Another Trip Through the Time Capusule

This past April, my parents and I visited the National Museum of African America History and Culture in Washington, D.C. with some of my colleagues. It was a wonderful experience to share with my parents, especially my father who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, is a huge sports fan, loves music and history.

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My mom as we were about to begin our journey.

There are three history galleries that go in chronological order. As you come off the “time capsule” you are transported back to the 1400s, to the sound of waves, to another place. Here is where your journey begins. The first stop is Slavery and Freedom, the 1400s – 1877. Next, is Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876 – 1968. Last, is A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond.

During our short visit in April, we only saw the first floor and half of the second floor. It was decided then that we would go back at some point to see the rest of it and we did. In November, my parents and I traveled back to Washington, D.C. for another trip through the time capsule.

This time, our first stop was the Emmett Till memorial. Even though I know the story, I was still overcome with emotion as I looked at his casket and read the quote by his mother, I have read my times before. We then continued through the floors, seeing exhibits we missed the first time and spending more time looking at the ones we did see.

A highlight for me was seeing artifacts donated by Colonel Charles McGee. Colonel McGee was one of the Tuskegee Airmen and an officer in the United States Air Force and holds a record of 409 combat missions flown in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In 2003, I had the honor of meeting Colonel McGee at a presentation he gave.

 

There is so much to see, read and listen to. Everything grabs your attention. One exhibit causes you to pause and reflect. While you look at the picture, you stop and take in the moment. Others cause you to smile and laugh. Then, as you are focused on reading, you hear a small child’s voice behind you, asking questions with a huge smile on his face, as he recognizes a picture of President Obama. This place really is captivating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US History II Creates and Presents

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Students in US History II began the year with two projects. First, students selected a famous person of their choice to research and present. We had a variety of people including Beethoven, Larry Bird, Barack Obama, Oprah, and Claude Brown.  It was great to start the year with a creative tone. Next, students studied the Reconstruction Era by examining primary sources. Students compared Lincoln’s, Johnson’s and Stevens’ plan for Reconstruction and then created their own Reconstruction Plan. The next part of the unit focused on the rise of industry, immigration, and urbanization. As the marking period ended, students began studying the Progressive Era and will end with World War I. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the United States entering World War I and I’m excited to share new information and resources, including passages from Michael Kazin’s book, War Against War, which details accounts of the Americans who opposed the United States from entering the war and the story of the Christmas Day Truce.

 

 

US History II – Quarterly Update 2016-2017

Teaching juniors at my school is bittersweet. Some of my students have been students of mine since 9th grade and now, they are juniors! It is humbling to watch them grow over the years and it is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching juniors. The year began with studying the Reconstruction Era, possibly one of the hardest units I teach.  That didn’t stop my students from having deep conversations about how the events of this time period still affect us today. They are able to connect so much to the world we live in today. The next unit focused on The Rise of Big Business and the Progressive Era. Students researched a modern business of their choice and created presentations. I am proud of their creativity and how they showcase their knowledge.  We briefly over viewed World War I, and will come back to study it more in depth before studying the Jazz Age and the Great Depression in marking period 2. We closed out the marking period with the election. You’ll find that post here.