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When Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, it ignited a great debate over the practice of slavery in America. A best seller that sold more than one million copies, the novel tells the stories of Tom, a field slave, and Eliza, a household servant, and how they dealt with the horrors of slavery....
After the Civil War, the United States government commissioned several surveys of the American West. Photography was widely used to document the region's unusual geography, and it was this visual evidence that spurred Congress to create the national park system.
All images are from the Gilder Lehrman Collection
During the time of the American Revolution, much of the land in the colonies was not mapped. In his early years, George Washington was a surveyor and measured land to figure out the location of property.Materials Rope or string measuring 10- to 12-feet long Stakes—if working on grass Tape—colored if possible Graph, centimeter, or one-inch grid...
Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and an inventor. As he got older, he noticed he needed glasses for reading and seeing things far away. Franklin solved this problem by inventing bifocals, which were glasses made with two different lenses, one for seeing things up close, and the other for seeing things far away.
Water acts just like corrective lenses made of plastic or glass. The water refracts or changes the direction of a light beam. A water lens is known as a convex lens because it curves out in the middle....
There certainly can’t be a greater Grievance to a Traveler, from one Colony to another than the different values their Paper Money bears.
—an English visitor, ca.1742Introduction
Students use different kinds of paper money to purchase items to learn about the problem in colonial times when each colony had its own currency. The students will find that it is nearly impossible to complete tasks due to the confusion.Procedure With student help, generate a list...
Present the following scenario to your students. You can either read it to them or enlist students to act it out. The scenario is about two children who lived in 1734 and were the age of your students.
“Anna Elizabeth and her brother Samuel live in a small house with a thatched roof. Their father built the house himself. Both children help their parents by completing many chores each day.
Anna Elizabeth is learning how to run a home. She feeds the chickens and gathers eggs each morning. Her mother is...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. The lessons are built around the use of visual evidence and critical thinking skills.
Students will understand the significance of several iconic American symbols: the Flag of the United States of America, the Statue of Liberty, and the Great Seal of the United States. The iconic symbols...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of three lessons the students will analyze text from three documents defining American democracy: the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the...