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Discovering History through Biography

As Marian Wright Edeleman said, “If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.”

History has been shaped and molded by many figures from the past and present. Some of these people are controversial and their impact has not always been seen as positive, however, their actions have left a deep mark on history. To learn more about these figures, you can read the autobiographies and biographies suggested below.

A Decade in Film and Literature: The 1880s

With spring break just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about how quickly the year is passing by. How I wish we would spend weeks on each era of American history digging deep into the cultural, social, and everyday lives of Americans! But alas, we must march on.  For those that wish to use some free time to gain more in-depth knowledge of American history, focus on any decade from the past and you will likely find films, art, and novels are just a click away.

Summertime Viewing: 5 Great Historical Dramas

Summer, with its long, hot, unstructured days full of internships or jobs, trips to the museum, swimming, hikes, bike rides, books, television and films is right around the corner. What a great opportunity to watch some movies that capture key moments in American History! The following list highlights some of my favorite historical films that provide great insight into historical figures and present some inspiring life lessons.

Six Future Career Paths for which a Bachelor’s in History Will Prepare You

During Junior year of high school, students stress out over their grades because they know colleges will be judging them. Senior year, students stress out over the application process and its deadlines. All this stress to get into college is so that they can have more opportunities that will lead to successful lives. If you are a college-bound senior, you have time to figure out your life’s path – and even time to make mistakes – but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself some direction as well.

5 Reasons Why Teens Should Create Their Own Epic Rap Battle of History

If you’ve been on the subway recently, you may have noticed ads plastered across the trains for Epic Rap Battles of History. My students introduced me to them last year, and anytime we studied a featured character they’d immediately request to watch the video. Given the enthusiasm my students showed as an audience, I came up with a list of 5 reasons why they should create their own rap battle videos.

History Across Content Areas

History shouldn’t be static. It’s not just a list of dates and events. History is truly about an in-depth look at a period-- its authors, artists, scientists, inventors, historians and participants. A study of history should include a close look at books by authors who study the era, who lived in the era, who wrote about the era. Let’s take the 1920s, a time of great change in the United States.

Faculty Q&A with History Teacher Ian Rusten

Growing up in the artsy neighborhood of Soho, it is no surprise that Ian Rusten set his sights on a career in the arts. While he enjoyed subjects such as history and English, “I liked drawing even more,” he says. However, after teaching English in Korea after college, he caught the teaching bug and went on to earn an M.A. in Education and an M.A. in History, both at Hunter College.

“It’s funny; teaching as a career just never really occurred to me,” he says.

His students are glad that it finally did.

 

It’s Time for Teenagers to Hold Adults Accountable

On Tuesday, November 5th, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio and Republican candidate Joe Lhota will compete for the position of New York City mayor.  Most of our students do not meet the age requirement to vote for either candidate.  Too many students will use this restriction of their age to justify their indifference to the upcoming election.  Indifference, in this case, would be the wrong choice.

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