Sunday, November 17, 2013

Indian Removal Poems

This last week we concluded the Trail of Tears and Indian Removal.  This subject is very personal to me.  My family was on the Trail of Tears.  We actually have the journal that was kept on the Trail of Tears still in the family.I know being in Oklahoma a lot of my students might also have a family connection to the Trail of Tears.  I want them to know what happened there, so we can prevent it from happening ever again!
I had my students write a poem about Indian Removal.  I was blown away!  They got the lesson!  As I read them this weekend I wept.  I had to share some with you!
Poem 1
The Trail of Tears hurts my heart
Just thinking about all the Indians that lost their lives
Sometimes I ask why?
I'm sure they asked themselves why>
Why us?
Why are we the ones that have to leave?
Why are we the ones with no home?
Why are we the ones that have to die?
Why me? Why us?
The Trail of Tears hurts my heart
Poem 2
I wanted stay
They had no right to take me away
Will my family even be ok?
I hear faint cries
When people have to say their goodbyes
But still I walk alone
With no one to hold
I feel so frail
Walking down this trail
But to where?
Poem 3
My prayers go out to
the loved ones,
Of the people
Who died on that tragic day
The time we call today
The Trail of Tears
We will always remember this
And our country should be ashamed
Of all the lives that were lost
On this sorrow filled journey
Poem 4
We can try to reconcile,
Try to apologize.
Say, "The past is the past,"
"We've made up for it,"
"Everything has changed."
And things have changed.
But the past is alive.
It is alive with pain,
Alive with tears, fear,
Kindness, and blindness.
We can try
But the pangs of Indian Removal,
The laws we disregard,
And the ideas we make a priority.
Must give us pause.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

American Lion by Jon Meacham

This week we are starting Jacksonian Democracy.  President Jackson and what he did for the Executive Branch is always on the test.  There will always be questions on the multiple choice section, and most likely there will be an essay question or two.  Jackson is a favorite topic!  So Chapter 13 is important - READ IT!!!
A great book about his political biography is American Lion!  This is worth the read!  You will get a behind the scenes tour of his presidency, and insight into his decisions!  A great book for you to read, and you will get a ton of outside knowledge on this significant time period!
Here is a review from the NY Times:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

One thing you need to know about is Jeffersonian Democracy!  It is always on the APUSH Exam.  This book follows Thomas Jefferson and his politics.  You will get an inside look to Jefferson and his ideals.  Fantastic read!

Here is a great website about Jeffersonian Democracy and a passage from it:
 "Our final assessment of Jeffersonian Democracy rests on a profound contradiction. Jefferson was the single most powerful individual leading the struggle to enhance the rights of ordinary people in the early republic. Furthermore, his Declaration of Independence had eloquently expressed America's statement of purpose "that all men are created equal." Still, he owned slaves all his life and, unlike Washington, never set them free.

For all his greatness, Jefferson did not transcend the pervasive racism of his day"

NY Times Review of the book Link:


John Adames by David McCullogh

This is a great biography about one of our founding fathers.  John Adams was a patriot and a president.  Through the story of his life we can learn so much about the fight for and start of this country.  This is a great book to get information on the revolutionary period!  The link below is a great summary and review of this book!

HBO made the book into a GREAT Mini Series!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1776 by David McCullough

A GREAT book about the Revolutionary War is, 1776.  This is a fantastic account of the Revolutionary Period.  This book will give you a lot of great outside knowledge and detail.  I encourage you to read books outside of class because you never know where it is going to help you.  This could be your DBQ!

A wonderful movie about this time period!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose

One thing that will really help you pass the APUSH Exam in May is outside knowledge!  When writing your essays the AP Readers will be looking to see if you have outside knowledge.
One way to get this besides reading your book is reading books about specific topics!  There are not a lot of books for colonial  America, but we are hitting the gold mine of great books about US History!  So I will try to highlight great ones to read in your spare time!
This first one is about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  This book gives you so much great detail about the whole experience!  Read the Review below:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Principles of the ConstitutionThi

This week in US Government we discussed the principles of the US Constitution.  I want my students to know the Constitution.  What it says and explains.  Our constitution says what our Government can and cannot do.  It is so important to know this and know our rights!  Angelina Jolie has tattooed on her neck - "Know Your Rights."  This is why US Government as a class is so important!  We have to know our Rights!

The principles we discuss are:
  1. Popular Sovereignty
  2. Separation of Powers
  3. Checks and Balances
  4. Judaical Review
  5. Limited Government

Popular Sovereignty is the Rule of People!  That is what a Democracy is all about!  "We the People."  The people hold the power, and we use that power by participating in our Government!  We do that by voting, and paying attention!  We need to know who are politicians are, and what they believe! 

This principle was brought to life by Abraham Lincoln and his Gettysburg Address.  When he said "....a government of the people, by the people, and for the people."  Here is the speech: