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September 2012

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New & Noteworthy

Constitution Day Spotlight

Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Visit our Constitution Day Spotlight page for lesson plans, teaching resources, videos, and quizzes to help students learn more about this founding document in our nation’s history.

Learn more!



Crop It

Need a way to help students slow down and closely examine a visual source? Crop It is a four-step hands-on learning process in which teachers pose questions and students explore visual primary sources through the use of paper cropping tools. Learn more.



Four Reads: Learning to Read Primary Sources

Teach your students to read primary sources like a historian with this guided, four-step reading process. Students will learn to read the source for context, meaning, and argument and then draw conclusions based on the evidence. Learn more.




Was the American Revolution unavoidable? When we ask questions that challenge the past’s inevitability, we are talking about contingency. In Ask a Master Teacher, we explore this important concept and provide ideas for how to incorporate it into historical thinking. Read more.

Historical Thinking


Teaching American History

Thomas Nast Cartoon

Dollar bills are taken for granted today, but after the Civil War not everyone wanted to accept “greenbacks” as real money. Watch as historian Michael O’Malley explores the symbolism of an 1876 Thomas Nast political cartoon that criticized “greenbackers.” How did Nast make his point? How did Nast's experiences during Reconstruction shape his work? View here.


Century of Progress

This Kansas TAH project website offers many resources to support the teaching of 19th-century history. Find information on teaching with technology, watch classroom videos that model promising practices, and search over 30 lesson plans on topics ranging from the Constitutional Convention to sectionalism to the Indian Removal Act. Learn more.