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ABC-CLIO Defining Moments Downloadables
[ABC-CLIO (800) 368-6868]

         ABC-CLIO has gained recognition as an award-winning publisher of reference works, academic and general interest books, digital resources, and professional development publications and programs for libraries and educators.

ComputED Gazette has been privileged to follow the company's progress, from its more traditional Social Studies resources for middle and high school to databases with a more contemporary flavor, such as Greenwood's Pop Culture Universe, which was reviewed in our Summer 2009 issue.

         This year's EDDIES winner in the
Teacher Tools/Social Studies category is ABC-CLIO Defining Moments Downloadables, a unique 35-part series of primary source-based 'packet' lessons for High School American History students. Each packet is comprised of a ready-made .pdf downloadable/printable lesson plan designed to stimulate effective critical thinking about key events in US History.

Defining Moments offers a fresh perspective, using alternative history to pose questions such as, "What if key events had come out differently?" For example, in the case of John Brown's raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry in 1859, which failed, what if Douglass had openly supported Brown's plans?

         Each packet begins with an
Introduction that focuses on a single key event or turning point in history, as it actually happened. A Need to Know section provides more detailed discussion of the events leading up to, and including, the Defining Moment, followed by a short Timeline of events. A What If? section supposes what might or could have taken place if events within the Defining Moment had turned out differently.

         Two activities conclude the lesson: The first is based on the real history, and supports standards-based requirements; the second is 'counterfactual' or alternate history. Some historical events in the series are Abolition and John Brown's Raid, The Emancipation Proclamation, The First Battle of Bull Run, The Iran Contra Affair, The Spanish American War, The Vietnam War, and more.

         The in-depth discussions in each
Defining Moment, enhanced with contemporary accounts, newspaper cartoons, replicas of authentic maps and other primary sources, are designed to promote creative, analytical thinking in students. Reproducibles are a time-saver for teachers and include explicit lesson objectives, materials and instructions.

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