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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yes--Even More on Chronicling America

We've run three posts on Chronicling America over the last few weeks (you can find them here, here, and here)--four if you count the post about our new lesson plan, Hazel Hunkins, Billings Suffragist, which relies heavily on articles found in Chronicling America, Why? Because Chronicling America is that cool. I promise we'll move onto other sites and resources soon--but I did want to share some of the ideas teachers sent in about they've been using Chronicling America in the classroom.

Elementary teacher Debbie Crow, wrote: We used Chronicling America and the Silver State Post Archives "to research our little town of Garrison from 1860 to 2015. We made a huge timeline that we placed in our hallway. We have a spaghetti dinner this Friday night when we will show the community."

Dale Alger, the librarian in Roundup, shares articles he's found on the local radio station, KLMB 88.1 FM (available on the internet at fm88roundup.com). (Could your students do this, either for your local radio station or your local newspaper? When she taught English in Chester, Renee Rasmussen used to assign her students the task of finding a “This Week in History” article from the newspaper archives, and getting it to the local paper, which published it as a weekly feature (sponsored, if I remember, by area businesses). I believe each student or pair of students signed up at the beginning of the year to be responsible for a specific week, and they missed their deadline at their peril.)

I also wanted to share a great portal to lesson plans and tutorials that just came to my attention: NDNP (National Digital Newspaper Project) Extras. NDNP Extras has links to helpful tips for searching, webinars and podcasts, and vetted lesson plans--including, as of two weeks ago, Hazel Hunkins! They also link to a nifty page Montana's NDNP staff has created: Extra! Montana News, 1864-1922. The page has interesting Montana topics, from Anti-Chinese Discrimination to the Extermination of Wolves, each with links to Montana newspaper articles, to help you answer the question "How did Montana papers cover the news while it was happening?"

Finally, I wanted to alert ambitious high school teachers of the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Data Challenge. The challenge: to "create a web-based tool, data visualization, or other creative use of the information found in the Chronicling America historic newspaper database."
NEH invites members of the public to produce creative web-based projects demonstrating the potential for using the data found in the Chronicling America website, available at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.  ...
What are we looking for?  NEH encourages contestants to develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative and interesting web-based projects using the open data found in Chronicling America.  ... Entries should uncover trends, display insights, explore a theme, or tell a story.
The Library of Congress has developed a user-friendly Application Program Interface (API), which can be used to explore the data contained in Chronicling America in many ways.  You can learn more about the API at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about/api.  Entrants must use this API to access the data, but are welcome to use existing software or tools to create their projects.
Submissions are due between October 28, 2015 and June 15, 2016, and the NEH is awarding prizes (possibly up to three separate K-12 Student Prizes of $1,000 each.)  Read more here.

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