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Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Books About Animals Home Contact Gail Jarrow Thaddeus Lowe Lincoln's Balloon Spy Home Books Books About History Books About Medical Mysteries Novels John Peter Zenger Trial For Teachers Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Harry Kellar Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Books About Animals Home Contact Gail Jarrow Thaddeus Lowe Lincoln's Balloon Spy Home Books Books About History Books About Medical Mysteries Novels John Peter Zenger Trial For Teachers Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Harry Kellar Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Books About Animals Home Contact Gail Jarrow Thaddeus Lowe Lincoln's Balloon Spy Home Books Books About History Books About Medical Mysteries Novels John Peter Zenger Trial For Teachers Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Harry Kellar Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Contact Gail Jarrow Thaddeus Lowe Lincoln's Balloon Spy Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial For Teachers Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Find Out More Find Out More - Zenger Trial Find Out More - Freedom of the Press Find Out More - Colonial Newspapers Find Out More - Other Links Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Home Books Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Contact Gail Jarrow Lincoln's Balloon Sky Home Books Lesson Ideas Author Visits Books About History Books About Animals Novels John Peter Zenger Trial For Teachers Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor Meet the Author Recent Appearances Contact Gail Jarrow Other Links
 

Lesson Ideas

ACTIVITIES for Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America

The final title in the Deadly Diseases Trilogy tells the story of one of history’s worst human diseases. The book tracks plague from the beginnings of the First Pandemic ca. 542, to the Black Death of the 14th Century, to the scientific breakthroughs of the late 19th Century. In 1900, the disease invaded Chinatown, San Francisco, causing the first known plague epidemic in U.S. history. Readers will follow the outbreak through the eyes of victims, public health officials, doctors, politicians, and journalists. Finally, the book spotlights today’s health experts as they continue to cope with outbreaks throughout the world and the threat of plague as a bioweapon.

Topics covered include biology; disease (germ theory, vectors, prevention, treatment, epidemiology); scientific discovery; American history (1900 to 1940s, Chinese immigration, San Francisco earthquake of 1906); government ( federal, California, & San Francisco authorities, U.S. Public Health Service, courts); world history. The book contains a glossary, timeline, source notes, bibliography, author’s note, recommended websites and books, and plague FAQs.

The PDF available HERE is an educator’s guide developed by the book’s publisher. It includes discussion questions and activities correlated with the Common Core State Standards.

For More Information about plague and San Francisco’s epidemic…

Online:

Books:

  • The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco by Marilyn Chase. New York: Random House, 2003
  • Plague, Fear, and Politics in San Francisco’s Chinatown by Guenter B. Risse. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
  • Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko. Wendy Lamb Books, 2015.
  • Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman. New York: Clarion Books, 2013.


ACTIVITIES for Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary

The medical detective story takes place during the early 1900s when typhoid fever outbreaks were common in the United States. The book follows the epidemiologists and public health experts who studied the disease and developed ways to control its spread. Part of their work involved tracking down the source of a typhoid outbreak. The most notorious carrier of the disease was Irish immigrant Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary.

Mary’s story raises questions we still grapple with today: When a deadly, highly contagious, and untreatable disease strikes, what do we expect health authorities to do? What government actions would—or should—we tolerate? Does the protection of a city’s population trump the rights and freedom of an individual?

Topics covered include American history (1900 to 1930s, New York City tenements, immigration), disease (germ theory, sanitation, current typhoid treatments & prevention methods); biology; medical history; government (New York City & State Health Departments, US Public Health Service, courts). The book contains a timeline, source notes, bibliography, a list of famous typhoid victims, and recommended books and websites.

The PDF available HERE is an educator’s guide developed by the book’s publisher. It includes activities and discussion questions correlated with Common Core State Standards.


ACTIVITIES for
Red Madness: How A Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat

This medical mystery tracks the spread and eventual control of pellagra, a vitamin deficiency disease that affected millions of Americans during the first half of the twentieth century. Topics covered include American history (1900 to WWII, cotton mills, sharecroppers and tenant farmers, Mississippi River Flood of 1927); world history; nutrition; disease; medical history; science (research methods, biology); government (US Public Health Service, states); biography. The book contains a timeline, notes, bibliography, and a list of recommended books and websites.

The PDF available HERE is an educator’s guide developed by the book’s publisher. It includes excellent discussion questions and activities aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Pair RED MADNESS with these YA books about epidemic diseases…

Novels:

  • A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR by Makiia Lucier
  • SHADOW BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters
  • FEVER 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • THE GREAT TROUBLE by Deborah Hopkinson
  • CONVERSION by Katherine Howe
  • STREAMS OF BABEL and FIRE WILL FALL by Carol Plum-Ucci

Nonfiction:

  • AN AMERICAN PLAGUE: THE TRUE AND TERRIFYING STORY OF THE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF 1793 by Jim Murphy
  • OUTBREAK! PLAGUES THAT CHANGED HISTORY by Bryn Barnard
  • THE SECRET OF THE YELLOW DEATH: A TRUE STORY OF MEDICAL SLEUTHING by Suzanne Jurmain
  • INVINCIBLE MICROBE: TUBERCULOSIS AND THE NEVER-ENDING SEARCH FOR A CURE by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank


ACTIVITIES for
The Amazing Harry Kellar, Great American Magician

This book is a biography of the magician Harry Kellar (1849-1922). Topics discussed include magic performances; the history of magic; Spiritualism; and entertainment and transportation in the U.S. and throughout the world during Kellar’s lifetime. The book contains a timeline, notes, bibliography, and a list of recommended books, places to visit, and websites.

The Amazing Harry Kellar can be used to meet the Common Core and State Standards through activities that encourage critical reading of informational material, opinion and explanatory writing, speaking, listening, and research. It has curriculum connections to language arts, social studies/history, science, math, and art. The suggested activities and questions below can be adjusted for grade level.

Students can find information for these activities in the book’s text, For More Information section, and bibliography; on this site; in informational books in a library; and on the Internet.

LANGUAGE ARTS

  • Make a list of personal traits that helped Harry Kellar become America’s favorite magician. Beside each trait, briefly explain how it helped him succeed.
  • What were Kellar’s faults that led to career setbacks? Make a list of these and identify how his career was affected by each.
  • Should Kellar have been criticized for using tricks and illusions that had been invented by other magicians? Or did he deserve praise for improving on the inventions of others? Pick a view and write an argument that supports it.
  • You have just watched an amazing magic trick. Would you prefer to know the secret behind it, or would you rather never learn how it was done? Write an essay arguing for your preference.
  • Today, most people enjoy watching a magician perform. But several hundred years ago, people were afraid of magic and thought that it was the work of witches and evil spirits. Write an essay or create a presentation that explains either 1) why magic is fun to watch OR 2) why magic frightens people.
  • Magicians use “patter” to enhance their tricks or illusions and to distract the audience from the secret. Learn to do a magic trick. Write your own patter to use with the trick. Perform it for an audience.
  • Pretend that Kellar is alive today and has hired you to create advertising to attract audiences to his shows. Choose one of these, or something else that would reach his fans: Write and record a radio spot. Make a video for TV or YouTube. Design Kellar’s Facebook page or Web site.

U.S. HISTORY
Period from post-Civil War through 1920s

  • Make a list of the different ways that Harry Kellar traveled throughout the U.S. and the world from his childhood years in the 1850s to his death in 1922. Find or draw pictures of these different modes of transportation.
  • How did the expansion of the railroad system after the Civil War help to change the way Americans were entertained?
  • If you had lived in Kellar’s time, what would have been the choices of entertainment in your town or city? Search old newspapers online to read news stories and advertisements about magicians and other traveling entertainers in your state or region.
  • As a child, Harry Kellar worked as a newsboy in New York City. Learn more about the “newsies” and how they lived. Find photographs of these children at the Library of Congress site (http://www.loc.gov/pictures [search “newsies” or “newsboys”]).
  • Why do you think so many people believed in ghosts, séances, and mediums during Kellar’s lifetime? How did Kellar and Harry Houdini debunk the claims of the Spiritualists?

WORLD HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY

  • Using a world map, trace the path of Harry Kellar’s travels as an international performer from 1873-1884. Mark the map where he was shipwrecked; the city where he collected many of his illusions; where he caught yellow fever; and where he met his wife.
  • On a world map, show the area that formed the British Empire during Kellar’s lifetime. How did Kellar’s travels match the places controlled by the British? Why did he choose to perform within the British Empire?

SCIENCE and MATH

The secrets of magic -- including Harry Kellar’s tricks and illusions--involve science, mathematics, and psychology.

  • Learn how to do a magic trick. Perform it for classmates. Teach a friend how to do it, too, by writing a step-by-step explanation or by creating a video of yourself demonstrating the secret of the trick.
  • Learn how to do a mind-reading or prediction trick that depends on arithmetic and number patterns. Amaze your family and friends!
  • Using resources listed on this site or in the book, research how Harry Kellar performed some of his tricks and illusions.

ART

  • Find out how Kellar’s colorful advertising posters were created using stone lithography.
  • View the Library of Congress’s collection of Magic Posters from 1879 to 1936 (at loc.gov/pictures [search “magic posters”]). What were the characteristics of these posters that convinced people to attend magic performances?
  • Compare today’s full-page magazine advertisements, movie posters, and billboards to the advertising posters of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries.
  • Create your own Kellar poster.


ACTIVITIES for
Lincoln’s Flying Spies: Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps

This book has curriculum connections to Social Studies/History, Language Arts, and Science in Grades 5-12 and supports the teaching of the National Standards. It contains timeline, notes, bibliography, and lists of recommended books, places to visit, and Web sites.

The activities and questions below can be adjusted for grade level and used for writing, oral discussion, or class presentations.

U.S. HISTORY

This book covers the strategy, goals, and outcome of Civil War battles and campaigns from
April 1861 to June 1863.
               
Civil War: The causes. The course and character of the war.

History Activities:

  • Make a timeline showing when and where the Union army’s Balloon Corps operated.
  • Using a copy of the map in the front of the book, trace the path of the Army of the Potomac and Balloon Corps and the path of the Confederate forces from summer 1861 to summer 1863.
  • Give examples of situations in which the Balloon Corps helped the Union army. (Students should discuss surveillance of enemy camps, aiming artillery, map-making, battlefield observations)
  • Give examples of how the Confederate army reacted to the Union balloons.
  • What were the reasons for the disbanding of the Balloon Corps in summer 1863?
  • Explain why the Confederate army did not have greater success using surveillance balloons.
  • The images in the book were taken during the Civil War, the first war to be extensively photographed. Use the photographs and their captions to discuss:
                    A soldier’s life -- the uniforms and campsites
                    War balloons -- size and operation
                    The role of telegraph during the Civil War
                    Civil War battles -- Fort Sumter, the Seven Days Battles, and the battles of Fair Oaks/Seven Pines, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville
  • Research a particular Civil War battle. Write a report or create a poster that shows the battle’s who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Research the use of manned military balloons by Europeans during the 18th & 19th centuries and by the U.S. Army in World War I.

LANGUAGE ARTS

This book is a biography of Thaddeus Lowe, the New Hampshire native who organized the Balloon Corps.
                Read, understand, appreciate a biography.
                Discuss the book and express opinions through written, spoken, and visual language.
                Describe historic events through eyes and experiences of those who were there.
                Analyze historic documents (letters, memoirs, diaries).

Language Arts Activities:

  • What character traits helped Thaddeus Lowe reach his goal of organizing and leading the U.S. Balloon Corps?
  • Using quotes in the book taken from diaries, letters, and memoirs, discuss what Union and Confederate soldiers and generals thought of Thaddeus Lowe and the Union Balloon Corps.
  • Pretend to be Thaddeus Lowe. Write a journal or letters to your family detailing your experiences as head of the Balloon Corps.
  • Read Jules Verne’s novel, The Mysterious Island. Discuss the ways the novel’s account of the Civil War balloons contrasts with their actual use by the Union and Confederate armies.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

This book discusses hydrogen balloons and the telegraph.
                Properties of matter
                Chemical reactions
                Science and technology
                History of science

Science Activities:

  • Discuss how hydrogen balloons work. Compare them to hot air balloons, which are more commonly used today. Why were hot air balloons impractical during the Civil War?
  • Discuss how Lowe’s portable generators produced hydrogen gas. Why were the generators so important to the success of the Balloon Corps?
  • Discuss how the telegraph was used during the Civil War. What other methods did the aeronauts use to communicate balloon observations from the air to the ground?
  • Research the attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon, including the first successful crossing in 1978, nearly 120 years after Thaddeus Lowe tried.


Teaching Materials for
Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer,
Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor

Online Teacher's Guide for the Jackson biography, prepared by consultants to the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association. Includes learning activities and resources. Links to National Standards for History and for Civics and Government and to New York State Standards for Social Studies and English Language Arts.

The Robert H. Jackson Center website provides teacher-created lesson plans and resources about Jackson and his work at Nuremberg and the Supreme Court.

 


Activities for
The Printer’s Trial: The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press

This book can be used to meet the Common Core and State Standards in Language Arts/English and Social Studies/U.S. History. Zenger’s 1735 trial in New York helped to form a foundation for the U.S. Constitution and later the Bill of Rights. The political issues of the Colonial period can be used as the basis for debates, opinion and explanatory writing, and research.

  • Recreate Zenger’s Freedom of the Press trial using as a guide James Alexander’s narrative of the trial. Have class members take roles as prosecuting and defense attorneys, judges, jurors, witnesses, and spectators. (www.nycourts.gov/history/legal-history-new-york/legal-history-eras-01/History_Tryal-John-Peter-Zenger.pdf).
  • Make a list of the people involved in the Zenger case. How was each responsible for Zenger’s arrest and the outcome of his trial?
  • Explain the reasons behind the launching of the New-York Weekly Journal newspaper. Did the Journal’s founders succeed in their goals? Argue your position.
  • Read articles from the New-York Weekly Journal. What techniques did the authors use to persuade readers?
  • Find an example of journalism today that was started solely for political reasons. Has that journalistic effort succeeded or failed? Give proof and reasons for its success or failure.
  • Why has Zenger’s name come down through history as the hero of this trial? Does he deserve the fame? Are others more deserving? Support your position with evidence.

See these sites for additional activities and instructional materials for teaching about Freedom of the Press and the Constitution: www.firstamendmentcenter.org/
www.billofrightsinstitute.org/
www.usconstitution.net/
www.constitutioncenter.org/


For more resources on teaching American History, visit:

 

 

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