Saturday, June 2, 2012

Primary Source in US History--Virtual Tour Of White House

Thousands of visitors pour through the White House every year, but they only see a select handful of rooms (probably for security reasons).  On this site, you will be able to explore over 140 areas in and around the White House thanks to photographs and illustrations which date back over 200 years!  

Here you will be able to explore the EAST WINGWEST WING and RESIDENCE with the click of a mouse.  Each section offers a look at that section over time (1857 to date with most) and provides some data on key events of the time associated with that section.  Part of this tour also includes little known facts about its residents of the time and the activities they pursued there.  For example, the history of the family theater has quite a past.  It was originally a long coat room.  Another tidbit is the first film ever shown there was "Birth of a Nation" which was a racist film depicting the Klu Klux Klan as America's saviors.  President Wilson showed this film to repay a debt to southern democrats and that act sullied his repetition.  

How might this site support ELLs in their study of American history?  As often mentioned in my blog and on my website, ELLs need supports to access knowledge.  Visuals are crucial tools that every teacher must utilize (as all of you know) if ELLs are to be able to connect to the material thereby making sense of it.  Another support is the use of timelines.  Everything is new to ELLs when it comes to US history.  Providing them with timelines brings some order to the "chaos."  With timelines and photos/images, students can take notes in ways that work for them.  Provide them with graphic organizers or outlines to enable them to save (and eventually remember) key data.  As with every content area, decide on the most important events ELLs must know and teach to those.  Everything else can be dealt with as needed, but not tested otherwise the lesson will consist of dates and events with no building of deep knowledge.


Your students will definitely develop an interest in American history with this site:)



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