Ordinary Americans: U.S. History Through the Eyes of Everyday People, Part 1

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Linda R. Monk
Close Up Pub., 1994 - United States - 296 pages
"Ordinary Americans" covers 500 years of U.S. history, from 1492 to 1992, in almost 200 readings, plus scores of archival photographs. The book relates the traditional events of U.S. history, but as an ordinary person lived it. Thus, the story of the Boston Tea Party is told not by Samuel Adams, but by George Hewes, a cobbler. The story of the Civil War draft is told not by General Robert E. Lee, but by Private Sam Watkins. The story of the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, is told not by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., but by Sheyann Webb, a 9-year-old. The goal of this book is to give voice to the many everyday people who shaped U.S. history, but whose names are seldom remembered. The teacher's guide incorporates a wide range of activities designed to supplement a course of study. All lessons involve group discussions, interactive activities, and student handouts to establish a common base of knowledge. This active learning approach motivates students to become interested in and involved with the heritage and personality of the United States. By using original resources and participating in a variety of learning activities, student learning of U.S. history is enhanced. The strategies for teaching these lessons include brainstorming, debate, panel discussion, classroom use of resources, role plays, small group learning, develop writing skills, and a final word regarding how "Ordinary Americans" enrich students' knowledge of U.S. history. (JAG)

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