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The Idea of America Classroom Resources

Explore American history through the core values that we all share, and the inherit tension between them.

Classroom BundleThe Idea of America Classroom Bundle

The Idea of America, How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future explores core American values and the tension between them, showing how these have played out throughout our history and continue to do so today. Filled with great examples and illustrations, this informative book is a teacher’s guide to an innovative approach to American history. The bundle includes one copy of the book, a companion CD-ROM with four classroom lessons, and 40 copies of America: The Pocket Guide.

$49.95 (plus shipping)

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Approaching Controversial Issues logoApproaching Controversial Issues: A Guide for Teachers

Foster civil and insightful discussion in the classroom with this digital download.

What’s included?

  • A rationale for discussing controversial topics in the classroom
  • Guiding principles for teachers and students, including a helpful list of “do’s and don’ts” and tips for classroom discussions
  • Exploration of perspective and what makes an issue controversial
  • Questions to consider when dealing with offensive language or symbols
  • A student reading that highlights core values and the importance of civic and civil debate in American history and politics


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Quill Close Reading Series

Quill Close Reading SeriesDesigned equally for the English classroom and for ELA instruction in the history classroom, these units use guided close readings of historical nonfiction to set the stage for students to respond with their own guided writing. After analyzing the persuasive, narrative, and expository writing techniques used in the featured primary source documents, and after reading additional historical documents that equip students to make cross-text comparisons, students respond by writing their own persuasive, narrative, or expository essays. All lessons closely correlate to Common Core State Standards, and teachers using these units gain access to related digital lessons and resources in Colonial Williamsburg's groundbreaking curriculum, The Idea of America. Grades 8-12

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DECLARING INDEPENDENCE A guided close reading analyzes the Declaration of Independence as a persuasive argument. Extension activities examine documents that influenced the Declaration, and also examine documents that were influenced by it, such as Frederick Douglass's 1852 "Fourth of July" speech and the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention's "Declaration of Sentiments." Students complete a persuasive writing task. 41 pages.
Item # 440001 CD-ROM $19.95

STORIES OF IMMIGRATION After closely reading the narrative of a Chinese immigrant who arrived in 1868, students compare that narrative with the stories of other immigrants, and examine multiple perspectives on Chinese immigration by American writers and artists. The unit culminates in guided narrative writing. 35 pages.
Item # 440002 CD-ROM $19.95

THE TRAIL OF TEARS Andrew Jackson's 1835 speech advocating Indian Removal and a Cherokee petition written in response both get close readings, with extension activities examining varying perspectives on the topic of Removal. Students respond through expository and persuasive writing. 43 pages.
Item# 440003 CD-ROM $19.95

Call 800.761.8331 to order