Day In History: October 9-16 Free Resources

Free Resource Corresponding to a Day In History for each of these topics/people: The Washington Monument, Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Clinton, Columbus Day, Margaret Thatcher, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thomas Edison, John Brown

Many struggling readers in upper grades do not have the background information the writer expects and therefore have difficulty comprehending material. Help your students develop background knowledge by leading a discussion each day inspired by an event in history. You may wish to use one of the resources at the bottom of the webpage to give you a differentiated passage for your students to read, or share the event in history and use the free resources listed on this webpage to help develop important information your students can later use to help them understand text.

October 9: Washington Monument

The Washington Monument opened to the public on October 9, 1888. 

C-Span has a short, 5-minute television clip on the History of the Washington Monument. At the time of this blog post, the Washington Monument is scheduled to reopen later this month. It has been closed for repairs that include modernizing the elevator and increasing reliability and safety. The live cam has not been operational, but it should be when the monument reopens. Click here to be taken to the website.

October 10: Susan B. Anthony

President Jimmy Carter signed the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Act into law on October 10, 1978, marking the first time a US coin was circulated with an image of a woman. features a short video (less than three minutes) on Susan B. Anthony. It is a good introduction for a classroom.

October 11: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was the First Lady of the United States, a US Senator, Secretary of State, and the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States. October 11, 1975, Hillary Rodham married Bill Clinton. 

The website for Hillary Clinton has a section about Hillary’s life which starts with information on her childhood and concludes with remarks about her concession speech at the conclusion of the 2016 presidential election. There is also a tab devoted to Hillary’s current projects and one devoted to her vision for America. The website also includes her social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and an address to contact her.

October 12: Columbus Day

One of the crew of Christopher Columbus spotted land in the Americas on October 12, 1492. 

NEA presents lessons, activities videos and other resources with a range of opinions on Christopher Columbus. Activities are focused primarily on grades K-5, however some of them (such as the exhibition from the Library of Congress, primary source documents, tools of navigation, and the videos) are appropriate for older students as well.

October 13: Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain was born October 13, 1925.

Surfnetkids has several resources for Margaret Thatcher. It includes video highlights, quotes by Margaret Thatcher, stories from her life, a link to the official site of her foundation. and New York Times archives (including a video and slide show),

October 14: Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 14, 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower was born.

The website for the Presidential Library of Dwight D. Eisenhower is a valuable resource on Dwight Eisenhower. Clicking on the Eisenhowers brings information about the lives of Ike and Mamie, residences, pets, quotes, speeches and more. Images are included. Research includes online documents, oral histories, photographs, and other resources.

October 15: Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison has been called America’s greatest inventor. October 15, 1878, Thomas A. Edison started the Edison Electric Light Company.

The Edison Innovation Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the Edison Legacy and encourages STEM careers. It is committed to education future great innovators. The website has links to many valuable resources including:

  • biographical information
  • Edison inventions
  • TED talks
  • quotes
  • STEM resources
  • competitions
  • images

October 16: John Brown

John Brown, abolitionist, attacked the United States Army and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1859.

The National Museum of American History has created another unique opportunity for social studies classrooms. If your students participated in the earlier one (Benedict Arnold) they will enjoy another opportunity for a similar experience. An actor portraying John Brown discusses various actions and at the end the audience (students) determine if he was justified in using violence. The video is divided in segments by theme and includes a complete teacher resource. Links to secondary resources are included. The plan, designed to last two to three days, is well-designed and sure to be engaging.

Additional Resources for each of these topics.

Looking for additional resources? Reading Specialty has differentiated reading passages to go with each topic above.

Students read the differentiated passage and use the questions in standardized test format to check comprehension and help students prepare for high-stakes testing. Each passage contains these types of questions:

• main idea

• vocabulary

• organizational patterns

• inference

• summarizing

Nonfiction passages are based on an event which occurred on this day in history. This passage is completely stand alone and appropriate for any day of the year. Mix and match by purchasing the topics you want or save with monthly bundles and give your students daily opportunities to develop background knowledge and improve their comprehension.

Passages have been evaluated using a minimum of 5 different readability formulas. The first passage is the most challenging, with an average reading level of 9th-10th grade. The second passage has an average readability of 8th grade. The third passage averages a 6th-7th grade level. With teacher introduction and background information, the passages have been used successfully with younger readers.

One subject for the class with differentiated passages allows the teacher to discuss, develop background knowledge, show a video clip or engage the full class yet provide for individual differences.

Students and teachers using multiple passages can assess student progress. Diagnostic charting shows teachers and students patterns of errors with main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarization. Compiling data is easy and motivating with student completed charts.

Included in each lesson:

➢A nonfiction passage written at three different grade levels

➢Questions over the passage for each level.

➢An answer key

➢A chart to monitor progress and collect data in the five assessed areas (main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarizing)

NOTE: Product is NOT editable.

Click the link below to be redirected to the resource.

The Washington Monument

Susan B. Anthony

Hillary Clinton

Christopher Columbus

Margaret Thatcher

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thomas Edison

John Brown