President John F. Kennedy

Posted on May 23, 2016

By Traci Cothran

The anniversary of JFK’s birth occurs on May 29, and while saying the letters “JFK” evokes vivid scenes and images in minds of adults over forty, it doesn’t mean much to kids in school today.  They may know he was our 35th President, but Camelot, Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, first Catholic President, the Cold War, Jackie O, and JFK’s assassination are likely unknown concepts.

JFK is a broad topic that encompasses many subjects, and here are a few ideas to begin with to get your students (or yourself!) better acquainted with this historic figure:

JFK’s Inauguration

  • “Newsreel of President John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration.” Video. Thought Equity Motion Collections.  Research In Context
  • “JFK’s Inaugural Address.” Research In Context

Peace Corps

Introduction of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964

  • “History Features: Civil Rights Bill.” Video. History Features: Civil Rights Bill. Research In Context

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Get Started Gathering Ideas for Black History Month Lesson Plans

Posted on January 8, 2015

There’s an abundance of historical riches out there, but sometimes you have to know where to look to find the pot of educational gold.  During Black History Month, get high school and undergraduate students to delve a bit deeper and uncover these influential and amazing people who changed lives and generations.  Get the facts from Gale’s In Context database products, relate them to curriculum topics, then follow up with the other multimedia suggested to engage students further.

Civil Rights Movement, US Government, Graphic Novels = John R. Lewis.  This Georgia congressman, serving for 29 years, leads a fascinating life.  Son of a sharecropper, Lewis became one of the six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, served as SNCC chairman, and was one of the original Freedom Riders — all before he was thirty years old. There’s SO much more to discover about this icon, including his publication of two student-friendly graphic novels covering the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March, entitled March: Book One and Book Two.

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Student Challenge: Who Changed the Course of U.S. History without Uttering a Word?

Posted on December 4, 2015

Good question, isn’t it?  Where can students go to find the answer?

Biography In Context for starters, where you’ll find a feature this month on the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks. Her quiet defiance of sitting in a “whites-only” section of a bus on December 1, 1955, galvanized support for the Civil Rights Movement, sparking Freedom Rides, boycotts, and sit-ins. Transport students back in time to visit this tumultuous era in our nation’s history – students can read about Parks and her work, hear her speak in a video, and look at her statue that President Obama unveiled in the Capitol.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and Student Resources In Context covers that legal precedent as well as recent challenges to it. While on the topic, Women’s Suffrage hit the big screen recently, and the fascinating stories behind that movement can be found in US History In Context. Read Susan B. Anthony’s “Speech on the Right of Women’s Suffrage,” from 1873, when she was arrested for the having the audacity to vote!  Look at photos of suffrage parades, read the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, as well as other primary sources from Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others.

Read moreStudent Challenge: Who Changed the Course of U.S. History without Uttering a Word?