U.S. History Document-Based Activities

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As students enter high school and into adulthood, learning to think critically is essential to understanding the myriad of issues which impact individuals, families and our nation. As parents and instructors, we want to actively engage and equip our students with the skills necessary to think critically and make thoughtful decisions. Aiming to provide activities which introduce and build the skills necessary for critical thinking, these supplemental books would make a wonderful asset to your history studies.

Each book contains teacher notes, an analysis sheet, and primary source documents which provide first hand information and insights into historical events and times. A variety of sources are used including letters, historical documents, diaries, photos, maps, and posters. Also included are additional internet resources and a bibliography. Students are asked to read the background page and source document. Then they are presented with a variety of questions and challenge activities all designed to encourage analysis, discussion, making a hypothesis, and evaluating ideas.

US History Document Based Activities Using Primary Sources covers the American Revolution, Westward Expansion and Woman's Suffrage. Let me show you how this works with an example based on Washington at Valley Forge. Students are first given a summary of the grim winter and an excerpt from General Washington's letter to Governor George Clinton. The two questions ask: "How did Washington show in his letter he was a compassionate leader?" and "What was Washington's opinion of his troops?"

US History Document Based Activities Book 2 covers the American Civil War, America in World War II, and Civil Rights in America. In the activity, "Courage Under Fire," students read a newspaper article detailing the heroic behavior of one member of the US Navy during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Doris (Dorie) Miller is credited with shooting down several Japanese planes from the deck of his ship. A transcript of the citation is included along with a picture of Dorie Miller wearing the Navy Cross. There are four questions students are asked to answer. First, "What heroic action did Dorie Miller perform?" Second, "What was his rank/job in the military at the time of his citation?" Third, "How was he recognized and rewarded?" And finally, "Do you think Dorie Miller's job/rank made his effort even more heroic? Explain."

An excellent supplemental book which gives students a fresh perspective on our nation's history as they learn to evaluate history through the first hand accounts of the people and events which have shaped us as a nation. Reproducible for individual classrooms. Answers with explanations are included. B&W illustrations. 90-114 pgs, pb. ~ Deanne

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US History Document-Based Activities Book 2 Item #: 051572
Grades: 5-8
Retail: $16.95
Rainbow Price: $13.75

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