Education News for March 2024

The First Vote

This primary source is an illustration from Harper’s Weekly, published in November 1867. It shows a group of African American men casting their vote at the ballot box.  Each man is dressed differently: the first is a laborer, the next is presumably a businessman, the third is wearing a Union Army uniform, and the fourth appears to be a farmer. This illustration from Harper’s Weekly demonstrates a hope that economic and political conditions would improve for African Americans. While the Fifteenth Amendment had not yet been ratified at the time of this publication, many states had begun to change their constitutions to allow voting for all free men.
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1870 and stated that U.S. citizens have the right to vote no matter their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” After the Civil War, the United States Congress passed several amendments to extend voting rights to men of all races. 
This source meets the 4.39, 5.43, 8.68, TN.40 and AAH.18 Tennessee social studies standards.
For more primary sources about the 15th Amendment, visit our website under the era of history, Civil War and Reconstruction.  

New Education Outreach Resources!

The Tennessee State Library & Archives is in the final year of a three-year grant project funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC). As a result of this grant project, we’ll be rolling out several new resources in the coming months to aid educators in teaching Tennessee and American history. 
Last fall, we introduced our Activity Bank to educators. Most recently, we shared our new DocsBox Companion videos. In addition to these new resources, we are excited to announce two new enhanced curriculum products. The first is a new Digital Breakout designed to accompany our 4th Grade Review DocsBox. You can find this new digital breakout in our Activity Bank. We have also created a board game to complement our 5th Grade Review, Part 2 DocsBox. Based on the popular game Oregon Trail, our Tennessee Trail game traces the journey John Donelson took on his way to Nashville.
Please join the Library & Archives’ Education Team for a webinar on April 18, 2024, to learn more about other new resources developed in support of primary source analysis in the classroom. We will be showing off all the new and enhanced products that have been created by educators as well as the Library & Archives education team. Join us for this engaging “Show and Tell”! 
Click here to register for this April 18th webinar, which is also the final webinar for the Tennessee Talks:  Piecing Together Tennessee History series.

Discover Tennessee History 2023-2024 Webinar Series

Discover Tennessee History will offer a six-part webinar series for the 2023-2024 school year from October 2023 through March 2024. On the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. CT, one of our partner organizations will offer a one-hour session exploring topics in Tennessee history with related primary sources and educational resources that can be used with your students.
Professional Development credit can be earned for each session.
To register for the 2023-2024 webinars, please complete this form.
Session 6 - March 12, 2024 (Final session for the 2023-2024 school year)
Session Title:  A Local Look at the Founding of the Nation
Presenting Organization:  East Tennessee Historical Society 

Tennessee Talks:  Piecing Together Tennessee History 

Tennessee Talks:  Piecing Together Tennessee History is a webinar series presented by the Tennessee State Library & Archives. 
These hour-long sessions will begin at 4 p.m. CT/ 5 p.m. ET. All webinars will offer educators more innovative ways to teach primary sources that keep students engaged with the Tennessee Social Studies Curriculum Standards. 
Upcoming sessions include:
March 21   W.C. Handy
April 18     Library & Archives Education Team Show and Tell
Questions? Email

2024 Historians in Training:  Jr. Archivist Summer Camp

Registration is now open for the 2024 Historians in Training: Jr. Archivist Summer Camp! The Library & Archives once again welcomes children ages 8-12 to learn about the work of archives, libraries, and historians during a weeklong educational summer camp running from June 10-14, 2024. Campers will participate in hands-on activities, interactive games, and local field trips within walking distance of the Library & Archives. Before and after care will be provided. If interested, please click here for more information and registration forms.

National History Teacher of the Year - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Nominate a teacher today! This award recognizes exceptional K-12 American history teachers across the country. American history may be taught as an individual subject or as part of other subjects, such as social studies, reading, or language arts. The national winner is chosen from among state winners and receives a $10,000 prize and a trip to the national award ceremony in their honor in New York City. State winners receive a $1,000 prize, an archive of classroom resources, and recognition at a ceremony in their state.
Deadline for 2024 nominations:  April 30, 2024
Deadline for 2024 nominees to submit supporting materials:  May 31, 2024
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