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Take a moment to create an account so you can save some bookmarks. There's a ton of info here, and it'll be helpful to use this built-in feature to save what you find for later. Have your AP U.S. History students use this as a go-to reference for study and review, either in addition to your ongoing study or as a new resource for review in the weeks before the exam. Have your students browse and search the primary sources as inspiration for projects or as references for research papers; or choose your own selection of primary sources to create a rich document-based, question-style exam for your students. Consider requesting a traveling exhibit from the Institute or, better still, use the resources here to create your own multimedia museum exhibit. What story would your museum tell? What additional commentary would your students need to add?Continue reading Show less
The Gilder Lehman Institute of American History's website is the online home of the independent cultural organization of the same name. The Institute's work focuses on collecting key artifacts from American history and sharing and interpreting those artifacts with students and teachers across the country. The site is divided into seven sections: History by Era (the main portal for exploring the Institute's historical content), Programs and Exhibitions (where teachers and students can apply for online and in-person educational experiences), Primary Sources (digitally browse the collection), History Now (the Institute's journal, with essays and videos from historians), Multimedia (with videos and audio files from historians and other experts), Community (where teachers and students can connect with others and save bookmarked resources), and About (where users can learn about the Institute's history, people, and mission).
Teachers and students can create a free account; this lets them bookmark favorite resources and join the Institute's online community to share content via social media, access the collection catalog, and create their own resource lists. Teachers can register for free to become an affiliate school, which offers additional access benefits and the option to host a traveling exhibition of Institute resources.
The best bets for teachers and students are in the History by Era, Programs and Exhibitions, and Primary Sources sections. Programs and Exhibitions includes an AP U.S. History study guide; it's organized into 10 time periods that each feature a timeline, primary source documents, videos, and essays. The Primary Sources section is also great: A reference guide and search features let users sort through images and videos to dive deeply into history. Those bookmarking and sharing features are great, too. This site's developers are helpfully self-aware about just how much info they've packed onto their website, and these saving features plus the intuitive, persistent navigation make it easy to get your bearings.
The best thing about this website is how well it brings primary source media into your classroom. That includes old-school documents plus videos, including everything from color illustrations of TR and Taft from Puck and the still-shocking "daisy" ad for LBJ's 1968 presidential campaign. There's excellent content plus expert context, making this a reliable, ultra-rich resource to boost understanding and engagement in your history classroom. Overall, there's a lot to explore, so give yourself -- and your students -- time to dive deep and revel in its riches.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.