Thursday, February 28, 2008

Connections to Current Events and the Constitution

Hi all! I've been amazed at the student interest shown in the primary elections this year- many of my students watched the televised debate between Clinton and Obama this week and were excited to comment on it. It also comes at a great time in my curriculum- Reconstruction. The issue of civil rights and the Constitution's protection of them is a great way to connect today's election with the long battle to gain and enforce the protection of our civil rights. The National Records and Archives Administration has chosen 100 important 'founding' documents to highlight in a book and a website titled "Our Documents". This is a great source to find both the original 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments but also a short secondary source that describes both the passage of the Amendment and what the passage of that amendment meant on a practical basis.
I've also been using the CNN Election Center website every few days with the students; they have a great graphic representation of the success of each candidate, as well as good definitions of terms that students may be unfamiliar with, such as Superdelegates. As History educators, we have a lot of curriculum to get through in not much time, but it is certainly worthwhile to pause and discuss some history in the making!