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May 2011

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New & Noteworthy

Museums and Learning

May is National Museum Month! Do you want to stretch the walls of your classroom and plan a field trip to a museum or historic site? Try this technique on your next field trip and see great results. Learn more.

Search our museums and historic sites database to find the perfect adventure for your class!



Discovering Angel Island

When you mention immigration history, most students think first of Ellis Island. But what about Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco’s north bay? Use this lesson and video from Pacific Link to tell a less well-known immigration story. Learn more.



The Underground Railroad

What was it like to travel the Underground Railroad? In this National Geographic site, students step into the shoes of a Maryland slave in 1850 and make choices along the route to freedom. A timeline, maps, biographies and lessons are also part of this multimedia site. Learn more.



The Auto Industry Goes to War

Did the U.S. manufacture of automobiles come to a halt during World War II? The quick answer is “yes,” and in this installment of Ask a Historian, we look at the impact: How did the industry retool for military production? Was gas rationed? Could you still get a new car? Read more.

Historical Thinking


Teaching American History

FDR’s Fireside Chats

How do you place the Great Depression into context for students? Was President Roosevelt's recovery plan, the New Deal, readily accepted or is the story more complex? How can one convey the uncertainty of the times? Watch as students roleplay critics of Roosevelt’s plan and learn creative ways to place the Fireside Chats into historical context. View here.


Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

What did Lincoln’s words “with malice toward none, with charity for all” mean to people during the Civil War? What impact do they have on us today? Watch as teachers work with Sarah Jencks, Director of Education at Fords’ Theatre Society, to analyze President Lincoln’s words from the perspective of multiple participants on both sides of the conflict. Watch here.