Social Studies,

The National Gallery of Art exhibit, Shock of the News, is the inspiration for this Washington Post NIE curriculum guide. The show exhibited works of artists who incorporated newspapers in their compositions — from Pablo Picasso’s use in 1912 of a fragment of a newspaper. The suggested art activities span the sections of The Washington Post and the variety of mediums found in the National Gallery of Art’s exhibit. The projects can be assigned in many disciplines and all grade levels. 

Primary documents — including diaries, photographs and eyewitness accounts — provide insight into the history of slavery in the District of Columbia and Lincoln's decision to end slavery in D.C. The D.C. Emancipation Act was the first step towards equality and enfranchisement of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

 


Citizens participate in the political process as they take polls, run for office and vote. Activities and lessons look at the candidates and policies, influence of campaigns, and the role of media (campaign ads, editorials cartoons, reporting). Through debate, research, mock elections and inaugural coverage, students engage in the responsibilities of citizenship.

Students study slavery in the United States through the prism of the Civil War, historic documents and legal acts: From D.C. slave auctions to the D.C. Emancipation Act of 1862, from the battles of Harpers Ferry and bloody Antietam to the Emancipation Proclamation, from selective manumission to the Fourteenth Amendment. Activities and articles focus on April 1862 to January 1, 1863.

 


Providing future generations with places that reflect their cultural values and ideals and maintaining their political, social and historic legacy requires a commitment of individuals, organizations and government. After decisions have been made on whether to restore, adapt, preserve or toss, the next steps require collaboration, knowledge and persistence.

Through a study of explorers and early investigations, today’s students gain historic, scientific, cultural and technical perspective. They can make connections between past and present, understand modifications to prevailing theories and changes in mapping, and explain the impact of technology on expanding knowledge.

 The Civil War spurred inventions and innovations that moved America into the industrial age, transformed naval warfare, and called for new modes of leadership.

Students who know their rights will help ensure that those rights are not ignored. The right to protest is based in the First Amendment rights to assemble to voice objections and to petition government to provide relief to grievances.

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