Introduce students to using oral histories as primary sources with these interviews with jazz musicians recorded by the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The resource includes a guide for teachers and links to oral histories, and
Our Democracy: A National Youth Summit civic education series
Over the course of the 2022–2023 school year, we'll release classroom resources that address the driving question, "How do the stories we tell about our past shape our democracy?"
Each case study uses museum objects and artifacts,
Louisa Susannah Wells was a female colonist who was loyal to King George III, who was banished from America and returned to England after the War of Independence. Listen to a dramatic reading of her narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions.
Samuel Kelly was an English sailor, who recorded his experience of a voyage to Philadelphia in 1787. Listen to a dramatic reading of his narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource is part of a series called “Life at Sea: 1680
Alan Harvie and John “Sarge” Ransome served about the SS Honomu sailing the Murmansk Run to the Soviet Union. Listen to their story, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource is part of a series called “Maritime Voices: Merchant Ma
This learner resource includes a 26 minute documentary where Charles Moore explains the context of many of his most famous civil rights images. Then, students examine the images and think about the importance of photojournalism to the civil rights movement. Finally, students are presented with An
In this activity, one of three on the Bracero Archive website, students will examine two public laws and other primary resources related to the Bracero worker program and apply their knowledge to evaluate whether the program was carried out as intended.
Joseph Hawkins was one of many workers aboard a slave ship in the 1700’s. Listen to a dramatic reading of his narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource is part of a series called “Life at Sea: 1680 to 1806,” which includes fiv
In lesson from the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, students examine a primary source that might seem both familiar and strange: a yearbook from Rutgers in 1860, complete with farewell messages from classmates. On close study, the messages from reveal much about the
When John Jea joined a ship’s crew in 1806, he was not prepared for the dangerous conditions, hard work, and preparation necessary for life at sea. Listen to a dramatic reading of his narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resourc
The semi-autobiographical graphic novel tells the story of a 12-year-old black boy, Jordan Banks, who experiences culture shock when he enrolls at a private school. Taking place over Jordan's freshman year at a prestigious private school, he has to adjust to a new school, experiences and witnesses m
For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone's hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he's as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ's house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remem
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent mo
Tiến loves his family and his friends...but Tiến has a secret he's been keeping from them, and it might change everything. An amazing YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together. Real life isn't a fairytale. But Tiến still enjoys reading his
A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life—perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo. For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in
Black is...sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson. Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds. Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy
This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories
The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning