We have been writing all summer and fall to bring new lessons to you. Here are a few that have been added recently. Take a look!
Language and Writing
In the 17th century, people were determined to overcome communications barriers between the people of the world by creating a universal language. Listen to learn about The Unsuccessful Quest For A Universal Language to learn how that solution worked out. To translate oral language into written language, ancient civilizations developed systems of writing. Learn more about the ancient Phoenician alphabet in The Story Behind Every Letter A-Z. And punctuation! How important is the last comma in a list? Listen to how a comma cost a company a lot of money in The Meaning of the Oxford Comma. Writing essays for college applications can be daunting. Listen to this guidance on How to Use Your Voice to Write College Essays.
Authors and Literature
Have you felt the characters in children’s books don’t relate to you or you? Listen to this story, Color in Children’s Literature, to hear about one girl who decided to promote diverse books in schools.
If you are reading books by Amy Tan, James Baldwin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jane Goodall, or Julia Alvarez, check out these audio stories to listen to before, during, or after reading their novels.
- Amy Tan’s ‘Valley of Amazement’
- James Baldwin: Writings on Race, Class and Civil Rights
- Jhumpa Lahiri’s American Identity
- Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Jane Goodall Gets Up Close with Animals
- Julia Alvarez and Haiti
Help your students see that reading books can inspire kindness by listening to Discussing Kindness with ‘Wonder’ and listen and learn about empathy in this story: Reading ‘Harry Potter’ and Developing Empathy. Highlight parallels between a fictional society and a contemporary society from this lesson, Dystopia and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Books can also be a comfort, as in this story of reading Anna Karenina in prison: How ‘Anna Karenina’ Inspired Empathy. For another good story about rising above your situation, listen to A Letter from Phillis Wheatley, which tells of a woman born into slavery and became the first published African-American female poet.
Classic literature can be difficult for some, so listen to the creator of a podcast that explains James Joyce’s novel, ‘Ulysses’: One Line at a Time. The Canterbury Tales took place in an area that has influenced many important British writers. Listen to the story, Re-Tracing Chaucer’s Steps on the Canterbury Road, to see how these areas have changed in recent years.
If you are teaching about the start of our nation, you are in luck. We have posted these lessons that can give your students more insight into this time in America’s history.
- Puritan and Poet Anne Bradstreet
- The Stamp Act
- Founding Father who Financed the American Revolution
- Birth of our National Anthem
- The American Revolution Museum
- Re-enactment of the Burning of Washington in 1814
The Pamunkey Native American tribe played a crucial role in early American history, and counts Pocahontas as a member of the tribe. Listen to this story, Pamunkey Native American Tribe Gets Federal Recognition, to hear what that now means for this tribe.
If you are teaching about the Civil War, and are looking for an inspirational speech, listen to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and hear about how Lincoln tied the soldier’s sacrifice to America’s founding principles. Harriet Tubman was a spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War, along with freeing slaves using the Underground Railroad. Listen to this new museum in Maryland on the site of Harriet Tubman’s Birthplace.
The last major confrontation between the U.S. Army and Native Americans was at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. Listen to this story, Wounded Knee and Sioux Native Americans to hear how Native American culture was nearly destroyed.
During the Gilded Age of the late 1800s, leaders of industry and finance had unprecedented wealth, influence, and power. Listen to hear the Parallels Between the New American Barons and the Gilded Age. Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest industrialists of the Gilded Age, but also donated nearly all of his wealth to charity. Listen to his story: Andrew Carnegie and His Library Legacy.
Kicking off the Industrial Revolution, Franklin Delano Roosevelt described the New Deal to Americans in the middle of the Great Depression in FDR’s New Deal Speech. Around the same time, Henry Ford was looking to expand his auto industry into Brazil. Listen to this story to hear about Ford’s experimental ideal community in the Amazon – Fordlandia: Failed Jungle Utopia .
Some World War II veterans were exposed to mustard gas and some veterans of Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange. Listen to this story, Veterans and Agent Orange, to learn about the differences in the way these veterans were treated.
Listen to this story about the Constitutional Powers of the President. Hear about the ongoing debates over the extent of presidential powers, as presidents from Andrew Jackson to Reagan are discussed.
Two landmark Supreme Court cases, Plessy v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education, centered on whether or not segregation was constitutional. Listen to the descendants of the people named in these court cases as they meet to discuss the issues and legacies of these cases.