Friday, September 4, 2009

Recommended Resources: Colonial America

In addition to the resources listed elsewhere in this blog, I recommend the following resources for studying the Colonial American era with intermediate level learners:
  • Mayflower History: This site is dedicated to teaching about the Mayflower using primary sources. There are links to the sources (mainly letters) linked from the site.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Email List: This newsletter appears in email boxes once per month and includes information about given colonial era topics, links to primary sources addressing those topics, teaching suggestions related to the issue topic, and resources available from Colonial Williamsburg. Note: The emil is a means of commercially seeking buyers, but the content is still worthwhile.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teacher Institutes: These one-week institutes engage teachers in the colonial era through lecture as well as simulated experience. They occur on-site and include room and board. The cost for the week is $1,900, but scholarships are available.
  • Reader's Theater Resources: Several companies offer reader's theater scripts relating to Colonial America. I recommend both Teacher Created Materials and Houghton-Milton (for slower readers) scripts.
  • Chautauqua Presentations: For a fee of $50, Nevada Humanities will underwrite the expenses of having a Chautauqua presenter come to your school for a performance. Annually, the Boulder City Chautauqua Performers (including Young Chautauquans) present. See schedule for times and dates.
  • The Lesson of 1623—Yours, Mine, and Ours: This is a free video available from izzit. It uses resources from Colonial Williamsburg to tell about the era. By joining izzit, teachers are given one free video from their collection each year. Note that each video also includes a teacher's guide.
  • One of Virginia's Teaching American History Grant projects produced some amazing unit plans relating to the colonial era. You may access them here.
These books are useful for pedagogical purposes, especially when using simulation strategies to teach about Colonial and Revolutionary periods of U.S. history.

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