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“Famous Americans” Multimedia Bibliography

By Sarah Traugott

This is a multi-media bibliography for elementary school social studies teachers.

The concept behind this bibliography project is to provide interesting electronic and written resources for an elementary school classroom that may be investigating “famous” Americans as a part of their curricular studies.  The Texas Essential Knowledge (TEKS) for social studies at this level expresses the goals for this unit as follows:

1.1 The student understands how historical figures helped to shape our community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:

(A)  identify contributions of historical figures such as Sam Houston and Abraham Lincoln who have influenced the community, state, and nation;
(B)  identify historic figures such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison who have exhibited a love of individualism and inventiveness; and
(C)  compare the similarities and differences among the lives and activities of historical figures who have influenced the community, state, and nation.

Therefore, in an effort to provide academically appropriate and relevant information, I reviewed several links to websites that discuss various points in our nations history.  I have decided to categorize my findings into six sub-headings on Texas History, Women’s History and Black History, Colonial History, World History, and US Political and Presidential History.

Texas History

Texas Beyond History—http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/

Created by the Texas State Archeology Department and the Department of Anthropology at the Texas State University, this site is dedicated to interpreting and sharing the results of archeological and historical research on the cultural heritage of Texas with the citizens of Texas and the world.  They imagine themselves as an on line museum with six special exhibits to express the story of Texas from its very early beginnings.  The site also provides lesson plans for teachers as well as a games and learning page for students.

Texas State Capitol—http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/tspb.htm

While the State Capitol is a favorite destination for all Texas students at some point in their school career, it is also an interesting and informative on line destination.  The website offers a great deal of information on the history of the Capitol as well as an on line virtual tour, an on line gallery and links to historic documents that not only discuss the history of Texas, but provide visual evidence of the actors in that history.

Texas Independence–http://www.txindependence.org/

This visually appealing and historically specific website offers a good deal of detail on Texas history at the time of the battle for Texas independence.  It specifically addresses the role of Washington on the Brazos as the birthplace of Texas democracy.  But it includes the timeline of independence, a movie about Texas independence, links to primary source documents, teacher resources, and a 3-D game about the revolution. Read more…

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