Strategies for Using the
Champlain Hudson Fulton Online Resource
“Celebrating 400 Years of New York History”
The year 2009 will mark the 400th anniversary of key voyages of discovery made by Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain, as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s historic steamship journey up the Hudson River. Commemoration of these events provides an ideal opportunity for schools and communities to celebrate the role of these individuals in the cultural and economic development of New York State. To highlight the commemoration, the New York State Education Department has developed this resource entitled, “Celebrating 400 Years of New York History.”
Key Components of the Champlain Hudson Fulton (CHF) Online Commemoration Modules
- Overviews for Champlain, Hudson, and Fulton written by contemporary scholars;
- Interdisciplinary standards-based learning experiences for all levels, including:
- lesson contexts
- focus questions
- classroom activities
- primary and secondary sources (maps, charts, other visuals, etc.)
- vocabulary lists and activities
- modifications for special education and ELL students
- suggested resources, e.g. books, trade books, and web sites, including links to PBS online resources
- Elementary learning experiences based on the explorations of Champlain and Hudson, as well as Fulton’s successful invention of the steamboat;
- Middle-level learning experiences that include a student-created picture book about New Amsterdam, a template for a PowerPoint review game based on Jeopardy, and a student simulation designed to assess the impact of Fulton’s invention;
- Commencement-level learning experiences that encourage analysis of primary source documents;
- Learning experiences designed to enhance student understanding of the contributions of Hudson, Champlain, and Fulton to the growth and development of New York State, the United States, and the world.
Optimizing Strategies for Dissemination of Modules among Teaching Staff
- Inform teachers in your district of this resource via memo or e-mail.
- Offer a local in-service course based on individuals, events, and themes related to the commemoration celebrations.
- Stress the opportunity for cross-curricular learning experiences presented by the celebration and modeled in the lessons.
- Encourage regional BOCES, teacher centers, and regional professional organizations to offer professional development opportunities that familiarize teachers with community, educational, and cultural resources.
- Provide collaborative professional development with cultural partners in the community.
Encouraging Integration of Local History and Commemorations Across-the- Curriculum
- Have teams of educators develop strategies for the design and implementation of joint school and community programs.
- Have teams develop specific learning activities based on school/community collaborations that will expand its impact.
- Invite teachers to develop summer curriculum projects based on themes, primary sources, or models of learning activities included on the CHF web site.
- Conduct field trips and outdoor learning experiences that promote relevant student learning.
- Support teacher efforts to visit local museums or historic sites that celebrate the accomplishments of Champlain, Hudson, and Fulton.
- Work with your cultural partners to co-develop instructional materials.
- Contact your cultural partners even if you do not have the funds or time to visit their sites directly. Encourage them to share their resources online, or to “bring the site to your school”. Jointly plan an instructional program around their school visit.
- Notify teachers of virtual field trips provided by cultural institutions such as the New York State Museum (http://www.nysm.nysed.gov). These opportunities are often free of charge.
- Inform teacher staff of teleconferencing opportunities.
- Show videos that explore the lives of Champlain, Hudson, and Fulton.
- Ask the New York Council for the Humanities (http://www.nyhumanities.org), the Albany Institute of History and Art (http://www.albanyinstitute.org), or the New York State Historical Association (http://www.nysha.org) to help your district identify guest speakers who can discuss topics such as life in New Netherland/New France or relationships between Native American Indians and Europeans.
- Promote learning about the historical significance of trade along New York’s waterways. If it’s impossible to visit a working canal, organize a teleconference that allows students to see a canal in operation (http://www.lakestolocks.com/).
- Encourage the school librarian to purchase local history publications from museum shops for a display of your community’s role in early United States and New York State history.
Inviting Community to Support Student Learning
- Establish a leadership advisory council that will build alliances across cultural and historical organizations/institutions.
- Identify community sites where teachers and students can engage in inquiry- based history and science.
- Create an informal learning community that will partner with identified schools of education.
- Promote the integration of period art by inviting local artists into your classrooms.
- Visit special exhibits at the Albany Institute of History and Art, the New York State Museum, or the New York State Library.
- Invite local historical societies to prepare exhibits in your school library or gallery and share local tales or myths with students.
- Invite scholars from local institutions of higher learning to speak to classes about the significance of Champlain, Hudson, and Fulton and the importance of New York State’s waterways.
- Strengthen collaborations between your school district and institutions of higher education to strengthen your district’s curriculum and instructional programs.
Funding Possibilities for Implementing These Projects
- Include funding in the school district budget when possible.
- Ask local Parent Teacher Organizations to support field trips or cover the cost of minor expenditures.
- Contact a local state representative for a small community grant.
- Provide “mini-grants” for technology departments to create their own virtual museum tour.
- Have your leadership advisory council leverage funding resources (money, people, grants, influence) to acquire needed instructional resources.
- Contact the New York Council for the Humanities for small grants.
- Contact Explore New York 400 for small grants (http://www.exploreny400.com).
- The purpose of the NYSED Learning Technology Grant (LTG) program is to improve student academic performance in relation to the New York State learning standards. Information about the grant is posted at (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mst/InstTech/insttech.html). The grant will be available for the 2009–2010 school year.
- Explore funding opportunities supported by the New York State Education Department (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/GrantInfo.html).