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EyeWitness to History.com(2)

Name:EyeWitness to History.com

Brief Description of the Site:
Bubonic Plague decimates 14th Century Europe. The British burn Washington in the War of 1812. The A-Bomb levels Hiroshima, Japan. These, and hundreds more, are the events our students learn from their history books. But history books are too often dry synopses, causing our students to view history as just a trail of dead events. What if they could easily read first-person accounts of those events? What if they could use their imaginations to put themselves at a specific historic place and time? That’s the philosophy of this site, which offers first-person accounts of almost 100 events of World and American History, beginning with ancient Greece. Each event opens with a summary of what happened and then provides a first-person account. There are also digitized sound clips (explosion of the Hindenburg, FDR’s death) and a series of unique photographs which have stories ‘embedded.’ Run the mouse over the photo, click one of the pop-up boxes, and read a detailed analysis of topics like Prohibition or Women Get the Vote.

How to use the site:
Teachers of social studies and language arts will find countless ways to use this content-rich site. The various first-person accounts can be used for: enhancing reports, reflective essays, role-playing, original plays, newscasts, interviews, etc. The Photo of the Day can be an excellent writing-starter. The sound clips (requires RealPlayer or other downloadable audio software) can provoke interesting discussions about contempoprary versus older speech patterns. And there’s probably many more ideas just waiting to be recognized.

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