Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 23, 2010


The New York trip was an exciting adventure.  I learned so much about the different places we visited.  The most interesting places were Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt estates and how each estate differed.  I did not know Franklin was such a mama’s boy and Theodore a loving family man.  I teach U.S. History 2 and I lecture over each man, now I can add more of a human aspect instead of a quick overview of each man’s accomplishments.

The visit to the Museum of the City of New York held an interesting lesson plan for my Geography class, the grid of a city.  In class I explain the concentric zone model, sector model, and multiple nuclei model.  I ask the following questions:  What is the relationship between industrial areas and low-income housing?, Where would highways fit in each sector?, How would a river affect each sector?, and How do transportation routes and terrain affect the type of city growth?, How do parks and bridges help a city grow?  The exercise EY had us do will fit well with this lesson.

The walking tour with Ed O’Donnell held many surprises as the mixtures of immigrants at different times, settling the lower east side of New York.  Alfred Smith coming from the tenements made him so human.  In U.S. History 2, I lecture about him running for president but not his background.  Now I can make him a real man with faults but many accomplishments.

Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge helped me to realize the importance of both landmarks and I will make numerous points of the importance of each in my lecture.  Pictures of Wall Street will help explain the importance of the exchange to the United States as well as to the world to my Economic classes.

The visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art could have been a whole day.  There was so much to see in a little amount of time.  I spent most of my time in the Egyptian display.  I teach World History and I lecture about Hatshepsut and Tut.  The artifacts were wonderful!  The picture will help in my lecture.  The highlight was visiting this museum.

The whole trip was great.  I will be able to use the information I learned in my classroom.  My students will benefit from my experience in New York.  I went back to work on Monday and I have started to show pictures and share information I collected from the different sites to my students.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 18, 2010

June 15,2010 Fort Ticonderoga and Saratoga

Fort Ticonderoga was first named Fort Carillon.  Fort Carillon was built by the French during the French and Indian War.  The French believed this would protect them from the British from attack from the lake or from Lake George.  The French realize after removing trees, they built the fort in the wrong place.  While waiting for the construction of the fort, Marquis de Montcalm decided to attack the British at Fort William Henry.  Montcalm wins the battle.  The British seeking revenge, attack Fort Carillon under the command of James Abercromby.  Montcalm moves his forces west of Fort Carillon awaiting Abercromby’s forces.  Abercromby’s forces outnumber Montcalm by 4 to 1.  Abercromby is defeated by the French.

Later the British win Fort Carillon and rename it, Fort Ticonderoga.  Sir Jeffrey builds a new fort to the north at Crown Point.  The British use this fort as a garrison during the rest of the war.

During the American Revolution the fort sees action.   In May 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys make a pre dawn surprise attack on the British force in Fort Ticonderoga.  The capture of the fort is the first victory for the rebels.

The battle of Saratoga, the rebel’s commander Major General Horatio Gates and the British General John Burgoyne would face each other in September and October.  Under Gates, he established a defensive position.   Burgoyne’s army depended on the river for supplies so Gates used this knowledge to block the supply line from reaching Burgoyne.  Burgoyne moves his troops inland hoping to avoid a conflict since his supplies were low.  His troops crash into Gates’ army.  Gates’ troops hold up to the British until reinforcements arrived to help Burgoyne, the German auxiliary troops.  The British forces win but Burgoyne’s problem; the Patriot’s still block his move to Albany.  A second battle ensues on October.  Burgoyne has not received any supplies and the roads are bad due to heavy rainfall but he moves his troops toward Saratoga.  Gate’s troops follow and surround Burgoyne’s troops.  Burgoyne surrenders; a major victory for the Patriots because France will come into the war as an ally to the Patriots.

A possible lesson plan for the different battles would be a research paper on the number of troops involved and who the main players were.  Then divide the class into groups.  Each group will be responsible for one section of the battle and troop movements.  On a mini battlefield the groups will move their pieces as they explain the skirmish.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 17, 2010

June 14, 2010 Women’s Rights

     A day about women’s rights was one of the busiest days!  The planning of the Seneca Falls Convention was planned in approximately 12 days.  Reasons for the convention; women had no legal rights as long as they were married if she chooses to get a divorce she had no rights to the children, property, or the clothes she wore, native American women  had more rights in the tribe compare to the Victorian proper style.  Native American woman could divorce her husband, she had the rights to the children and her living lodge, yet they are called savages.  The Anglo American women were in a land of legalizes slavery.  Women would not have the right to vote until 1919 with the 20th amendment.  The times have changed for woman but have they changed to benefit women being treated equal? 


      The leaders of the convention came from different walks of life, married, unmarried women, rich, middle class, college educated, elementary education, etc.  A common caused brought all the women and men together, equal rights in property, custody laws, educational opportunity, and participate in politics, professions, and church.   300 participated in the first Women’s Rights Convention.  A Declaration of Sentiments was presented at the convention, 100 people signed the document, 67 women and 33 men.  History was written that day with newspapers publishing the minutes of the convention. 


       The tour consisted with the visiting center, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann M’Clintock and Harriet Tubman homes.  Each home was different, illustrating their different status in society.  Harriet’s home, the lowest status of the homes we visited, was welcoming and more inviting than the other houses.  I wish we had more time to watch the video and a longer time talking to the education director at the Tubman’s home.


      The Seward’s house held more artifacts, apparently they were pack rats.  Good for us to see all the objects they received and bought throughout their lives.  The William and Frances Seward had five children, three sons and two daughters.  He was 5.4 foot, red hair, blue eyes, and a raspy voice.  He does not like standing in portraits.  He amazed me with his abolition ideas, being a stop station in the Underground Railroad, and holding important jobs in the federal government.  He was committed to the cause, if caught; the family would have been black listed. 


     The Erie Canal held many wonders concerning locks.  In my Geography class, I talk about locks and tried to explain the process from the written form.  Now, I understand how it works and I can explain the process in depth. 

      I can incorporate all what I have learned today in my U.S. History 2 class.  For a possible lesson plan on William Steward, he was just not the Secretary of State during Abraham Lincoln’s administration.  I will get the students to list Steward’s accomplishments during his long career in politics.  The students will plot on a map all the areas he visited and the land he helped the United States to acquire.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 14, 2010

June 13, 2010 Cooperstown


     Our first stop, Baseball Hall of Frame, concerned baseball and the impact it has on the United States.  The museum educator had a wealth of resources and curriculum to be used in the classroom (online) using baseball such as statistics, advertising, history, etc.   A definite must to visit and use the information available for educator.  I will be recommending the site to the teachers I work with on Monday.  My students will be thrilled with the new information I will present (My classes are all males).


     I especially enjoyed going through the women baseball selection.  The video A League of Their Own helped me to understand the importance of baseball during World War 2 and how the United States tried to eliminate the Women’s League after the soldiers came back.  Women did not get recognize for the contribution in baseball until later in history.           

     The Farmer’s Market was fun to explore.  I volunteer at El Pueblo Museum as an 1820 Native and worker at El Pueblo and I know how difficult working with the public.  The interpreter did a great job in illustrating the life of that time.  My favorite was the blacksmith.  The blacksmith explained his job and illustrated his trade.

     The students will learn how to spin and weave a piece of material.  I know volunteers who can be guest speakers and illustrate the trade.  The students will write an essay about the experience and show their finish weaved product.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 14, 2010

June 12, 2010 Sagamore Hill


    The Theodore Roosevelt’s summer house Sagamore Hill appeared more welcoming than Franklin Roosevelt’s house.  The house felt more like a home.  Anna, Theodore’s sister, designed the house; she should have considered architecture as a career.  Anna, an important person in Theodore’s life, was the hostess for the different functions in the Roosevelt household when Alice died.  His first wife Alice died of Bright’s disease.   Alice died two days after their daughter Alice was born.  In fact, Theodore’s mother also died the same day.  For the rest of his live he refused to acknowledge Alice’s (wife) life He marries Edith in 1886.  They have five children.


     Edith must have been as strong willed as Theodore.  She managed the household budget and the home when he was away.  She granted Theodore an allowance of $20 a week.   She was a loving mother but stricter than Theodore.  She handled the busy life in Sagamore Hill as well as the White Horse.  Later, she handled the deaths of her sons and later Theodore.     


     The students will do research on the different stages of Theodore’s life.  One group would research his childhood, his years in Harvard, his family life, and his years in the White House, the Bull Party, and his later life.  The students will present their project to the class.  The last project will need a long piece of butcher paper and have each group draw a timeline of his life and seeing any overlapping.  The class will discuss how one person can make a difference.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 13, 2010

June 11, 2010 New York Historical Society

     New York Historical Society was opened in 1804, moved to the present location in 1903 and is currently under modification.  The history of slavery in New York emerged like the South, yet in history textbooks slavery remained unheard.  The presenter did a wonderful job in illustrating the growing commerce in the African slave trade and trade with the South.  She presented the human side of the slave.

     She offered some facts on southern cotton and the importance to the city of New York examples 60% of the cotton from the South went to New York City harbor to be exported to Europe, for every dollar earned for cotton 38 cents went for taxes to New York City, etc.  Abolitions were blamed for breaking the union but never looking at the slaveholder.  The primary source exercise in looking at the newspaper articles about William Dixon, a great idea in using newspaper articles in the classroom.  Beside the questions from the lesson:  Is the article bias?  Why or why not?  Does the article give the students a taste of the time period?  The last activity would be a mock trial if William Dixon.     

     The Museum of Natural History encompassed a variety of time periods.  I can use the pictures for Chicano Studies, African American Studies and World History.  I especially became excited in the Central America and Mexico.  When I saw the replica of the Aztec Sun Stone, I took many pictures.  I teach my students on how to read the Sun Stone.  What an exciting find!!      


Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 12, 2010

June 10, 2010 Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty



     The journey to Ellis Island, we saw the wonderful sight of the Statute of Liberty.  Just passing and imagining the different immigrants hoping to enter the United States with the different feelings some may encountered fear, anxious, hopeful for a better life, challenging the unknown, all the emotions a person feels when faced with uncertainty.  Many of the newcomers could not speak English, a challenge to keep all intact for fear of being swindled.  The immigrants had challenges from the start in Ellis Island especially the poor.

     The ship had three different levels; the rich on the upper level, middle class the area not taken by the rich and steerage the bowels of the ship reserved for the poor.  In steerage, one area was reserved for the women and children and the other area for men.  The sexes did not mix although many were married.  When the passengers arrived on Ellis Island, opened in 1892, the class made a difference in how they were treated.  The rich only were asked questions as how they were feeling and where they were going to stay, the same with the middle class.  The poor endured a complete examination of the body and mental capacity.  If the immigrant failed, he was sent back to the country of originated, approximately 2%. 


      The instructor did a wonderful job with activities we can use in the classroom as well a flash drive full of pictures and possible uses in the classroom.  A possible lesson for the classroom would cover a day on Ellis Island, using cards drawn randomly as the type of immigrant, doctor, nurse, inspector, etc. and have a mock inspection.  The students will answer questions:  how they feel as that person and why, could this be degrading as an immigrant why, etc.

          I had the opportunity to go to the Statute of Liberty.  At first it was during a downpour until we researched the island.  It became sunny and cool.  I had a wonderful time exploring the island.  I can see why the immigrants would look at the Statute of Liberty with hope for a brighter future.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 12, 2010

June 9, 2010 Lower Eastside walking tour



     The day held many new adventures.  The lower eastside was different from the other parts of the city because the different groups of immigrants remained and lived in the area.  The area had many different groups of people which settled at different time periods such as the Irish, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Jewish etc.  The reason the immigrants were allowed to stay on the lower eastside was the land was soggy and not worth the effort to revise by the main society.  I found this interesting because Pueblo and Denver’s eastside is the low income area, the area no middle or upper class people want to live.


     The highlight of the tour was Alfred Smith’s school and what he meant to New York City especially coming from the tenements.  If he had won the election as President of the United States, he may have changed some of the policies or he may have perfected and strengthen the spoil system either option he would have changed the nation.  I loved the story of Mr. Smith, rags to riches story.  A lesson plan on the pros and cons of Mr. Smith’s political life and the impacted he had on the United States.


      Ed O’Donnell stressed that commerce more than anything else influenced the growth of New York.  Later the African slave trade in New York helped strength the hold on New York’s commerce as well as cotton.  New York charged a tax on cotton to benefit the city of New York as well being the busiest northern harbor.

Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 11, 2010

June 8, 2010 walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park



     The incredible Brooklyn Bridge continues to show the world its remarkable endurance and spectacular view.   The bridge is approximately 1.3 miles.  The reason for the bridge was in 1860 the river froze twice leaving commerce at a standstill (the East River one of the busiest waterway in the United States).  Ed O’Donnell compared the Brooklyn Bridge with the space shuttle because the bridge was the longest and the first steel wire suspension bridge in the world.    

     The wooden walkway was for the “Lungs of the City.”  The Brooklyn Bridge is the oldest suspension bridge in United States.  The bridge requires the least amount of maintenance.  The Roeblings knew how to build a bridge.

     The Roeblings made the bridge look ancient and the bridge has become a fixture in New York.  The bridge only allows cars, no commerce trucks are allowed to cross.  The bridge is very busy but at 3 a.m. when traffic is at a minimum, you can hear the bridge hum because of the wind.  The Roeblings were geniuses. 

     Central Park another reason for New York to be proud continues to draw the people to the park.    The park is 90% man made.  Almost everything in the park was brought in or planted.  Some heavy rocks could not be moved so the rocks stayed.  I enjoyed the Belverde Castle designed by Calvert Vaux.  The view of Central Park from the top of the castle is breathtaking.         


Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 11, 2010

June 7, 2010 walking tour of Wall Street and Colonial New York



     The walking tour of Wall Street and Colonial New York, an interesting adventure held many surprises.  Ed O’Donnell, a very knowledgeable and interesting person, was an ideal person to do the walking tour.  The biggest surprise was New York being called the “Big Onion” because of the many different layers of New York. 

     Many events happened in New York from the Dutch through today.  The idea of the clash with the British Regular actually started in New York without deaths.  The Sons of Liberty could not gain sympathy as did the Boston Massacre.  New Yorkers also had a Tea Party but after the Boston. 


      In 1776, New York had a great fire destroying many of the buildings, while the British forces occupied the city.  The British blamed the Patriots but no one knows the story as who started the fire.  About 400 and 500 buildings were destroyed.  Trinity Church was destroyed by this fire.  Other fires occurred in New York in 1835 and 1845.

     I found the different types of buildings astounding.  The reasons for the wedding cake type of building;  the people of New York believed the need for sunlight and fresh air was in part due to the horse manure in the city, people getting sick and plants not growing.  I now look at the buildings knowing why the buildings are a particular form.


     I had the opportunity to go to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in the U.S. Custom House.  The ceiling in the building was amazing!  The exhibits were well illustrated.  I watched a video on how to tan a hide.  Amazing the work the women of the tribe did in tanning the hides and making clothing.  A displayed showed the uses of buffalo and deer parts.  Another important display was the worth of a horse.            


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