New for August at EDSITEment

This month, EDSITEment goes back to school; celebrates the Statue of Liberty; marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; discusses “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (even if you would prefer not to); and looks back at August 1968.

Back-to-School Fall 2012

We’ve culled our most popular lessons in history, literature, art, and culture and foreign languages to jump start your class:

The Statue of Liberty

In August 1884, on the shore of New York Harbor, the cornerstone was laid for what is today one of the most recognized monuments in the United States: the Statue of Liberty. The statue’s location, overlooking Ellis Island, meant that in the years to come the “Mother of Exiles” would be one of the first things millions of immigrants would see when entering the United States. In August of 1894, ten years after the monument’s cornerstone was set in place, Congress created the Bureau of Immigration to oversee the thousands of newcomers who were greeted by the statue every year. Learn more about the Statue of Liberty as well as find information on your ancestry, immigrants today, suggested related activities, and featured lessons and websites.

NEH’s Emancipation Nation

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, NEH is hosting a series of events on National Constitution Day, September 17, 2012. NEH has collaborated with University of Richmond President and Civil War historian Edward L. Ayers to create a number of opportunities—including an interactive discussion with leading emancipation historians and a creative student contest—that encourage high school and college students across the nation to consider the immediate and long-term implications of emancipation as it relates to the U.S. Constitution and their lives today. NEH has partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to live stream the interactive discussion taking place at the Smithsonian’s Warner Bros. Theater. The online resource portal contains relevant essays, EDSITEment lesson plans, an interactive timeline with links to NEH-funded films and interactive websites, and instructions for teachers and community members on how to host watch parties for the live streamed event. Through this site, teachers and students may also interact with one another and the presenters.

Herman Melville’s Tale of Wall Street: “Bartleby the Scrivener”

One of the most powerful of stories ever written about our attitudes to our neighbors and fellow citizens. This Launchpad provides background materials and discussion questions to enhance your reading and understanding of Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” To help readers understand the story and its wider significance, there are a series of questions for reflection. After discussing or thinking about these questions, click on the videos to hear editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub converse with guest host Wilfred McClay about the story.

August 1968: Miami and Siege of Chicago

The 1968 Exhibit is an ambitious, state-of-the-art, multimedia exhibit that looks at how the experiences of the year fueled a persistent, if often contradictory, sense of identity for the people who were there. It is the unsettled nature of the debate about damage done or victories won that makes an exhibit on this subject so compelling and urgent. In August, Richard Nixon is nominated at the Republican National Convention in Miami and Hubert Humphrey is nominated at the Democratic Convention in Chicago while rioting breaks out in the streets.

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