Powerful Poetry: Three Activities to Help Students Connect with History

Posted by Stacey Perlman on April 14, 2016

This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be. When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world. Explore these three ways you can bring poetry into your classroom using tools from Facing History’s partner, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.

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Topics: English Language Arts, Poetry, Writing, Genocide/Collective Violence, Survivor Testimony, ELA, Holocaust Education, IWitness

Q&A with Arvaughn Williams: Advice for Entering the 2016 Student Essay Contest

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 1, 2016

Arvaughn Williams is one of two finalists from the Facing History 2015 Student Essay Contest. He entered his spoken word poem as a student at City Arts and Technology High School in San Francisco, California. Arvaughn shares his thoughts about what the contest did for him and his advice for students entering this year’s contest inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird. Stay tuned for another Q&A with Shireen Afzhal, our other finalist from last year, for more encouraging words about entering the 2016 Student Essay Contest.

The deadline for submissions is March 16th at 5:00 p.m. ESTYou could win some fantastic prizes for you and your teacher so get ready to write!

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, English Language Arts, Contests, Writing, ELA

Understanding Mockingbird and Watchman in Today’s World

Posted by Laura Tavares on January 7, 2016

In January and February, Barnes & Noble Booksellers is partnering with Facing History and Ourselves to promote our resources for teaching To Kill A Mockingbird to educators across the United States. Facing History’s Senior Program Associate, Laura Tavares, reflects on why Mockingbird is more relevant today than at any time since it’s original publication at the dawn of the American Civil Rights Era.

Six months ago, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman revealed a different side of the beloved Atticus Finch. Lovers of Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, were left confused as he is rendered a segregationist who clashes with his daughter over his racist beliefs. My colleagues and I saw this as an opportunity to explore Mockingbird even further. Since the book’s release, we immersed ourselves in this text to develop resources that can inform the way you read and teach Mockingbird in your classroom. 

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, Reading, Racism, Reading List

Why A More Complicated Atticus Could Be A New Learning Opportunity

Posted by Laura Tavares on July 15, 2015

Like so many literature lovers, I’d been eagerly anticipating yesterday's release of Go Set a Watchman. For nearly two years, I’ve been thinking about the world of Maycomb as I worked with colleagues to create Facing History and Ourselves’ resource Teaching Mockingbird. I couldn’t wait to read Watchman, which has been described as a first draft or “parent” of To Kill a Mockingbird, to learn more about how Harper Lee first imagined beloved characters like Atticus, Scout, and Jem, and to see how she depicts Maycomb in the 1950s.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Reconstruction, News, History, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Waiting for Watchman

Posted by Dan Sigward on July 10, 2015

Facing History has eagerly awaited next week's release of Go Set a Watchman since its discovery was announced this past February. Today we were treated to a sneak preview with the release of the book's first chapter. As earlier media reports indicated, the book features an adult Scout returning to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father 20 years after the events of the original book. It is written in third person and therefore isn’t limited to Scout’s point of view.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, ELA

7 Summer Reads: Selections from the Facing History Library

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on May 28, 2015

Whether you’re on the beach or preparing your syllabus for fall, check out these nonfiction and fiction titles that have the Facing History and Ourselves Library staff excited for summer reading!

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Civil Rights Movement, Books, English Language Arts, Poetry, Armenian Genocide, Race and Membership, Holocaust, Memoir, Survivor Testimony, History, Reading, Reading List

What Does It Mean “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Posted by Adam Strom on April 16, 2015

There are phrases you hear so often that they begin to lose their meaning. The words become part of a series, like "bite the dust" or "have a blast." The title of Harper Lee's 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird is like that for me, despite its profound impact on the way I think about the world.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Classrooms, Books, English Language Arts, Facing History Resources, Teaching Resources

Five Facing History Resources That Use Poetry to Build Skills

Posted by Julia Rappaport on March 20, 2015

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. By writing, reading, and analyzing poetry, students can study important lessons from history and explore topics of religion, culture, community, and identity. Get ready with five resources that use poetry to build reading and writing skills and encourage student voice.
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Topics: Classrooms, Books, English Language Arts, Poetry, Writing, Students, Facing History Resources, Holocaust, Memoir, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony

Questions We Hope Get Answered in Harper Lee’s "Go Set a Watchman"

Posted by Dan Sigward on February 12, 2015

Facing History's offices have been abuzz since Harper Lee's "new" novel was announced earlier this month.

This literary event—taking place 55 years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird and about six months after Facing History published Teaching Mockingbird, its study guide to the novel—comes at a time when we have been diving deep into the themes of Lee's classic novel, both as a staff and with educators around the world.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Teaching Resources, Civil Rights

Best of 2014: Top 5 Facing Technology Blog Posts

Posted by KC Kourtz on December 18, 2014

Reviewing the year we will soon be leaving behind, here are the Top Five Most Read Posts from Facing Technology

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, English Language Arts, Film, Antisemitism, Facing History and Ourselves, Civil Rights, Stereotype, Holocaust and Human Behavior, EdTech, ELA, Holocaust Education, Common Core State Standards, Blogs, Online Learning, Flipped Classroom, Facing Technology

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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