Network That Facilitates Learning About the Foundation of Democracy
The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the United States by increasing the quality of civics education in the nation’s schools and improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the organization’s website, teachers will find resources from these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy. For example, Microsoft’s Skypein the Classroom has partnered with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to bring a freevirtual field trip to K–12 students. The virtual field trip lasts about 45 minutes, during which time a Monticello educator talks to the class about Jefferson’s home, using images, props, and an online virtual tour of the first floor, cellar, and kitchen. Students can also ask the educator questions about Jefferson’s mountaintop home. Another of the network’s offerings is Hamilton in Monticello, a webpage where teachers will find resources on Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and other main players in “Hamilton: An American Musical.” Students can learn more about the history behind the play and find out how Monticello ties in with events from the musical using actual lyrics from the show.
The 1619 Project, inaugurated with a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, reframes US history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as the nation’s foundational date. The Project is a collection of essays and literary works observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.
As protests over George Floyd’s death continue across the country, Black Lives Matter (BLM) at School offers a new, freecurriculum resource guide for K–12 teachers, covering racism, social justice, and diversity.
Visitors to the American Writers Museum’s website will learn about the life and work of Frederick Douglass in the museum’s newest virtual exhibit, Frederick Douglass: Agitator. They will see how Douglass’s words remain far too relevant today and why now is as important as ever to, as Douglass said, “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”