Inquiry with Jackdaws

What are Jackdaws?

A Jackdaw is your personal archive of hands-on primary source materials. They are an array of fascinating, relevant primary source documents delivered directly to students. Most documents are reproduced in their actual sizes for you to touch and explore over and over. Transcripts and translations of difficult to read documents are provided for better understanding. Jackdaw primary sources encourage critical thinking and analysis, and augment retention of information in a variety of interdisciplinary disciplines.

Please keep in mind that entire sets of documents do not need to be used at once. Please feel free to cherry pick certain documents to create the ideal lesson for your grade. Also, the items within the different subjects are a range of reading levels (sometimes in Old English or cursive).

Jackdaws are also a wonderful way to incorporate many of the new key concepts of the Common Core Social Studies framework.

Inquiry + Essential Questions

Jackdaws are wonderful examples of primary resource documents that are ideal for inquiry projects and developing essential questions. Students have the information that they need for a rich learning experience and deep understanding when given the opportunity to use primary resources. Using Jackdaws helps students focus on a particular topic or time period and explore the information at their own pace. Students can then report findings of their research to their class or group. Once these findings have been reported, information can be consolidated and then applied to different projects and is retained as knowledge.

Early America

New York State History (750010)


This Jackdaw students on a fascinating and informative journey through New York State history, from the days when the Algonquin and Iroquois ruled the region, to the middle of the 20th century, when New York became host to the world's peacekeepers, the United Nations. Along the way, students will learn about New York's early years as first a Dutch and then a British colony; its pivotal role in the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution; and they will meet many of the state's famous sons and daughters, whose invaluable contributions helped to make New York the Empire State. New York State History is written expressly for 4th grade-level readers. It contains ready-to-use, hands-on primary source documents, most in their original sizes, and reproducible Broadsheets, which provides historical background for understanding the documents.

Indians of North America (750028)


Early settlers labelled the Indians as brutal savages, though they drove them from their lands in a way which now appears far more savage than anything perpetrated by the Indians themselves. This Jackdaw shows the Indians (Native Americans) in their traditional role as fearless fighters, and brilliant hunters and trackers, able to survive in hostile forest or barren desert. But it also shows the enormous variety of people who call themselves Indian and it illustrates those aspects of their lives for which they should be much better known: their superb and spontaneous art, whether expressed in the carved totem poles of the west coast or the brilliant blankets of New Mexico; the legends and myths by which they explained the world about them, and the humane and sensible ways in which they were capable of organizing their societies. It shows how they retained their courage and dignity even in the confines of the reservation or at the massacre of Wounded Knee.

The French and Indian War (750049)


Students will learn the importance of the 150-year contest between Great Britain and France for the domination of North America. The hands-on documents — historical maps, battle plans, contemporary newspaper accounts, officers’ notes — add up to a comprehensive narrative of the war. Students will want to consider how this war, ending with Treaty of Paris boundaries in 1763, shaped the territory for the United States, and determined its language, English, not French. Furthermore, students may consider how this war set the stage for the Revolutionary War as the British taxed the colonies to pay their war debt. Historian: James A. Crutchfield. The contents of this Jackdaw feature: Broadsheets, Timeline & Illustrious Personalities Historical Documents, Study Guide / Lesson Plan — Reproducible Activities.

Salem Village and the Witch Hysteria (750008)


In the year 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was thrust into the midst of the worst outbreak of witchcraft that the New World ever witnessed. Beginning in the house of the minister at Salem Village, where his daughter and niece were convulsed in strange fits, the hysteria spread throughout much of Massachusetts, sending civil, religious and normal life into confusion. Many believed that the Devil himself was attacking the Colony, and with innocent young girls crying out against suspects and over forty persons confessing to being witches, a special court was set up to seek out the guilty. This Jackdaw, through original documents and broadsheets, explores background, events and personalities involved in this, the most famous series of witchcraft trials in history.

Jamestown Colony (750015)


As the location of the first elected legislative assembly in what would become the United States, Jamestown Colony established the roots of American democracy. Yet the colony's pattern of conflict with Native Americans and the development of slavery as a system of labor are legacies that cloud our nation's history. This well-balanced collection of primary source documents-which includes John Smith's map of Virginia, literature promoting colonization, correspondence from an indentured servant, European drawings of Native Americans, Bacon's rebellious declaration, and photographs of archaeological artifacts-demonstrates to students the adventurous and idealistic side of colonial life as well as the harsh reality of settlers struggling to survive in the New World.

Patriots and Loyalists (750009)


By some estimates, as many as twenty percent of American colonists remained loyal to the king during the Revolutionary War. Some Loyalists-or Tories, as they were called by the Revolutionaries-sought refuge from Patriot wrath by fleeing to England, Canada, or other areas under British control. Those who remained faced reprisals, punitive laws, and even confiscation of their property. Immerse your students in the difficult and dangerous world of the Loyalists with this rich assortment of primary source documents, ranging from Lord Dunmore's proclamation encouraging slaves to join the British, to a list of Loyalists prisoners held in New York City, a Continental Congress resolution recommending pardons for Loyalists, depositions of men held prisoner by Loyalists, and British and American political cartoons.

Boston Tea Party (750020)


To protest a special tea tax England had imposed upon her American colonies, members of the patriot group Sons of Liberty dressed up as Indians one cold December night in 1773, boarded three British ship, and dumped 342 chest of tea into Boston Harbor. England's response to this brazen act of rebellion, the Coercive Acts (known in America as the Intolerable Acts), would so punish and enrage colonists that war became virtually inevitable. Bring to life the high charged atmosphere of pre-Revolutionary War America with these fascinating and informative primary source documents, including a letter defending the tea party, protest broadsides, a newspaper account of the incident, a contemporary political cartoon, and a Boston Tea Party song.

Lexington and Concord (750012)


On April 19, 1775, British troops marched on the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord on orders to disarm rebellious American colonists and arrest their ringleaders. Little did they know that the ensuing conflicts would ignite the American Revolutionary War. Using an array of primary source document that includes a contemporary map with military camps and troop movements, Amos Doolittle engravings, and British and American propaganda broadsides, this Jackdaw details the events of the day as well as the causes and immediate aftermath. An illustrated Broadsheet Essay provides essential background to facilitate document analysis and understanding.

The American Revolution (750022)


The Boston tea party was only one of the incidents which reflected the colonists' dissatisfaction with British rule, but it led directly to the closing of the port of Boston, the drafting of a declaration of rights and grievances, and the outbreak of the American Revolution. This Jackdaw re-creates those years of struggle until Britain acknowledged the independence of America in 1783. A letter from George Washington to the American Governor Clinton, and pages from a young British officer's journal which recall the terrors of the icy winter of 1779, are among the exhibits. Also included is a facsimile of one of the most famous documents in the world-the Declaration of Independence-together with the original draft which carries notes and amendments made by Jefferson, Franklin and their colleagues. A royal proclamation from King George III, a propaganda handbill, military orders, contemporary battle plans and cartoons all highlight the revolutionary war.

Story of the Declaration of Independence (750026)


The turbulent events leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the important issues and significant historical figures are presented in a fully reproducible format: four easy-to-read broadsheets with vocabulary words and critical thinking questions for easier teaching; a timeline; and six highly motivating suggestions. Accompanying these are ten hands-on historical document facsimiles. This is a portfolio that can truly make history more real for students at all levels.

The Story of the Constitution (750024)


The creation of the U.S. Constitution is presented in a fully-reproducible recourse book containing three chapters - Nation Building, The Debate, and From Compromise to Constitution - which describe the writing of the Constitution, and introduce historical figures and the significant events and issues needed to understand the Constitution. These manageable, reproducible chapters are complete with vocabulary words and critical thinking questions for easier teaching. The resource book also features a timeline and seven highly motivating reading/activities sections, plus a reading list and "Places to Visit" suggestions. Accompanying the resource book is a lively, reproducible newspaper - The Jackdaw Times - and ten, hands-on historical document facsimiles.

Louisana Purchase and its Legacy (750011)


Take students behind the scenes of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, an epic land deal between the economically troubled French government and the United State, which not only doubled the size of our country but also put our fledgling constitution to the test. Historic documents include: a 1775 French map of Louisiana Territory, selected treaty pages, letters from Thomas Jefferson and Zebulon Pike, an act of Congress authorizing the president to take possession of Louisiana Territory, and an excerpt from the memories of the French governor of Louisiana. This focus Jackdaw also includes an illustrated Broadsheet Essay that provides essential background to facilitate document analysis and understanding, a timeline of key events, a reading list form more in-depth study, and critical thinking questions.

Lewis and Clark Expedition: 1804 - 1806 (750032)


Take your students on the exciting eight thousand mile journey of Lewis and Clark. Study the hands-on documents - Jefferson's instructions to Lewis, the 1814 map of their routes and drawings of the Indians and natural wonders discovered along the way. Read an 1806 newspaper account of their return after 28 months in the West. Broadsheets discuss the story from the Louisiana Purchase to the end of the journey and beyond.

Erie Canal (750016)


After the American Revolution, there was a growing need for an efficient transportation route that would connect settlements west of the Appalachians with trading centers along the East Coast. The answer to this dilemma would be the Erie Canal, a 363-mile-long water highway across New York State that linked Lake Erie to the Atlantic seaboard, Using this engaging set of Primary source documents-which includes a full-color map and profile of the canal, an official canal guide, contemporary illustrations, and the boyhood recollections of a man who traveled west along the canal-students will learn how the Erie Canal served as a catalyst for great social and economic change in New York State and throughout the nation.

The Oregon Trail (750029)


Oregon Fever, thousands had it and the only cure was to pack up and head for the land that was new and a life that was uncertain. Beginning in 1841, and for more than 20 years, nearly 400,000 people ventured west on the Oregon Trail. Some had heard of opportunities for successful farming, some hoped the gentle climate would cure what ailed them, and others dreamed of freedom from prejudice and financial hardship. They all had something in common: facing the unknown, and all the joys and sorrows that went with it.

The Civil War (750013)


Hundreds of thousands of men lost their lives in America's Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865: the Southern Confederacy's casualties were 260,000, while the Northern Union lost 360,000. And of those who died only a third were killed in action-the rest died from wounds and disease. This Jackdaw examines and discusses the background to the war, the friction between pro-slaver Southern states and the abolitionist north which split America, and describes the long and bitter struggle in which, despite many bloody battles, no decisive victories were won. Illustrations, posters, military documents and personal letters, bring to life the thoughts and actions of Civil War leaders like Lincoln, Jackson, Grant and Lee, and the "Billy Yanks" and "Johnny Rebs" who fought under them, showing the stark realities of a war which divided a nation.

Immigration: 1870-1930 (750025)


The United States has always been a nation of cultural and racial diversity. In the years after 1870, America's cultural mosaic was enlarged and enriched by a great tide of new immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and a smaller wave from Asia. These new immigrants were more often Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Jewish than Protestant and primarily peasants rather then artisans or workers. Driven by population growth and commercialization of agriculture, millions of these new immigrants were drawn to America's booming cities by the availability of unskilled jobs. They not only filled American industry's such as the manufacture of ready to wear clothing. Most new immigrants led lives of heavy and unremitting toil and lived in abysmal conditions, but they were able to build rich culture communities, found churches and synagogues and create homes that allowed their children to become middle class Americans.

Ellis Island: The Immigrants' Experience (750023)


This Jackdaw photo collection contains 12, extra large, black-and-white photographs illustrating an important historical event. THe photos are printed on glossy,heavy-duty stock ready to be easily displayed in classrooms, hallways, libraries and offices. Each photograph in the collection is truly thought-provoking and directly involves the viewer. A detailed caption fully describes each photo and its source. Each photo collection includes an easy-to-use open-ended, photo-analysis worksheet that may be reproduced for every student. With the help of this worksheet, students really get into the photos and see interesting things they otherwise might have missed.

World War I: 1914-1928 (750031)


Some historians have called World War I the single-most significant event to occur in the 20th century. Beginning in 1914, when the arch-duke of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Bosnia, the conflict eventually involved Great Britain, France, and Russia versus Germany and Austria-Hungary. Before the conflict's awful destruction and aftermath had passed, 28 of the world's powers, including the United States, had become embroiled in military campaigns. When the war was over it claimed nearly 38-million casualties. Germany, the loser, faced financial crisis. The war's total cost was estimated to be 332-billion dollars. WWI was responsible for the Russian Revolution that led to the formation of the U.S.S.R. and the rise of Communism. The map of Europe was redrawn. The drastic reparations demands place upon a bankrupt Germany were responsible for the rise of Adolf Hitler, Nazism, and the Third Reich.

Anne Frank's World (750021)


Why did Anne Frank and her family flee from Germany to the Netherlands in 1933? Why did the family go into hiding in 1942? How did the Franks and four others survive for two years in a secret annex above an office? Who helped and protected them? And how were they discovered by the German police? Through personal narratives, photographs, and diary pages this Jackdaw surveys the world outside the secret annex - the fate of Anne's friends; the resistance and deportation of Amsterdam's Jews; the escape of some; the help of many in the Christian population; the betrayal by others. It follows Anne after her arrest, from Westerbork to Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen, where, with her sister, Margot, she perished, and from where -through her famous diary-she entered world history as the personification of all the Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust and as a universal symbol of the human spirit.

The Holocaust (750003)


Students will quickly realize the tragedy of overwhelming moral magnitude and great historical significance that was the Holocaust. The hands-on historical documents are powerful: the chronology from Yad Vashen; Reich Citizenship Law stripping Jews of all rights; photos of the horrors of the Holocaust; Hitler's directive by Bormann on the "Jewish Question"; extraordinary maps labeled with countries and numbers of Jews to go to death camps. This Jackdaw examines the evolution of prejudice from origin to its modern, fatal culmination in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question."

Japanese-American Internment (750002)


Your students will identify with the plight of Japanese internees as told in their letters, diaries and photos. Discuss this tragic chapter of U.S. history to teach the dangers of majority abuse of a minority group. This jackdaw provides the complete story of Pearl Harbor in 1941 through FDR's Executive Order 9066 to President Reagan's official apology with reparation in 1988. Historians: Leona Hiraoke and Ken Masugi.

World War II: Life at Home (750027)


Introduce your students to the Americans who fought World War II from the home front, the welders who made bombers and tanks; the students who gathered scrap and planted victory gardens; the citizens who did without meat, bought war bonds, endured air raid blackouts, and served in the Civil Defense, with this exciting collection of primary source documents. A replica of a ration book and government publications on rationing, excerpts from a Civil Defense manual and a Civil Defense identification card, documents concerning labor strikes and prejudice in the workplace, newspaper advertisements and front pages and a canteen welcome card are just some of the full size documents that help bring to life this singular time in American history.

The Vietnam War (750030)


After consultation between the governments of South Vietnam and the United States, the U.S. Government has agreed to the request of the Government of Vietnam to station two U.S. Marine Corps Battalions in the DaNang area to strengthen the general security of the DaNang Air Base complex. With these simple words began a military presence that would within four years involve an army of half a million men. It would also create a divisive atmosphere at home. It was America's longest war.

Cuban Missile Crisis (750014)


The world came close to a nuclear Armageddon during thirteen days in October 1962, when the U.S. and Soviet Union, over-armed with nuclear weapons, came to eyeball over the issue of Sovietmissiles in Cuba. Take students behind the scenes of this tension-filled, unparalleled event with a though provoking collection of primary source documents that includes: U-2 spy plane photos, a CIA map of missile installations, correspondence between President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Khushchev, text of Kennedy's televised speech to the nation, a memorandum from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, newspaper front pages, and political cartoons. This Jackdaw also includes an illustrated Broadsheet Essay that provides essential background to facilitate documnent analysis and understanding, a timeline of key events, a reading list for more in-depth study, and critical thinking questions.

Assassination of President Kennedy (750001)


The November 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy has sparked more controversy and left more unanswered questions than perhaps any other event in modern history. Who killed President Kennedy? How was he killed? Was his death the result of a domestic or foreign conspiracy? Was the official Warren Commission part of a government cover up? This jackdaw originally published in England in 1967 before the facts could become blurred or adjusted by the passage of time, offers students a unique opportunity to handle and analyze documentary evidence, including a full size reproduction of the alleged weapon, F.B.I. photographs and eyewitness autopsy report, official Warren Commission exhibits, excerpts from Jacqueline Kennedy's testimony to the Warren Commission, and a full-color model of Dealey Plaza. The documents are sure to inspire classroom debate and help students form their own hypotheses and opinions.

The Cold War (750050)


Your students will gain a solid understanding of the Cold War era that led to the nuclear arms race, and has now resulted in worldwide concern with the control and disposal of nuclear weapons and waste. Hands-on documents convey the fear, hysteria and brinkmanship diplomacy of those perilous days.Cold War personalities - Winston Churchill, JFK, and Harry Truman - come alive, as do Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee proceedings through the hands-on-history documents. Broadsheets detail the era from beginning to end. Historian: Stephen Forman. The contents of this Jackdaw feature: Broadsheets, Timeline: 1945-94 Historical Documents, and Study Guide / Lesson Plan – Reproducible Activities.

The Struggle for Women's Rights in America (750004)


Use the documents and broadsheets in this Jackdaw to experience first-hand the struggle for women's rights, chronicled from the 1600s through the 1970s. Letters from Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony, a page from the 1647/48 Maryland Council Proceedings, newspaper articles on suffragist conventions and marches, political cartoons, and sheet music for "I'm a Suffragette" are included, as well as a composite of portraits of outstanding women's rights activists of the 19th century. This Jackdaw is the appropriate reading level for upper-elementary and middle school students, and for high school students reading below grade level. It contains ready-to-use primary source documents, most in their original sizes, and reproducible Broadsheet Essays, which provide historical background for understanding the documents.

Slavery + The Civil Rights Movement

Slavery in the United States (750041)


The classroom display of the slave sale poster, bill of sale for a slave, and the Emancipation Proclamation provided in this Jackdaw will help your students understand the human tragedy of slavery and Lincoln's efforts to halt the practice and save the Union. The historical documents dramatically show the consequences of slavery on slaves, their owners and our nation to your students.

Underground Railroad (750005)


Take your students on a trip on the Underground Railroad, the loosely organized routes to freedom used by fugitive slaves before and during the Civil War. This extraordinary collection of fourteen primary source documents, including narratives by Underground Railroad conductors and runaway slaves; an Antebellum map showing slave and free states; runaway slave advertisements and a reward flier; a freedom certificate; a front page of "The North Star"; abolitionist broadsides; a plan of the Canadian Elgin Settlement; photographs; and the Joint Resolution of Congress, signed by Abraham Lincoln, submitting on proposed Thirteenth Amendment to the states for ratification, graphically illustrates the political, economic, and human aspects of slavery as well as the courage and ingenuity of runaway slaves and those who helped guide them to freedom.

Emancipation Proclamation (750048)


This jackdaw portfolio will familiarize students with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Border States, and the Missouri Compromise. They will also learn about what it was like to be enslaved, how the abolitionists portrayedslavery, and the effects of emancipation. Historian: Christine Scriabine SUPPORT MATERIALS: Illustrated Broadsheet Essay, Timeline, Recommended Reading List, Critical Thinking Questions with Response Key. Primary Source Documents are also included.

Jim Crow Era (750018)


The term "Jim Crow" signifies the elaborate legal and social structure the South used to enforce the continued subordination of the black population after emancipation. This codified system of segregation denied free blacks assess to the political process, limited their education and economic opportunities, and dehumanized them based on false notions of white superiority. In addition, southern whites employed terror through intimidation and extra legal violence, especially lynching, to doom the promise of Reconstruction. Show students what life was like for black Americans during the Jim Crow era with this thought-provoking collection of primary source documents that includes eyewitness accounts of terrorization and lynching, examples of discriminatory laws and voter registration requirements, newspaper pages and pamphlet excerpts documenting black American's struggle against the enduring prejudice of Jim Crow.

Dred Scott Decision (750017)


The Dred Scott case began in 1846 when two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed freedom suits in the St. Louis Circuit Court. It ended over a decade later with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would obstruct future compromises between the North and the South on the issue of slavery and propel the nation closer to civil war. Show students the great historical significance of the Dred Scott court decision with this unique array of authentic, primary source documents, including Dred Scott's petition to sue for his freedom; excerpts from the Supreme Court's majority and minority opinions; excerpts from speeches by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Stephan Douglas; a Southern newspaper editorial; an abolitionist broadside; a political cartoon from the election of 1860; and an interview with Dred Scott.

Segregation: Before Civil Rights (750051)


Jackdaw Photo Collections each consist of twelve, extra-large, 17" x 22", black-and-white photographs illustrating an important historical subject. The photos are printed on glossy, heavy-duty stock ready to be easily displayed in classrooms, libraries, hallways and offices. Each photograph in a collection is truly thought-provoking and directly involves the viewer. A detailed caption fully describes each photo and its source. Each Photo Collection includes an easy-to-use, open-ended, photo-analysis worksheet that may be reproduced for every student. With the help of this worksheet, students really get into the photos and see interesting things they otherwise might have missed. Each Photo Collection comes ready-to-use for a highly memorable experience.

Brown v. Board of Education (750019)


Explore with your students the landmark 1954 Supreme Court school segregation case, Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka et al., which overturned the 1896 Pressy v. Ferguson doctrine of "separate but equal" facilities for the races and opened the door for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Eight critical primary source documents, including United States District and Supreme Court exhibits, expert testimony, and rulings; the front page of the May 17, 1954 issue of the Topeka State Journal; and the Southern Manifesto, graphically illustrate the crucial role Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka et al. played in redefining what it means to be equal in America.

The Great Depression

Stock Market Crash of 1929 (750007)


October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, marks an unforgettable day in American history and the end of the reckless prosperity of the 1920s. On that day at theNew York Stock Exchange, frenzied investors sold off stocks, panicked by falling share prices from the weeks before. In an unlikely chain of events, like a perfect storm, forces came together to bring on the Great Depression, an era of joblessness, poverty, hunger, and want. Students will experience the full impact of the great stock market crash of 1929 with primary sources such as humorous and grim political cartoons, a pre-crash article encouraging stock investment, stock purchase and loan documents, Black Tuesday ticker tape, an interview with a man who lost his life savings.

The Great Depression in America (750006)


On October 29, 1929, the New York stock market crashed, heralding the onset of the Great Depression. By 1933, between 12 and 15 million workers were unemployed. What were conditions really like in the cities? What problems did the farmers face? How was the discontent of the nation manifested? Through the use of historical documents such as newspapers, photographs, flyers, and posters, students will experience the fear, discouragement, futility, and anger of Americans as they attempted to survive the black days of the Depression. Students will also learn how Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies started to turn things around, and how these policies shifted power and control from big business to the federal government. This Jackdaw is the appropriate reading level for upper-elementary, middle school, and high school students reading below grade level.

The Depression (750040)


On October 29, 1929, the New York Stock market crashed and heralded the onset of the Great Depression. It has been estimated that between twelve to fifteen million workers were unemployed by 1933. What were conditions really like in the cities? What problems did the farmers face? How was the discontent of the nation manifested? In a format designed for both personal knowledge and classroom participation, this Jackdaw puts the evidence directly in the reader’s hands. Through the use of historical documents - newspapers, pictures, flyers, posters, etc. - the reader can sense the feelings of fear, discouragement, futility and anger as the people attempted to survive the black days of the Depression.


A History of Political Party Parties in America (750034)


Most students will be surprised to learn that the modern U.S. two party political system did not always exist and that our Constitution makes no provision for political parties. Hands-on historical documents, newspapers, broadsides, campaign posters and photos trace the issues, growth and changes in American politics. Scenes from the 19th-century campaign trail and two collections of political cartoons enliven this topic. Documents concerning Nixon, JFK and Reagan update this Jackdaw.

The Presidency (750035)


As head of the executive branch of government, the President of the United States has one of the most influential jobs in the world today. But much has changed since George Washington was sworn in as our nation's first president on April 30, 1789 While Article ll of the Constitution provides a basic job description for the chief executive-including powers, qualification, terms of office, and the election process, the explanation of how the president is able to carry out these duties is surprisingly vague. The Framers of the Constitution left it up to the individuals elected president to determine their specific role in national and world affairs. But presidential powers are not unlimited. The legislative and judicial branches, through the system of checks and balances, also play an important part in defining the job of the president. This Focus jackdaw traces the evolution of the Presidency from its beginnings to the present day.

The Electoral College (750043)


This Jackdaw portfolio will help students learn what the Electoral College is and how it works, the origin and history of the Electoral College, and the pros and cons of the Electoral college system. The historian uses primary source documents from as early as 1801 and as recent as 2000. Teachers and students alike will gain a better understanding of the Electoral College system by using this portfolio.


Columbus and the Age of Explorers (750038)


This Jackdaw sheds new light on Columbus the entrepreneur, the native peoples he and others encountered, and prior European explorations of the North American continent through the historian's revealing perspective on theexplorers' contacts, encounters and relationships with the natives. Students will study both history and geography using the many maps and other hands-on documents, and gain a fresh view of the age of exploration.

Cortes and the Aztecs (750039)


Share one of history's most exciting and improbable true adventures with your students - the conquest of the mighty Aztec Empire by Cortés and his small army. In the savage battles, which gained the Aztec Empire for Spain, Cortésand his followers destroyed a magnificent ancient civilization. This Jackdaw presents the evidence of that civilization and describes the way in which it met its end. Your students will be intrigued by "Cortes' plan of Tenochititlan" and other hands-on documents.

Marco Polo and His Journey to China (750033)


With this Jackdaw, students will learn about Marco Polo, the first European to travel clear across Asia, and all through China, and write about what he had seen. The life and adventures of this remarkable man, as well as the historical impact of his controversial book, The Adventures of Marco Polo, are examined through eight intriguing primary source documents, including: panels from the 14th century Catalan Atlas, reproduced in full color; a Mongolian passport; illustrations depicting scenes from Polo’s journey; pages from early printed editions of Polo’s book, including one with notations by Christopher Columbus; and Polo’s last will.

Photo Collections

Ancient Egyption Civilizations (750046)

jackdaw, IJS

Students will delve right into the life and mysteries of ancient Egyptians with this series of extra-large - 17" x 22" glossy, black & white - photos that transport them to the banks of the Nile and back to the time of pyramids, pharaohs and peasants. With these large photos, students will study hands-on and up close the artifacts and architectural wonders of this civilization. The four sets of four photo-posters, ideal for individual or group use, include helpful teacher's notes and overviews of each photo. Bring ancient Egypt right into your classroom in a big way.

Ancient Greek Civilizations (750045)

jackdaw, IJS

Students will certainly enjoy "the glory that was Greece" as they learn about ancient Greek civilization through this series of extra-large - 17" x 22" glossy, black & white - photos that present Greece's most famous buildings and sites in a way that promotes recognition and understanding of this astonishing civilization. These photo-posters, because of their size, are ideal for students working in groups and for classroom-wall displays. The four sets of four posters each are supported by teacher's notes, which clearly identify and provide an historical overview of the photos. Each photo challenges students and teachers alike to critically examine the far-reaching legacy of ancient Greece.

Ancient Roman Civilizations (750044)

jackdaw, IJS

Students are going to step right into ancient Roman civilization as they study and enjoy these extra-large - 17" x 22" glossy, black & white - photos of the unique wonders of the Roman world. They will find that the Roman Forum was considered the epicenter of the world, that ingenious Roman architecture led the way for modern-day structures, and that the Romans’ pattern of daily life was not so unlike ours today. The portraits of famous players in the Roman political world introduce students to these leaders and tyrants who shaped the ancient world. These large-size photo-posters are ideal for individuals, students working in groups and for classroom-wall displays. The four sets of four posters each are supported by teacher's notes, which clearly identify and provide an historical overview of the photos. Here is magnificent, ancient Rome at your fingertips.

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