|Director’s Note: This week, a new e-curriculum for civic education was announced called What So Proudly We Hail, which we believe will be of interest to your membership. This literary-based curriculum, developed by distinguished teacher-scholars Amy and Leon Kass, uses great American stories, speeches, and songs to enhance high school civics, history, social studies, and language arts instruction in the classroom. Free of charge to teachers, this text-rich resource features useful discussion guides, suggested writing prompts, and short video clips, all designed to make history and language arts lessons memorable. A copy of the announcement news release with additional information about this valuable new resource is embedded below.
Availability of the new What So Proudly We Hail e-curriculum corresponds with the 236th birthday of Flag Day in America on Friday, June 14. In celebration of this patriotic holiday, a free e-book called “The Meaning of Flag Day”, has been released to showcase the depth of the What So Proudly We Hail materials. We invite you to explore this collection, which includes selections from notable American authors and statesmen, such as Walt Whitman, Willa Cather, George M. Cohan, and John McCain.
Finally, you and your membership are invited to join the What So Proudly We Hail social media contest in celebration of Flag Day. Entrants can tweet their patriotic flag pictures to #WSPWHFlag for a chance to win a signed copy of the What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song anthology. Best pictures will be featured on our website, and the contest winner will be announced on June 14. Our Twitter address is @WSPWH.
What So Proudly We Hail is an important new resource for teachers and students. We invite you to spread the word among your membership about this valuable online tool. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
All the best,
What So Proudly We Hail e-Curriculum for Civic Education Now Available Online
Rich collection of literary-based materials provides important new resource for teachers seeking to enhance social studies and language arts instruction
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2013 – What So Proudly We Hail, a text-rich e-curriculum developed by award-winning teacher-scholars Amy and Leon Kass, is now available online at www.whatsoproudlywehail.org. The curriculum, which is rooted in the works of great American literary figures, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jack London, and Willa Cather, is available to high school teachers free of charge and is designed to be an easy, go-to source of materials that promote active reading and critical thinking in the classroom, while also inspiring American citizenship.
On the What So Proudly We Hail website, educators will find a variety of useful resources, including “The Meaning of America” discussion guides and model seminars, the “American Calendar” e-book collection, and the “Songs for Free Men and Women” compilation. In addition, the website’s Library section features the complete catalog of What So Proudly We Hail short stories, speeches, study guides, discussion videos, author biographies, and primary texts available for downloading. The collection has been carefully compiled with the goal of not only preparing students for the rigors of college-level coursework, but also of promoting civic literacy and national identity.
“Developing robust and attached American citizens is a matter of both the heart and the head,” said Dr. Leon R. Kass, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago and co-editor of the What So Proudly We Hail anthology that preceded the newly launched e-curriculum. “America’s great stories capture the imagination and can shed light on the meaning of American identity, character, and citizenship. Our materials use these national stories to promote learning not through lectures but through genuine inquiry, thoughtful reflection, and searching conversation.”
The What So Proudly We Hail e-curriculum is well suited for charter schools, private academies, and home school programs but also addresses the needs of public school social studies and language arts teachers seeking meaningful resources to aid in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The materials allow teachers to customize and integrate lessons into current classroom curricula at their discretion, and lessons can be applied across disciplines – not only for civics instruction, but also for English, humanities, and other subject areas.
Within the 10-part “The Meaning of America” series, teachers can access stories and related texts along with suggested questions and discussion guides. Each installment in the series includes an introduction to the subject text, a brief author biography, suggested writing prompts, and short video clips that can be used to foster high-level conversation with students. Likewise, “The American Calendar” section provides teachers with downloadable e-books that showcase each of the national holidays, accompanied by useful question guides and video discussions with the curriculum editors. The e-books help teachers and students explore the purpose and meaning of America’s civic holidays and how these holidays create a sense of national identity.
Educators are praising this new approach to civic education as an important companion to current curricular offerings. Susan Griffin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Social Studies, for example, notes that the What So Proudly We Hail curriculum, “guides teachers and students through our complex and remarkable history with speeches, stories, and songs that illustrate the ideas and spirit that shaped our republic.”
About What So Proudly We Hail
What So Proudly We Hail is a literary-based e-curriculum resource for civic education created by distinguished teacher-scholars Amy and Leon Kass. The curriculum is based on the Kasses’ critically acclaimed anthology of the same name, and uses great American stories, speeches, and songs to enhance civics instruction in the classroom. What So Proudly We Hail has been recognized by educators as an innovative tool for implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing high school students for college-level coursework. For more information about the e-curriculum, visit www.whatsoproudlywehail.org.
Cheryl Miller, 202.419.5208