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Use the Secrets of Good Lessons to weave what you'll find at the Internet sites below into classroom magic.  If you're looking for Presidential election resources, click here.  For classroomtools lesson ideas useful in History classes, click this link.

The slides we discussed in the session I led at EdCampSFBay at Hillside High School in San Mateo on Saturday, August 10, 2013. I titled the session, "Saywhat?! Language, History and the Common Core"

This PDF file contains the slides I presented to those attending the workshop I offered at the annual conference of the California Council for the Social Studies on March 9, 2013 in Burlingame, CA.

"The Authentic History Center is comprised of artifacts and sounds from American popular culture. It was created to teach that the everyday objects in society have authentic historical value and reflect the social consciousness of the era that produced them. Authentic also means conforming to fact, and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief."

This blog contains an ever-growing collection of items showing what the future looked like from the perspective of various Americans at various times. It is a treasure trove, mined from late 19th and 20th century popular culture.

From the Trial of Socrates in 399 B.C.E. through the 9/11 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006, Law Professor Douglas Linder has developed sites rich in primary sources for 50 of the most famous trial in human history.

Video Clips and Still Images from Twentieth and Early Twenty First Century U.S. History are here ready for use by students seeking to explore Presidential campaigns, major historical events, and core values.

This National Geographic site brings the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to life for a new generation of American students.  Among other things they'll find maps, music, news articles and interviews with people who were there.

Thanks to the diligent transcription efforts made by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the immigration records for those entering the U.S. through Ellis Island from 1892-1924 are now available online.  As they search for lost relatives, or look for an individual whose specifications you provide, students will gain hands-on experience as historians at work in archives.  

An especially useful feature is the ability to see scanned images of the actual handwritten ship's manifest pages containing information on found individuals.  I was especially shocked to read the declaration each ship's captain, first or second officer, or master had to sign verifying that each of the "aliens" he delivered was not "an idiot, or imbecile, or a feeble-minded person, or insane person, or a pauper, or is likely to become a public charge, or is afflicted with tuberculosis or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease, or is a person who has been convicted of, or who admits having committed a felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or is a polygamist or one admitting belief in the practice of polygamy, or an anarchist or under promise or agreement, express or implied, to perform labor in the United States, or a prostitute, or a woman or girl coming to the United States for purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose, ...."  One can only wonder what happened to those individuals who could not be so verified.

This site displays the Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore.  It lives up to its name.  Here is a link to an older version of the site.

From this site's home page: "Follow a timeline that takes you down the path of our nuclear past, from the 1920s to the present. Read biographies of A-bomb father Robert Oppenheimer and other key scientists of the nuclear age. See the Trinity Test through Enrico Fermi's eye as you read his first hand account of that history making event. Examine maps of the damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and summaries of arms-control treaties. You'll also find a gallery of exclusive photographs and animations of nuclear physics. "

I found this online museum incredibly fascinating.  Through its exhibits, you and your students will see how the Atomic Age manifested itself in the USA's popular culture.  It is not to be missed.

This Newseum exhibit presents a selection of 18 of the most powerful Pulitzer Prize winning photographs of the post-World War II years.  To read a description of the exhibit, click here.

"At the core of the NDN ( is a database of photographs, political cartoons, and texts (speeches, letters, and other historic documents from the New Deal period). Currently there are over 20,000 items in this database, many of them previously accessible only to scholars. Unlike many databases on the Web, which represent the holdings of a particular institution, NDN is drawing from a wide variety of sources around the country to create a theme-based archive."

The History Buff was "an historical reference of press coverage from the 16th to the 20th century."  It promised to show how historical events were covered in the media.  No longer a part of's History section, it is preserved for posterity by

Here are the results of a model assignment you can use to involve your students in the past, their families and web page production.

Here is some of what the network has to say about itself:

Even those who profess utter indifference to history are beholden to it. History is inescapable. Who we are and how we react to events depends, to a great extent, on our past. As Eugene O'Neill has a character in Long Day's Journey into Night exclaim, at a critical juncture, "The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future, too. We all try to lie out of that but life won't let us."


Among the many duties we assume are these: To expose politicians who misrepresent history. To point out bogus analogies. To deflate beguiling myths. To remind Americans of the irony of history. To put events in context. To remind us all of the complexity of history.

If you teach history, you must visit this site.  It is an amazing hypertext timeline that gives you easy access to overview articles and web links on the people, history, events and maps typically studied in world history classes.

This site also includes a very good teacher Resources page.

This site is especially good if you are looking for resources dealing with military history.

Here you can examine the American past through the extensive collections at the Library of Congress.  Their online exhibits are added to regularly, so check back often.

If you want to see more primary source materials, be sure to look at the online exhibits from the National Archives and Records Administration.

If you need quick facts on popular topics related to any given calendar day, you're bound to find what you want at one or more of the links on this page.

Britannica Online presents a growing collection of articles (expanded weekly) that explore the issues and tactics in notable U.S. Presidential elections.

The New York Times Learning Network presents a history of U.S. Presidential elections.  Each week from March 7 thru November 7, 2000, the Times posts a new installment.

Jerry Goldman and Northwestern University have placed online the first group of "Watergate" tapes to be released by the National Archives.  If you have the Real Player browser plug-in installed for your Web browser, you can listen in.  These online recordings are part of the History and Politics Out Loud project.  According to the site, "HPOL is a searchable multimedia database documenting and delivering authoritative audio relevant to American history and politics."  It is definitely worth a look.

The Social Studies School Service sells first rate teaching and learning materials for use in social studies and humanities classrooms.  Their online catalog is much more than a list of what they carry.  It is full of sample activities and links to relevant online resources.  Enjoy!

In February 2000, James Allen published his book Without Sanctuary (Twin Palms Publishers, 2000).  A month later, the New York Historical Society opened an exhibit of items Allen has collected. The following sites allow you to begin looking at Allen and his work.  Be warned though, much of what you will see and hear is disturbing; however it is always emotionally powerful.

James Allen's web site

Roger Rosenblatt's NewsHour essay on the New York Historical Society exhibit

Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with James Allen (March 21, 2000).

Morning Edition's report (June 22, 2001) on the response of the community to the upcoming 2002 exhibit opening at Emory University.

Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with Philip Dray (January 21, 2002).  Dray has recently published At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America.  An excerpt from Dray's book is available for online reading, but be warned, it is not for the feint of heart.

California History-Social Science Standards includes links to sites containing

McRel History Standards

Various State Standards (California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia)

Hopefully the standards movement will help correct the poor performance of U.S. students on tests that measure their historical knowledge.  The latest results are in, and  newspapers are once again running headlines like these:

The entire report, 2001 report card in U.S. History, is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file from the National Center for Education Statistics' Nation's Report Card section.  If you do not have the free Acrobat Reader installed for your browser, you can secure a copy from Adobe.  If you prefer not to view an Acrobat PDF file, you may read the various sections of the report via this link.

Flowchart for the session I presented at EdCampSFBay on Saturday, August 18, 2012

For Constitution Day 2009, I decided to prepare daily summaries of the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and post them on Twitter for any teachers and students wishing to follow along. I began the day the convention opened (May 25), and finished on the day the Constitution was signed and the convention adjourned (September 17). Those wanting to see the Twitter stream may do so at I based my summaries on James Madison's convention notes, located online at Yale's Goldman Law Library ( Since reading a Twitter stream backwards is not always an easy thing to do, I've posted the complete set of tweets (from May 25 through September 17) here.

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original web posting: Saturday, February 12, 2000
last modified: Monday, August 12, 2013