National History Club- Resources!

National History Club News

a partner of The History Channel

August 2012

Transcending Darkness: A Girl’s Journey Out of the Holocaust

University of Florida

Laurel Hill Cemetery, America’s First National Historic Landmark Cemetery

Late in the year 1835, Quaker librarian John Jay Smith recorded in his diary: “The City of Philadelphia has been increasing so rapidly of late years that the living population has multiplied beyond the means of accommodation for the dead. On recently visiting Friends grave yard in Cherry Street I found it impossible to designate the resting place of a darling daughter, determined me to endeavor to procure for the citizens a suitable, neat and orderly location for a rural cemetery.” Smith’s very personal experience ultimately had very public implications, as less than one year later, this grieving father established Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery. When Smith conceived of Laurel Hill, he envisioned something fundamentally different from the burial places that came before it.

In an era when cities along America’s eastern seaboard suffered from crowding, disease and scarcity of public space, Laurel Hill offered an alternative environment. Previously, churchyards were the only places available to bury the dead, and they were often as crowded and unsanitary as the streets that bordered them. Furthermore, rapid industrialization and population growth commonly led to the disinterment of burial grounds to make way for roads and buildings. Laurel Hill’s founding is deeply rooted in the cultural history of our nation’s urbanization, and in the simultaneous development of crafted sanctuaries of nature and retreat just beyond the city’s limits. Laurel Hill Cemetery was not only established as a burial place for the dead, but equally as a scenic, riverside sanctuary for the living. Indeed, picnics, strolls, carriage rides and sightseeing were popular pastimes in Laurel Hill’s early days, when over 140,000 visitors passed through the site in a single season.

In 1998, Laurel Hill became the first cemetery in the United States to be honored with the designation of National Historic Landmark. With abundant public tours and programs, the site is now leading the way in the creative interpretation of burial grounds around the world. In continuing to redefine all that a cemetery can be to the living 176 years after its founding, Laurel Hill makes history every day.

Visit Laurel Hill Cemetery!

Explore other History Opportunities

  • ·  Transcending Darkness: A Girl’s Journey Out of the Holocaust
In Estelle Glaser Laughlin’s memoir,Transcending Darkness: A Girl’s Journey Out of the Holocaust, readers meet two young sisters-Estelle and Fredka-coming of age during the Holocaust; their extraordinary mother, fiercely determined to keep them alive and together; and righteous individuals who inspired them all with courage and faith in love. From her blissful childhood in Warsaw before the Nazi invasion, Laughlin describes life in the ghetto; her family’s deportation to Majdanek extermination camp during the uprising of April 1943; their subsequent imprisonment in two other concentration camps, Skarzysko and Chestoschowa; and, at last, liberation.Her story, published sixty-four years after her liberation from the Nazis, is a narrative of fear and hope and the resiliency of the human spirit. While it is a harrowing tale of destruction and loss, it is also a story of the goodness that still exists in a dark world, of survival and renewal. In a society still facing the dangers of hatred, genocide, and indifference, Laughlin’s triumph proves greatly relevant.
Purchase Transcending Darkness!
  • ·  University of Florida
The University of Florida History Department fosters a learning experience that stands apart from many of recent modes of instruction at large universities. Amid the shift to huge classes, televised lectures, and machine-gradable exams, our faculty chooses to follow a more traditional path. The department’s emphasis on small courses, analytical reading, lively debate, and interpretative writing offers committed students unique rewards. It also comes with high expectations. Thus all our majors begin their training with a special practicum course focusing on the tools and skills needed to excel in upper-division courses as well as later the writing of a senior seminar paper and, for those interested in our honors program, a senior thesis. Throughout, the department offers a great range of courses focused on our research strengths in American, European, Latin American, African, Global, Asian and Middle Eastern history.History majors at UF are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities to study abroad. Learning “on site” can be one of the most valuable experiences of a major. Touring the Taj Mahal and other monuments of the Mogul empire, wandering the medieval alleys of Paris and Prague or trekking to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu gives a perspective on the past that cannot be replicated in the classroom. History department faculty members are involved in a number of UF-sponsored programs that students might consider: a summer in Cambridge, thanksgiving in Munich, or even a short-term archaeological project. In similar spirit, we also invite our students to consider a number of internship possibilities that provide hands-on experience in history-related endeavors – such as those at the UF library’s special collections, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, campus and local museums, the university press, and local historical societies – for which students can earn course credit.

Our honors program focuses primarily on the writing of a thesis based on original historical research over the course of a student’s senior year. We have designed a special workshop for thesis writers to give direction and advice as honors students pursue their research. The department also offers a number of awards and scholarships in support of summer research and in recognition of achievement by outstanding history majors.

University of Florida History Department!
Courtesy Joey Wiseman, WVDE SS Coordinator


e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia ( is offering 18 lesson plans for use in the teaching of West Virginia studies. Developed by teachers, the plans address a variety of topics, such as statehood, the Civil War, and the Great Depression. They include guiding questions, vocabulary, and lesson activities and meet eighth grade standards for social studies and literacy.

These lesson plans are included in a new section of e-WV called “West Virginia Classroom” that was developed by e-WV for teachers and students. You can visit the Classroom by going here:

Students visiting the Classroom will find links to e-WV articles and access to the e-WV quizzes, especially helpful in preparation for the annual Golden Horseshoe test.  Also included are directions for using some of the site’s special features, including the portfolio function, which allows users to store articles, photos, and videos on a topic in one place. Directions are also provided for using the site’s interactive maps.

Visit the Classroom at and let us know what you think. If you have questions or comments, contact e-WV Editor Becky Calwell at 304-346-8500 or calwell@wvhumanities.orge-WV is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council.

From Joey Wiseman, WVDE Social studies cooridinator

On behalf of:

Becky Calwell, Editor

West Virginia Humanities Council

1310 Kanawha Blvd. E.

Charleston, WV  25301

304.346.8500 – 304.346.8504 (Fax)


Visit the West Virginia Encyclopedia at

Professional Resources SS

This page contains valuable links to professional associations, instructional resources and research resources. The professional associations provide educators with opportunities to stay informed within their fields. The instructional resources include organizations and institutions that provide information for educators seeking practical and creative ways to implement standards-based instruction. The research resources provide theory, skills and strategies to build knowledge and understanding of standards and other related topics

Professional Associations

Instructional Resources

Research Resources

Ohio Dept of Ed

MD Resources

USEFUL Links from the Dept of Ed site in Maryland:

Bookmarks to Useful Sites
Social Studies
HSA – World History Links

European History Resources
Asian Modern World History
Western Hemisphere Modern World History
African Modern World History
Ancient World History
General World History Resources
The World Fact book 2002
Encyclopedia Smithsonian helps answer frequently asked questions about the Smithsonian with links to resources on subjects from Art to Zoology.
History of Medicine.
Primary eyewitness source accounts of events through World and U.S. History
Modern world history primary sources
An immense resource on medieval history. Most documents can be downloaded and used in class or link to other sites for individual research papers.
Repository of primary source collections
Primary and secondary sources divided into eras
Repository of primary source collections
The on-line edition of A & E television’s “Biography” series features reviews of the current top-selling biographies. Videotapes of the programs are available for purchase.
Primary and secondary sources divided into eras
World history archives
Images from world history
What did the common folk to nobility wear in history? From The Roman soldiers to the end of the 19th century is depicted on this site.
Many valuable lessons could involve students in preparing and tasting foods from this historical period.
This extensive hypertext guide contains links to Web sites containing early Christian church historical documents.
Great lessons related to the United Nations and world issues are collected in this elegant, professionally done treasury. Excellent lessons for all grade levels. May need to be modified for elementary.
This is a massive site that provides dozens of links to web sites that deal with all aspects of the major world religions.
A few great lesson plans for elementary teachers to use to help students to examine other cultures objectively. Links to other related resources.
An index of hyperlinks of famous people of the Middle Ages
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Wonders of the African World
Images from history of world art and archaeology for use in the classroom.
African National Congress- documents

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European History Resources
Pictures of the sections of the Bayeaux tapestry
Black Death- Dance of Death Resources
Primary source documents related to feudalism.
European Witch Hunt
Parallel History on NATO and the Warsaw Pact- contains primary sources, many which have been translated into English
PM Robert Peel Web page
King George III Web Page
Hidden London
Museum dedicated to industrialist Robert Owen
Industrial Revolution in England
Victorian London
Coal Mining in Great Britain resources
Women in the Coal Mining Pits
Bristol England and its Connection to the Slave Trade
The History of London- 1939-1945, contains primary sources
Remembering the Blitz Web Page
Cold War International History Project- contains primary sources
The Siege and Commune of Paris
The Easter Uprising, 1916
Irish Republican History Page
European History primary sources
Actually “turn the pages” of manuscripts from the British Library
BBC’s web page of the Munich Agreement
French Revolution- primary sources
The rise of Adolf Hitler
The Triumph of Adolf Hitler
Hitler Youth
Holocaust Timeline
German Occupation of the Rhineland
Warsaw Diaries
The Irish Potato Famine
Irish Potato Famine- Primary Sources
Views of the Irish Potato Famine
The Great Hunger- Irish Potato Famine
The Irish Potato Famine- Archives of Ireland
Genocide in the 20th Century
Extensive resources on the Holocaust
Holocaust Memorial Day, 2003: Children and the Warsaw Ghetto
First-person stories of Jews and non-Jews persecuted by the Nazis and true stories of young people who survived the Holocaust are only two of the features of this very complete site. There is a link to a virtual tour of Auschwitz.
Child Labor in Industrial Great Britain
The history of medicine in Kent, England
The Victorian Web. Everything you ever wanted to know about Victorian Society.
Everything you ever needed to know about the Tudor Dynasty.
This is the official web site of the British monarchy and provides lots of information about palaces, succession and art and jewels of the crown. Some links to other sites.
Exhibition on PM David Lloyd George
Thirty Years War Website
Katyn Forest Massacre: Polish Deaths at Soviet Hands
Polish Home Army Museum
The Warsaw Uprising: Polish Resistance in World War II
MPT’s lesson on Picasso
Eurodocs- Primary sources
Library of Congress’ documents from Soviet Archives
History of Russia
The Alexander Palace Time Machine- Life of Nicholas II and his family
The Influenza Epidemic of 1917-1918
Links to all eras of AP Euro
The AP Mentor- course outline
Albert Einstein Archives

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Asian Modern World History
Students role-play members of a fact-finding team to investigate a variety of resources to arrive at policy conclusions and submit a plan of actions to the U.S. government. Very sophisticated simulation provides a variety of experiences.
The Korea Society- Lesson plans on historic and modern Korea
Asia for Educators- Classroom materials for both Ancient and Modern Asian History
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization

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Western Hemisphere Modern World History
The Canadian Resource Page is a virtual encyclopedia on every aspect of Canada. There are approximately 500 links to information from this site.
Learn about the ancient native peoples of South American and how their culture has evolved over time. Site provides stories, music photographs of this region.

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African Modern World History
This is a great site for elementary students to study the world cultures of Africa. On-line catalog of African items with vivid photographs.
This site gives students plenty of information about both Ancient Egypt and modern Egypt. Can be used as a student research tool.

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Ancient World History
A site of hyperlinks to articles about ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and Europe.
Ancient World Web
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
A great site for information and lesson ideas about the Silk Road.
A collection of primary source Silk Road narratives.
Short biographies of the ancient African kings and queens.
Discover why Mayans continue with some of their age-old traditions. Try your hand and reading and writing in Mayan Hieroglyphics.
A good site for information about the ancient Mayan civilization.
A good site for information about the ancient Inca civilization.
This is a very comprehensive repository of electronic images of 1,373 papyri from ancient Egypt. Most of the documents have not been translated, but it is just interesting to view them.
In addition to much text resources, images of geographical features and archaeological remains of the Nile Valley make this an excellent site. This is a sophisticated site created for a college course.
Students can learn to read and write hieroglyphics. They can make up their own messages and put them into a translator.
Take a virtual tour of the fascinating tomb of Egyptian King Niusere. Includes various links to other interesting sites.
Students will love going to this site and touring the ancient Olympia. This was really designed for upper elementary and high school.
Images of 12 scroll fragments and 29 other are featured in this inviting online exhibit. The teacher resource pages are also helpful.
Most history teachers have heard of the Romans’ Twelve Tables or the Code of Hammurabi, but few have actually seen them on-line. Site includes other Roman Law resources.
A lesson where students will use the Internet to research information about the ancient Olympic Games and Greek culture in order to write about the athletes and to describe aspects of the ancient Olympics in an oral presentation.
This site covers both the prehistoric cultures of Mexico to the society and culture of Mexico today. Some links in English and Spanish.
This site features a variety of recipes for the ancient Romans. Interesting reading and useful if preparing a Roman feast.
This superb on-line version of the National Geographic trek through Mongolia is a fabulous way for students to link history and geography together Links to text, audio or video clips in the most notable site. Speeches that were important in World History can be found on this site. Good way to get primary documents into your classroom.
Discover how the Ancient Greek healers used a person’s dreams to aid in diagnosis. An unusual but interesting site, some translations from Hippocrates.
Another huge collection of resources of ancient Rome, organized into several categories: literature, archaeology, etc.
Asia for Educators- Classroom materials for both Ancient and Modern Asian History
This is a great site for students to learn about the development of China including the dynasties. There are fun and creative ways to teach students about the hands-on approach.
The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang summary and photos.
Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang—The Greatest Archaeological Discovery
Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty
The Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shihuang
The Terra Cotta Army
The Seven Wonders of the World
The Mongols in World History

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Institutions/ Programs
Maryland State Archives
Maryland Historical Society
National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites
Civil War Trust
Veteran’s History Project
Interesting program in Maryland:

Social Studies Rubric- Maryland

Social Studies Rubric

This is the social studies rubric used by teachers in the state of Maryland….

The rubric included is intended for use (by teachers) with every writing assignment.Writing is a performance activity that allows students to reflect and elaborate on how they think and what they know. It is important to extend student understanding of the expectations of the rubric with repeated opportunities to write 5-7 minute Brief Constructed Responses and 25-30 minute Extended Constructed Responses. Many lessons in this packet can be extended to include BCRs and ECRs. Although students have been engaged in writing across the curriculum and having their work scored with MSPAP scoring tools, they will need additional instruction and practice with the Social Studies Rubric. Give students the rubric along with their writing assignment. Remind them that their answers need to include specific details and historical or contemporary applications in order to be “powerful and insightful” responses. Provide feedback and model exemplary responses to BCR and ECR items. Take advantage of the sample Government Prototype Assessment anchor papers and score point descriptors.
Score 4
This response shows understanding of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is insightful, integrates knowledge, and demonstrates powerful application.

  • The application shows powerful evidence of higher order thinking skills.
  • Concepts are accurate and well supported.
  • There are no misconceptions.
  • The response is comprehensive.
Score 3
This response shows some understanding of the content, question, and/or problem. The response includes appropriate application that demonstrates evidence of higher order thinking skills.

  • The application shows some evidence of higher order thinking skills.
  • Concepts are accurate and supported.
  • There are no interfering misconceptions.
  • The response may not develop all parts equally.
Score 2
This response shows knowledge of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is acceptable with some key ideas. The response shows little or no evidence of application.

  • The response includes some basic ideas.
  • The response provides little or no support.
  • There are minimal misconceptions.
Score 1
This response shows minimal knowledge of the content, question, and/or problem. The response is related to the question, but it is inadequate.

  • The response includes incomplete or fragmented ideas or knowledge.
  • There may be significant misconceptions.
Score 0
The response is completely incorrect or irrelevant. There may be no response.
Knowledge and Understanding indicate the degree to which the response reflects a grasp of the content, question, and/or problem presented in the stimulus. The response indicates mastery that progresses from knowledge to understanding.Last Revised June 2001

State of Maryland Dept of Ed


Constitution Day

The Bill of Rights Institute is here to help – with teacher-written resources.

All of these FREE resources will help your students engage with the Constitution and take the work out of classroom preparation for you! What more could you want than standard-aligned, teacher-written resources that are ready to be used in your classroom immediately?

Explore our middle and high school lessons! Each lesson plan includes a warm-up activity, a full lesson, a wrap-up activity, and homework.

They also have videos, games, and quizzes to help bring the Constitution to life for your students and help them see the connection between the Founding and their lives today. Try them out today!

Make Constitution Day a breeze – stop by their website and get your September 17th classroom resources finalized today! It couldn’t be easier!

Mock Trial Program

Here are links to the Law Adventure Mock Trial Program from the Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia.

Middle School 2012-2013

High School 2012-2013

Info from the WV Supreme Court site from last year:

Judges talk truancy, hold mock trials

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Circuit Judge Louis H. “Duke” Bloom will speak to students at Tyler Middle School at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. Judge Bloom will talk about judicial efforts to reduce truancy and show the Supreme Court film The Foundation of Justice: Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Judge Bloom also will preside in two Kanawha County middle school mock trials in his courtroom as part of the Supreme Court’s West Virginia Law Adventure program. Students from Stonewall Jackson Middle School will present their mock trial at 10 a.m. on February 8 while students from Horace Mann Middle School will present their trial at 10 a.m. on February 15.

Twenty-First Judicial Circuit Judge Philip B. Jordan presided in Keyser Primary Middle School’s mock trial on January 27 in his courtroom in Keyser as part of the same program.

Unlike other mock trial programs in which students perform cases using scripts or materials prepared by adults, in West Virginia Law Adventure each class writes its own script based on one of three criminal case scenarios in the Law Adventure rules book. Students mail their written transcripts to the West Virginia State Bar. The Bar’s Young Lawyers Section choses winners, and the winners are invited to perform their mock trials at the Supreme Court.

Students’ trips to the Supreme Court are paid for by a grant from the West Virginia Bar Foundation. Before mailing their transcripts, participating classes have to perform their trials at a courthouse in front of a judicial officer. Trips to the courthouses also are paid for with the grant from the West Virginia Bar Foundation.