Free online resources for each of these topics:
Salem Witch Trials, Theador Seuss Geisel, Child Labor, Hindenburg, Boston Massacre, Dred Scott, Challenger
March 1–Salem Witch Trials
March 1, 1692 the Salem witch trials begin in Massachusetts.
The Stanford History Education Group consists of Stanford faculty, and graduate students seeking to improve education. One of the services they provide is free materials for classrooms. A free sign up for an account is required to access the resources. The lesson Salem Witch Trials uses the interest students have in the topic to help them utilize historic sources to understand the causes of the events in Massachusetts. Following an introductory activity and reading, groups of students are given historical evidence to analyze. Using a graphic organizer they describe the piece of evidence and determine what the piece of evidence says about why the people of Salem believed the girls and what was happening at the time in historic Salem. The culminating activity is a paragraph about the causes of the Salem Witch trials.
March 2–Theador Seuss Geisel
March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel the famous author of children’s author was born.
Seussville is a wonderful website (be sure you have plenty of time–(it is easy to get engrossed in this site) from Random House. It has information about Dr. Seuss including a timeline, art gallery, biographical sketch, and photos. There are short video clips of favorite stories. Kids will enjoy the online games. Clicking on the educator icon brings lots of resources for you and your students, including ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and printable. This website is extremely engaging.
March 3–Child Labor
The first US child labor law regulating working hours passed in Massachusetts on March 3, 1842.
Lesson plans from the Library of Congress are well-developed and help students with critical analyzing skills. The lesson on Child Labor has multiple facets. It begins with a discussion or review of the Industrial Revolution. Next students explore the definition of primary sources and read the Lewis Hine’s Report on Child Labor in the Cotton Mills of Mississippi. Discussion questions are provided. Using downloaded or projected photographs, students next analyze primary source photographs. As a culminating activity students are divided into research teams where they take on the role of historian, editor, photojournalist, and news reporter to create a print newspaper, storyboard, newsletter, or multi-media presentation following the guidelines for each role presented in the lesson.
March 4–the Hindenburg
The Hindenburg disaster is one of the most famous aviation tragedies in history. Read about the March 4, 1936 first voyage of the Hindenburg and about this historic aircraft.
Original footage of the Nazi airship the Hindenburg is available here. Video is 5:00 and shows actual footage of the disaster.
March 5–Boston Massacre
March 5, 1770, British troops shot and killed five civilians in the Boston Massacre.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation provides videos, lesson plans, and interactive web games free after forming an account. One of these lessons The Boston Massacre: Who Was to Blame asks students to look at primary sources including eyewitness accounts written from various perspectives and then write letters to the editor expressing who they feel was to blame for the Boston Massacre.
March 6–Dred Scott
March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court rules in the Dred Scott Case. Read to find out about the life of Dred Scott and this historic court case.
Landmarkcases.org gives teachers tools to help students understand important court cases. The case Dred Scott v.Sandford (1857). The resource provides background information with questions for discussion (at multiple reading levels), leveled vocabulary, relevant legal concepts, a map activity, a classification activity based on the arguments in the case, analysis of a political cartoon, photos and questions about monuments to Dred Scott, and analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s speech about the Dred Scott decision. To access the answers and differentiation ideas, teachers will need to sign up and create a Street Law Store account (which is free).
March 7, 1986 divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of the Challenger on the ocean floor.
Christa McAuliffe, the first educator in space, had planned to film science lessons to be viewed by students. Due to the tragic disaster, this never happened. Astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold decided to fulfill her mission aboard the International Space Station as a tribute to McAuliffe. From the NASA website, video lessons are available on Newton’s Laws, Liquids in Microgravity, Effervescence, Chromatography, Leaf Chromatography, and Walking Rainbows.