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November 2011

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New & Noteworthy

Veterans Day Spotlight

Need thoughtful lessons and resources for Veterans Day?

Explore our new spotlight page for ideas, including teaching guides, quizzes, videos, and activities related to the history of veterans.

Learn more.



Thanksgiving Spotlight

What really happened at the first Thanksgiving? Who was there? What did they eat? Check out lesson plans, website reviews, and quizzes for teaching about the history of Thanksgiving, and explore how the holiday has changed over time. Learn more.



John Adams: Great or Not?

John Adams said, "I am not, never was, & never shall be a great man.” But what do historians have to say? In this Ask a Historian, we look at whether John Adams was considered a great president and how historians have assessed greatness in presidents. Learn more.



Using Historiography to Analyze the Mexican-American War

Looking at how textbooks from different eras depict the same event, such as the start of the Mexican-American War, students can begin to understand that history is more about interpretation and less about memorization. Learn more.

Historical Thinking


Teaching American History

The Election of 1932: Clifford Berryman Cartoon

Political cartoons are great teaching tools because they provide a glimpse into what people were thinking about in the past. Today we may think that the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt was a foregone conclusion due to the Great Depression. But at the time, many commentators thought President Hoover would be reelected. Watch as Senate Historian Donald Ritchie decodes the symbolism of a political cartoon that captures the momentum shift in the 1932 presidential campaign. View here.


Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Looking for a rich collection of lesson plans that span the U.S. history curriculum for grades 4-12? South-central Connecticut's Area Cooperative Educational Services' (ACES) TAH program Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness created an online repository of over 80 lesson plans developed by teachers. Additionally, you can visit their blog, Keeping it Real, which compiles lessons and teaching strategies for incorporating primary sources into the classroom. Learn more.