th and 15th centuries, cartography, or the science of map-making, changed rapidly due to the explorations of the Americas. Use the maps below to trace some of these changes.

Primary Sources:

Mappa mundi, Hereford, c.1300 

Unexpected Connections: Using Local Primary Sources to Analyze the Five Factors of Community Development in World History

Through the examination of primary source documents demonstrating stages of community development in a community familiar to students, students will gain an understanding of Medieval History analysis of factors that occur during the development of communities. Students will work collectively, using the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool, to demonstrate their understanding of one of the following factors: Settlement, Agriculture, Towns, Population Growth, and Industrialization.

Puerto Rican Identity

Civics and U.S. History courses raise the question: What does it mean to be an American? The case of Puerto Rico is an interesting one because Puerto Ricans find themselves in limbo between American citizenship and Puerto Rican nationalism. The following primary source sets explore the unique relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States including the different factors that influence Puerto Rican identity, including nationalism, political status, culture, and migration. By examining these primary sources, students will gain an understanding of:

Propaganda Posters of the Spanish Civil War

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.

Modern America: American War in Vietnam: Multiple Perspectives on the U.S. War in Vietnam

American involvement in the Vietnam War was one of the most polarizing issues of 20th century American history. Many supported the conflict, claiming that a victory for communism would destabilize the entire region. Others argued that United States policy towards Vietnam was an illegitimate and unnecessary use of American power that led to an unconscionable loss of American and Vietnamese life. The following primary source set contains primary and secondary source documents accompanied by annotations and questions, classroom activities, and relevant standards.

Worlds Collide: First Contact Between Columbus and the Taino

UPDATED WITH NEW RESOURCES - This lesson uses primary sources to explore one of the most remarkable cultural meetings in history: Spanish sponsored Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans from the Taino population in the Caribbean. Two key primary sources in this lesson are a letter from Columbus to the King and Queen of Spain and a 1562 map of European attitudes toward the New World. With guidance from teachers, these documents can spark inquiry from students and encourage increased understanding of the relationship between the Spanish and the Taino. 

Islamic Art, Architecture and Literature

Through the carefully examination of the Emerging America Primary Source Set entitled “Islamic Architecture, Art, and Literature’, students become exposed to the physical manifestations of Islam through inquiry and discussion. Students will learn about Ninian Smart’s Seven Dimension of Religion and grow comfortable using the confines of the Smart’s different elements to make sense of complex religious images and readings.

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