We engage our students in learning, and then we hope that their learning continues to spread, influencing others around them. Many times, we don’t see the effect of our influence until years later. In my role as a literacy coach, staff developer, and writing project teacher consultant, and because I don’t have students of my own, I always feel that my job is to drop pebbles and stand back as the professionals I work with create unpredictable and beautiful ripples.
This summer, attending the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute took me back to the “awe” of history. Seeing the diary entry from the night President Lincoln was shot, and being able to see the emotion in the writing…You don’t get that in a transcript or in a modified document.
May is Bike Month, a time to celebrate the many reasons that people around the world ride bicycles. In the United States, bicycles exploded in popularity in the 1890s. Although at first limited to the wealthy, bicycle use quickly became widespread.
At least 400 women served as soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and explored why they joined and how they managed to pass as men. Primary sources from the Library of Congress chronicle the experiences of some of those women, and allow us to examine how they were remembered after their service.
Women filled a variety of roles in the Civil War. In addition to women who served as spies, daughters of regiments, cooks, laundresses, and nurses, approximately 400 posed as male soldiers. So, who were these hundreds of women soldiers? Why did they join? And how did they manage to do it?
On March 3, 1913, thousands of demonstrators marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in a call for women’s suffrage. Primary sources from the Library of Congress can help students not only see the size and grandeur of this historic parade, but also go behind the scenes to examine the plans and promotional strategies of its organizers.
The original Constitution of the United States was nearly mute on voting rights, ceding them to the states to determine. This, the second of two posts exploring the struggles of two groups to gain full voting rights, will take a look at the long road toward the full enfranchisement of women.