Media Festival: Go West, Teacher! (Part 1)

Change of plans! Out of the Comfort Zone! Moving away from deep skills and content knowledge for 8th grade…and into the great semi-unknown! Yes, next year excited to be teaching 7th grade Humanities in a deeply connected 1:1 environment. So, in an effort to begin to collect and curate resources, this is a start to support the social studies portion of the content.

Washington State/Pacific Northwest

New Found Land by Allan Wolf – rich study of the Lewis & Clarke told from multiple points of view

Sacagawea – PBS production

Sacagawea – Joseph Bruchec – alternating points of view

Note to self: I am planning on creating a Box of Destiny (c) role playing project for these periods…it works great for Greek Mythology and Ancient Roman citizens…

 Early U.S. History

I am sketching out an enduring understanding – bear with me – the concept that though explorers ‘discover’ something, how do the indigenous people endure, or not? The essential questions: does it matter who gets ‘there’ first? What impact do the explorers (which sounds romantic) have on the discovered, and how does that influence power or loss? Teachers: if you think of a way to phrase this essential question in a clearer manner, please add your thoughts.

Years ago I read this picture book: Encounter by Jane Yolen: who loses and gains power as conquerors invade?


Do I look at early American history, or rather include in the content of early U.S. history a kaleidoscope of perspectives? Pochohantas’ story has always fascinated me…so a lot of work to be done there.

Jamestown and its archeological findings never cease to pique my curiosity, either.

A Religious Mystery is Found Buried at Jamestown

Is The American Revolutionaries: A History in Their Own Words by Milton Meltzer worth the read, or Woods Runner by Gary Paulson?

Staircase Group
Staircase Group

And what about the writers and artists of this time? The wide landscapes of the Hudson River School, or the earlier legacy of the Peale family?

Civil War

The tragic events of Charleston, and the taking down of the Confederate flag will be viewed and discussed. History never really leaves us, and its relevance and impact on our lives must be critically reviewed.

O Captain! My Captain! (and looking to rediscover a unit my mentor created about this piece with multiple texts…oh I know good people…!) What happens when we destroy what saves us?

And my bigger questions: texts from multiple perspectives – race, gender, nationality: the enduring understandings of our nation’s history, complicated, violent, and moving. My question to my colleagues, no matter your experience or familiarity as a teacher or with this content, but in your experience as an American – what do you think is most important? 


4 thoughts on “Media Festival: Go West, Teacher! (Part 1)

  1. I love how this is just a different opportunity to explore perspectives and voices! I’m really glad to see that you get to discuss Native voices.

    Is this a chance to expel some common history misconceptions? To see history from a third-party perspective, not just the perspective of the winners and the rich white men?

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how you do the role playing project and hearing how it goes, too!


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