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American Voices

The 12 central Connecticut districts in American Voices cover rural, urban, and suburban areas, and include the state capital of Hartford. Many students in the region come from families where English is not the primary language. Voices will address both history and literacy by connecting teachers to members of the university history department and the education school's reading and language arts faculty. Each year, teachers will meet regularly in a study group where they will discuss readings with historians, identify materials to use with students, compare and assess classroom materials and strategies, and select topics for the summer institute. During the week-long institute, teachers will meet with scholars, visit museums, and develop artifact kits and classroom materials, including "historical scene investigations," to engage students. Voices will explore the theme of Community, Conflict, and Compromise to deepen knowledge about American history from colonization to the Civil War. Instructional strategies will emphasize integrating history with literacy, creating Web-based lessons and resources, and encouraging active learning through student investigations with primary sources. Content will introduce primary source materials and other resources related to local and national people and events in history. The classroom-ready lessons and historical investigation units created by Voices teachers will be available to the public on the project’s Web site.