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Developing Document-based Lessons

On this Website:

Readers Theater - A reader's theater script for eight voices using excerpts from actual letters written to and by pioneer settlers in De Kalb 1803-1810. Excerpts selected by Hortense Brown for a presentation at the Town of De Kalb Historical Association in 2003.


Judge William Cooper Papers - Transcribed letters are all from the Judge William Cooper Papers, which are held by the Stevens-German Library at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Judge William Cooper organized the purchase and settlement of the Town of De Kalb in February, 1803. He headed a group of proprietors who purchased the town and originally held a majority interest the town.


Letters from John Whipple - During the Civil War, John Whipple sent home over 100 letters and kept a pocket diary. His letters cover his training, battles, his time in the hospital and his eventual assignment to the Elmira Prison Camp.


Other Resources:

Authentic History Center - comprised of artifacts and sounds from American popular culture. It was created to teach that the everyday objects in society have authentic historical value and reflect the social consciousness of the era that produced them.


Genealogy Resources from NYS - A bilingual educational resource from the New York State Archives, the Archives Partnership Trust, and Time Warner that focuses on using historical records as learning tools in elementary, middle and secondary education. - A rich website maintained by a working teacher.


Primary Source Materials and Document Based Questioning -  An excellent resource for teachers and school librarians. Visit the site.


Invitation to the Social Ball, February, 1849 - This document is a great starter to get students speculating on the circumstances of this gala event.

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