These stamps are part of the Black Heritage Stamp Series. U.S. postage stamps were in use for nearly a century before Booker T. Washington became the first African American to appear on one. A handful of additional black history-related designs appeared between 1940 and 1978, when the U.S. Postal Service introduced the Black Heritage series. USPS continues to issue a stamp featuring a notable Black American every February in conjunction with Black History Month and at other times during the year. Today the Black Heritage issues are the longest-running U.S. stamp series.
This is a collection of five photographs taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as a handout to be used with the photos. Use the collection as a warm up or prompt for further research about the experience of immigrants to America. Teachers could assign different photographs to small groups so that students can share ideas and questions as they closely examine each one, focusing on differences between what is clearly evident in each photo as well as what can be inferred or hypothesized.
What can we learn about the experience of immigrants at Ellis Island from photographs? What emotions are expressed in these images? Challenge students to consider the photographers process and perspective: Are these images staged or candid? What kind of statement do you think the photographer might be making about immigration at this time?
More teaching ideas are include in the "Notes to Other Users" section.
Analyze the portrait of your author using the portrait handout. Does the portrait capture the qualities that made this author innovative? If not, how would you change the portrait to capture these qualities?
In my lesson, I projected my collection through AppleTV on a screen in the front of class. I tried to play on the students' imagination and have them think about whom this character could be. Their objective was to point out specific details in the image and voice them to class. I did not have them begin guessing who the "Mythical Being" was until we got to the 7th slide. The farther we progressed, the students began to put more and more clues together. This was a good anticipatory set to our cartoon activity pertaining to George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior.
This collection is utilized in a college classroom focused on research and argumentation.
To explore this "essential question," the resources here offer different contexts for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. They can help visualize and comprehend the setting of the book and the social issues of the Depression era in the South. With that understanding, students may better apprehend the choices and values of the characters in the novel.
Supporting question: "What was it like to live in small-town Alabama during that time?"
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the ficticious Maycomb, Alabama, which author Harper Lee modeled on her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Students may approach the images from the time period and place of the story (1930s) to consider how race and social class make a difference in how one answers that question.
Supporting question: "What important matters were in the news during that time?"
It's not a fact that Harper Lee based the trial in the novel on the Scottsboro boys, but it may have influenced her. Have students look for similarities and differences. What other events were going on? (e.g., Great Depression).
Have students explain how these resources help understand the characters in the novel.