Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Homestead Act and a Research Prompt

Last Friday the document of the day on the Today's Document from the National Archives blog was a copy of the Homestead Act passed on May 20, 1862. Seeing the document reminded me of a prompt that I used in a workshop about teaching search strategies that I hosted last summer. If you teach U.S. History, you might want to try the prompt with your own students. Here it is: 

The Homestead Act was signed into law 1862 and the first claims were made under it shortly after. Your challenge is to find out when the last claim was granted under the Homestead Act. Who was granted the last claim? 

Depending on where you live, you might want to modify the challenge to finding out when the last claim was made in your state or county. 

DocsTeach also has some activities built around Homestead Act. You might use those activities as is or modify them to meet your needs. Here's my overview of how to use DocsTeach

Classroom Posters - The Rules of Civil Conversation

When I taught civics learning to create sound, well-reasoned arguments and present them in a calm manner was a significant goal in every course. I always tried to remind them that they can disagree with another person's opinion without attacking the person. This was particularly tricky when my high school students hit upon issues that they had deeply held opinions about. It always helped to have some ground rules laid out before discussions began. To that end, the folks at School of Thought have recently released a new project called The Rules of Civil Conversation.

The Rules of Civil Conversation is a website designed to help visitors better understand how to hold a civil conversation in the face of differing opinions. One of the resources on the site is a set of posters outlining eight rules of civil conversation. These posters can be downloaded for free and printed for display in your classroom. (There is also an option to buy printed versions). 

School of Thought also created the sites Your Logical Fallacy Is and Your Bias Is. I've previously featured those sites in my larger collection of resources to help students recognize logical fallacies and cognitive biases