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What is Westward Expansion?

During the 19th Century, more than 1.6 million square kilometers (a million square miles) of land west of the Mississippi River was acquired by the United States federal government. This led to a widespread migration west, referred to as Westward Expansion. A variety of factors contributed to Westward Expansion, including population growth and economic opportunities on what was presented to be available land. Manifest Destiny … Continue reading What is Westward Expansion?

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Educator Spotlight: Considering the ‘Why’ Behind Fantasy Maps

Ralph Covino combined a lesson on map-reading skills with a lesson on the Byzantine and Mongol Empires. By creating backstories for the maps of fantastical lands in Martin O’Leary’s “Uncharted Atlas,” students explored the many reasons behind borders throughout history. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Considering the ‘Why’ Behind Fantasy Maps

Fireworks! Fun, Facts and lots of Photos for the Fourth

July 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love about sunny weather, backyard barbecues, parades, national spirit and—of course—fireworks?! FIREWORKS! While fireworks have long been a hallmark of Independence Day celebrations in the United States—the first was in Philadelphia in 1777—the explosive concoction is much older than our nation! The first fireworks probably originated in China nearly 2,000 years ago. … Continue reading Fireworks! Fun, Facts and lots of Photos for the Fourth

Educator Spotlight: Chronicling Ancestral Stories with Puppets

Kaitlyn Purvis designed a third-grade unit that helped students make personal connections to the lives of Canada’s early settlers and indigenous people. Students explored their own heritage and mapped the resulting data, learning how their classmates’ families came to Canada. After researching what life was like for both settlers and indigenous people, students created puppet videos to share what they learned. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Chronicling Ancestral Stories with Puppets

Scientists Find the $17-Billion ‘Holy Grail of Shipwrecks’

SCIENCE Three years after locating the ghostly galleon San José, researchers reveal how they made their famous find. (Science Alert) Use our article to learn how marine archaeologists explore the history and cultures of ancient civilizations. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Discussion Ideas What was the San José? Why was it so laden with precious metals … Continue reading Scientists Find the $17-Billion ‘Holy Grail of Shipwrecks’