Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Truman Library

The Truman Library in Independence Missouri is one of the most teacher and school friendly places I have been to. Their exhibits are well made and their White House Decision Center is one of the most popular field trips for secondary students in Kansas and Missouri. It has been so successful that the other ten presidential libraries are adding their own decision centers in the upcoming years. With this knowledge I was fairly certain that the Truman Library website would be of equal quality for educators and I was not disappointed.

The website had a lot of quality information and was easy to navigate. The Harry Truman PowerPoint was especially nice since many times teachers can make power points but it is often times difficult to find pictures, graphics, quotes and questions to accompany the presentation. This had it all. It maybe had too much information but it could be saved as a .ppt file so it could be edited by teachers to customize it for their class. Also, their were PowerPoints for Bess and Margaret.

The secondary sources were impressive but the biggest appeal of was the immense amount of primary sources waiting for teachers. The variety of material was of high quality and would appeal to students. Some of the more interesting items include a series of cartoons during the Berlin Airlift. These were published by the Airlift Task Force and show the feelings of the air force during the airlift in 1948. They also show some sexual stereotypes of the day and could be used to relate to recent humanitarian efforts. A teacher could easily integrate them into a Cold War unit as a bell ringer activity or in an anticipatory set (Wow I haven’t used those words since 1997 in my techniques class).

The website also has downloadable audio files that reflect a lot of the Kansas Social Studies Standards. Of particular interest to me was Truman’s address on the surrender of Japan. It included some discussion questions and gives a good idea what Truman saw for the future. Another good audio file was and interview with Truman regarding the firing of Gen. Doulas MacArthur during the Korean War. It would be neat to play MacArthurs farwell address and compare it to this interview to see how each felt about the situation and their position.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Truman Library website and will use a lot of the information in my class. It is also easily navigable and students could use it as a basis of research and find their own information on Truman and his administration on the site.


Blogger Professor said...

I'll claim anticipatory set but I think bellringer came from somewhere else :-)

10:18 PM  

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