Elementary School

Grove City College Defeats Harvard for First Place at 2019 American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl

January 31, 2019
The Founding

2019 2nd AHWCCB Finalists (from L to R): For Grove City, Dr. Jason R. Edwards, Elena Peters, Noah Gould, Carolyn Hartwick; AHEF Co-Founder Jack Kamrath, AHEF President Angela Kamrath; For Harvard, Liam Warner, Finnian Brown, Portia Berry-Kilby, Dr. Danilo Petranovich

AHEF’s Second American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB) held on January 25-26, 2019, at The King’s College of NY in New York City was a great success!

Grove City College defeated The Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard in the finals in a close match (537-526) to win first place academic recognition along with $4,000 scholarship prizes and copies of AHEF President Angela Kamrath’s book, The Miracle of America!

Student teams from Grove City College, Harvard University (Abigail Adams Institute), Princeton University (James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions), and The King’s College of New York competed in the event.

All students received a cash scholarship award of between $1,000-$4,000 according to their order of finish.

The event is sponsored by the American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) in Houston, TX. (www.americanheritage.org)

WATCH:  2nd AHWCCB Finals
WATCH:  Presentation on AHEF’s History, Founding, & Mission

2019 Semi-Finals Essay Topic:
“Since the beginning of human history, most people have lived under some form of authoritarianism.  In such regimes, rulership was largely a matter of the elite few ruling over and living off of the unprivileged many.  Only during the last few hundred years has the idea of the constitutional accountability of government to the populace as a whole risen to prominence.  Discuss the philosophical and historical causes of the ascendancy of this idea, including key events, leaders, and reasoning.”

2019 Finals Essay Topic:
“Discuss the origins, development, and justification of the fundamental American idea that ‘all men are created equal’ (as in the Declaration of Independence).”

For Grove City (L to R): Elena Peters, Carolyn Hartwick, Noah Gould

For Harvard (L to R): Liam Warner, Portia Berry-Kilby, Finnian Brown

For Princeton (L to R): Alvin Zhang, Nicholas Sileo, Emerson Salovaara

For The King’s College (L to R): Abigail Rose-Smith, Michael Napoli, Ellen Rogers


Semi-Finals
:  Friday, January 25, 2019
5 PM – Grove City College vs Princeton University
7 PM – The King’s College vs Harvard University

Finals:  Saturday, January 26, 2019
2 PM – Finalists

Location:
The King’s College, 56 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 (City Room, 5th Floor)
212-659-7200 / 888-969-7200

Academic Curriculum Analyst:
-The National Association of Scholars (NAS)

Moderator:
-Mr. Jeremy Tate, Co-Founder and President of the Classic Learning Test

Academic Teams:
-Grove City College – Coach: Dr. Jason R. Edwards.  Student Team: Noah Gould, Carolyn Hartwick, Elena Peters
-Harvard University – Coach: Dr. Danilo Petranovich.  Student Team: Portia Berry-Kilby, Finnian Brown, Liam Warner
-Princeton University – Coach: Dr. Russ Nieli.  Student Team: Emerson Salovaara, Nicholas Sileo, Alvin Zhang
-The King’s College of New York – Coach: Dr. Josh Kinlaw.  Student Team: Michael Napoli, Ellen Rogers, Abigail Rose-Smith

Academic Judges:
-Dr. Stephen Balch, Director of The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University; Co-Founder of the National Association of Scholars
-Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy and Co-Founder of The Western Civilization and American Institutions Program, The University of Texas at Austin

Hosted by the American Heritage Education Foundation Inc. in partnership with The King’s College of New York.

Related articles/videos:
AHEF Pioneers Innovative History & Civic Education Initiatives
American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl – Program Information
AHWCCB™ Video
1st American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl (AHWCCB) – 2017
AHWCCB 2019 Printable Flyer (PDF)

In the news:
King’s to Host Western Civilization Challenge Bowl with Princeton, Harvard, and Grove City College, The King’s College, Nov 1, 2018
GCC Tapped for History, Western Civilization Challenge, Grove City College, Jan 18, 2019
The King’s College to Host Western Civilization Challenge Bowl with the James Madison Program at Princeton, the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard and Grove City College, RFD TV, Jan 19, 2019
Grove City College Faces Princeton in History Challenge Bowl, The Business Journal, Jan 22, 2019
GCC Team Beats Harvard in American History Challenge, Grove City College, Jan 29, 2019
Grove City College Beats Harvard in American History Challenge, Butler Radio, Jan 30, 2019

AHWCCB is a college-level academic competition and scholarship where students compete in their knowledge and understanding of Western Civilization and America’s founding history and philosophy to determine the nation’s top colleges in these subjects.

AHEF started AHWCCB to address a growing problem in our nation–confirmed by many studies–which is that many Americans are not informed about America’s heritage or the American idea.  This is a concerning problem in a self-government like ours which depends on an educated citizenry to continue and improve.  AHWCCB aims to encourage schools to teach and students to learn these subjects–including Western Civilization and America’s founding history, philosophy, laws, governing process, and free enterprise system.  Further, AHWCCB aims to inspire citizens’ education and understanding of the American idea so that they may become informed, engaged participants and contributors in our democracy, who can perpetuate and improve the practice of our nation’s founding principles for present and future generations.

Topics covered in the competition are relevant to America’s founding heritage.  Topics span from ancient, classical civilizations of the Greco-Romans and Hebrews to the medieval and modern eras including the Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment to the history and founding of the United States of America.

For more information about AHWCCB, please visit americanheritage.org.

If you or someone you know would like to sponsor our next challenge bowl, please see our Donate page or contact us at 713.627.2698.  Thank you!

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

January 25 & 26, 2019: 2nd American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl in NYC

January 7, 2019
The Founding

Challenge Bowl 2017 026 - Copy

AHEF’s second American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB) will be held on January 25-26, 2019, at The King’s College of NY in New York City!  Student teams from Grove City College, Harvard University (Abigail Adams Institute), Princeton University (James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions), and The King’s College of New York will compete for scholarship prizes and academic recognition at the 2019 event.

AHEF initiated the challenge bowl to encourage and incentivize colleges and universities to teach, and students to study, the objective and factual content of Western Civilization and America’s founding history and philosophy.  Studies in the last 20 years show that Americans of all backgrounds are not as informed as we need to be about these subjects or our nation.  Further, many schools are no longer teaching these subjects.  Such trends are a dangerous matter in a self-governing republic like ours which depends on an educated citizenry.  The challenge bowl aims to motivate and improve citizens’ education and intellectual and practical understanding of the American idea so that Americans may become informed, engaged participants and leaders in our democracy who can perpetuate and improve the realization of our nation’s founding principles and values in present and future generations.

Topics covered in the competition are relevant to America’s founding heritage.  Topics span from ancient, classical civilizations of the Greco-Romans and Hebrews to the medieval and modern eras including the Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment to the history and founding of the United States of America.

The 2019 Semi-Finals Essay Topic has been released as follows:
“Since the beginning of human history, most people have lived under some form of authoritarianism.  In such regimes, rulership was largely a matter of the elite few ruling over and living off of the unprivileged many.  Only during the last few hundred years has the idea of the constitutional accountability of government to the populace as a whole risen to prominence.  Discuss the philosophical and historical causes of the ascendancy of this idea, including key events, leaders, and reasoning.”

Semi-Finals:  Friday, January 25, 2019
5 PM – Grove City College vs Princeton University
7 PM – The King’s College vs Harvard University

Finals:  Saturday, January 26, 2019
2 PM – Finalists

Location:
The King’s College, 56 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 (City Room, 5th Floor)
212-659-7200 / 888-969-7200

Academic Curriculum Analyst:
-The National Association of Scholars (NAS)

Moderator:
-Mr. Jeremy Tate, Co-Founder and President of the Classic Learning Test

Academic Teams:
-Grove City College – Coach: Dr. Jason R. Edwards.  Student Team: Noah Gould, Carolyn Hartwick, Elena Peters
-Harvard University – Coach: Dr. Danilo Petranovich.  Student Team: Portia Berry-Kilby, Finnian Brown, Liam Warner
-Princeton University – Coach: Dr. Russ Nieli.  Student Team: Emerson Salovaara, Nicholas Sileo, Alvin Zhang
-The King’s College of New York – Coach: Dr. Josh Kinlaw.  Student Team: Michael Napoli, Ellen Rogers, Abigail Rose-Smith

Academic Judges:
-Dr. Stephen Balch,  Director of The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University; Co-Founder of the National Association of Scholars
-Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy and Co-Founder of The Western Civilization and American Institutions Program, The University of Texas at Austin

All team members will receive scholarship prizes according to their order of finish of between $1,000-$4,000.

Free Admission.  Please register to attend in person or watch in livestream.

AHWCCB 2019 Printable Flyer (PDF)

Hosted by the American Heritage Education Foundation Inc. in partnership with The King’s College of New York.

In the news:
King’s to Host Western Civilization Challenge Bowl with Princeton, Harvard, and Grove City College, The King’s College, Nov 1, 2018

Related articles/videos:
AHEF Pioneers Innovative History & Civic Education Initiatives
American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl – Program Information
AHWCCB™ Video
1st American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl (AHWCCB) – 2017

For more information about AHWCCB, please visit americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

Great Awakening Principle: The Judeo-Christian Law of Love

March 9, 2018
The Founding

The Good Samaritan by Pelegrin Clave, 1838, based on the parable in Luke 10:25-37 and the principle to “love thy neighbor.”

The Christian evangelical revival that occurred in America in the 1700s, known as the “Great Awakening,” helped to support and spread foundational ideas from the Bible in society.  One important principle that Revivalists affirmed was the Judeo-Christian Law of Love.

Revivalists found the Law of Love in the two “Great Commandments” of the Bible—the commands in which people are called to love God and others.  Great Awakening theologian Jonathan Edwards, in his 1746 Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, cited these commandments from the New Testament in Matthew 22:37-40 where Jesus tells the Pharisees, “‘‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’’”  The second law is often referred to as the “golden rule,” of treating others as one wishes to be treated.  In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says, “‘Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.’”  These two great commandments are originally found in the Old Testament (in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18).

In light of the Law of Love, Revivalists embraced religious affection and actions that express Christian love in worshipping God and serving others.  Godly affection is desirable, Edwards thought, since true faith produces affections of the soul, and man’s affections are “the spring of men’s actions.”  Edwards thus supported church practices of singing, praising, and prayer because he saw that they can affect the heart.  In addition, Revivalists believed that love is expressed not only by affection but by action.  “Love is an active principle,” Edwards declared in his 1738 sermon Charity and Its Fruits.  “Reason teaches that a man’s actions are the most proper test and evidence of his love.”

Interestingly, a more rational acknowledgement of the Law of Love came from Enlightenment-era philosopher John Locke who was influential to founding-era Americans.  In 1689, Locke had published an important treatise on civil governance—his Second Treatise of Civil Government—widely read by early Americans.  In this treatise, Locke cited English Anglican theologian Richard Hooker’s 1593 work on church governance, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, to present a reasoned version of the golden rule.  From the standpoint of Hooker, mutual love and respect among people in society is supported by the equal nature that all men share.  Since all human beings have the same nature, people have a duty to love and respect one another.  Locke writes in Second Treatise

During the Awakening, Edwards and the Revivalists in America taught the Bible’s Law of Love as the foundation of godliness and virtue.  Any religious or moral philosophy, Edwards believed, that lacks regard for God and others as its basis of virtue is flawed.

This Judeo-Christian principle of love would be upheld not only in American religion but later in the founding documents of the United States in their regard for the unalienable and equal rights of all people, Rule of Law, Due Process, and just civil governance.

Contributed by AHEF and Angela E. Kamrath.

—–

Source:  Kamrath, Angela E.  The Miracle of America:  The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief.  Second Edition.  Houston, TX:  American Heritage Education Foundation, 2014, 2015.

Related articles/videos:
1.  The Principle of Popular Sovereignty – Consent of the Governed
2. The Religious Landscape of the Thirteen Colonies in the Early 1700s
3.  Great Awakening Emerges in Early America – Impacting Religion, Society, Politics
4.  Jonathan Edwards:  Theologian of the Great Awakening
5.  George Whitefield:  Evangelist of the Great Awakening
6.  Great Awakening Principle:  The Dignity of the Human Being
7.  Great Awakening Principle:  All Men Equal Before God
8.  Great Awakening Principle:  “Born Again” Personal Spiritual Conversion
9.  Great Awakening Principle:  The Judeo-Christian Law of Love
10.  Great Awakening Principle:  The Unalienable Right to Freedom of Belief
11.  Great Awakening Principle:  Happiness
12. Great Awakening Principle:  Purpose for Just Civil Government
13. Great Awakening Effects on American Religion:  A New Church Landscape
14. Great Awakening Effects on Society:  Education, Missions, Humanitarianism, Women, Gospel
15.  Great Awakening Effects on American Unity, Democracy, Freedom, & Revolution

—–

Activity:  The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide, Unit 5, Part 1, Activity 5:  Jonathan Edwards Teaches Conscience, Morality, Individual Religious Conversion, Happiness, p. 179, 350.  MS-HS.

Jonathan Edwards Teaches Conscience, Morality, Individual Religious Conversion, Happiness…

Purpose/Objective:  Students learn about Great Awakening theologian Jonathan Edwards and his well-known teachings and writings on Christian belief, life, and doctrine regarding conscience, morality, religious conversion, and happiness which played an important role in educating colonists during the Great Awakening.

Suggested Readings:
1)  Chapter 5 of Miracle of America reference/text.  Students read sections Introduction, 5.1, 5.2, 5.6-5.10.
2)  Related blogs/videos (see above).

Close Reading Activity:
Students break into groups to analyze passages from Edwards that pertain to this section (see attached handout).  Each group will share with the class a summary of the passage, an analysis of its philosophical and religious concepts, and an evaluation of how these ideas played out in society during the Great Awakening.  The teacher can assess students’ grasp of Edwards’ message and its effects on the revival movement and society as a whole.  See the “Jonathan Edwards Excerpts:  Close Reading Activity” handout in the “Supporting Resources” section of the course guide, p. 350.

—–

To download this whole unit, sign up as an AHEF member (no cost) to access the “resources” page on americanheritage.org.  To order the printed binder format of the course guide with all the units, go to the AHEF bookstore.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

The Mayflower Compact: The Pilgrims’ First Self-Governing Act in America

May 17, 2017
The Founding

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620 by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1899

When the Pilgrims arrived in America in 1620, they initially intended to sail to the colony of Virginia.  However, they found themselves north of their destination and outside of England’s colonial jurisdiction and charter.  In response, they together signed the Mayflower Compact to serve as a charter for founding their new colony of Plymouth.

The Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact was quite unique and revolutionary.  Most charters at the time were between a king and his inferior subjects.  But the Pilgrims’ pact was among equals who recognized God as their High Authority to sanction their agreement.  They saw God as their king.  The Pilgrims and Puritans derived this idea from the Bible, often citing Isaiah 33:22 which says that “God is our Judge, Lawgiver, and King.”  As such, the Pilgrims’ compact was a strikingly new, democratic initiative that enacted the principle of self-government among equals.  It created a civil self-government to govern their new colony by the people.  At that time, self-governments did not exist anywhere else in the world.

The Compact states, “We whose names are underwritten…do solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue here enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices…as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”

The Mayflower Compact was the Pilgrims’ first self-governing act in America.  It initiated the principle and value of self-government that would endure and later become a key founding principle of the United States of America.

From AHEF and Angela E. Kamrath.

Source for more information:
Kamrath, Angela E.  
The Miracle of America:  The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief.  Second Edition.  Houston, TX:  American Heritage Education Foundation, 2014, 2015.

Related articles/videos:
1.  The Principle of Popular Sovereignty
2.  Who were the Pilgrims?  Why did they come to America?
3.  Why the Pilgrims Identified with the Israelites
4.  The Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact as a Covenant
5:  The Pilgrims and Private Property:  What the Pilgrims Might Have Thought About Communism and Socialism
6.  The History of Thanksgiving Day in America
7.  Three P’s That Led to Freedom in the West:  Printing Press, Protestant Reformation, & Pilgrims

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Middle & High School Activity:  The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide, Unit 2, Part 2, Activity 3:  Principles of the Mayflower Compact, pp. 80, 331-334.  MS-HS.

Principles of the Mayflower Compact… 

To download these units, sign up as an AHEF member (no cost) to access the member resources page on americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

Why the Pilgrims Identified with the Israelites

May 12, 2017
The Founding

The Jews Gathering the Manna in the Desert by Nicolas Poussin, 1637-1639

In their voyage to America, the Pilgrims compared themselves to the Israelites in the Old Testament of the Bible.  The Israelites, also known as Hebrews or Jews, were God’s chosen people.  In the book of Exodus, they escaped from bondage in Egypt with God’s help, wandered in the desert wilderness, renewed their covenant with God at Mount Sinai, and claimed the Promised Land of Canaan.

Like the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, the Pilgrims had left what they saw as an oppressive, degraded situation in Europe, in which they could not worship freely, in order to create a new life in America.  They were God’s people, and America was their Promised Land.  What is more, the Pilgrims, like the Israelites in the wilderness, endured severe trials during their first year at Plymouth Colony in America.  They lacked food, clothing, supplies, and shelter.  They also faced a harsh winter and poor farming conditions.  As such, the Pilgrim`s suffered from starvation, sickness, and death.  Only half of them survived the first year.

In his journal, The History of Plymouth Settlement, Pilgrim leader William Bradford, the second governor of Plymouth Colony, compares the Pilgrim’s voyage to and early experience in America with the Israelites’ migration from Egypt to Canaan:

Our fathers were Englishmen who came over the great ocean and were ready to perish in the wilderness, but they cried to the Lord, and He heard their voice and looked on their adversity….  Yes, let them who have been redeemed of the Lord, show how He has delivered them from the hand of the oppressor.  When they wandered forth into the desert-wilderness, out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them.  Let them confess before the Lord His loving kindness, and His wonderful works before the sons of men.

Thankfully, the Pilgrims learned how to plant crops from friendly Native Americans, and they planted many crops in the spring.  They also trusted in and had faith in God for His provision, which gave them spiritual and moral fortitude.  The following autumn, they reaped a plentiful harvest.  They thus survived and freely prospered in their new colony in America.

The Pilgrims thus found many similarities with the Israelites in Exodus with regard to their own Pilgrim experiences in migration to and settlement in America.  Trusting in God for direction and provision, the Pilgrims, like the Israelites, experienced oppression, migration, trials, and, ultimately, freedom and blessing in their new land.     

Contributed by AHEF and Angela E. Kamrath.

Source for more information:
Kamrath, Angela E.  
The Miracle of America:  The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief.  Second Edition.  Houston, TX:  American Heritage Education Foundation, 2015.   

Related articles/videos:
1.  Who were the Pilgrims?  Why did they come to America?
2.  The Mayflower Compact:  The Pilgrims’ First Self-Governing Act in America
3.  The Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact as a Covenant
4:  The Pilgrims and Private Property:  What the Pilgrims Might Have Thought About Communism and Socialism
5.  The History of Thanksgiving Day in America
6.  Three P’s That Led to Freedom in the West:  Printing Press, Protestant Reformation, & Pilgrims

Activity:  The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide, Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 7: Comparison Between Pilgrims and Israelites in Migration, pp. 69, 322.  MS-HS.  (This activity continues in Unit 3, Part 1, on Puritans.)

Comparison Between Pilgrims and Israelites in Migration… 

To download the unit, sign up as an AHEF member (no cost) to access the member resources page on americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

Who Were the Pilgrims? Why did they come to America?

May 3, 2017
The Founding

The Pilgrims were Christians, Separatist Puritans, who came to America for Religious Freedom

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert W. Weir, 1843

The Reformation of the 1500s had given rise to a devout group of Christians in England in the 1600s who called for reform and purification of the Church of England.  Though the Church of England, which had been under the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, implemented some moderate reforms and became Protestant during the Reformation, some English Protestants did not believe its reforms went far enough.  The “Puritans,” as they were called, wanted to purify the church from within.  They wanted to expel from the church what they saw as heresy and corruption in the church’s doctrine and worship practices.  One remnant of this group believed the church was too corrupt to be restored, and they separated from it altogether.  These “Separatists,” as they were called, refused to conform to the existing church.  The Separatists’ movement was outlawed, so they met secretly in a home in Scrooby, England.  To escape persecution, they moved to Leyden, Holland.  Disillusioned by hardship and the secular society of Holland, they ultimately set sail for America.  They would become known as the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims’ migration across the Atlantic on the Mayflower vessel in 1620 would prove to be an historic move.

The Pilgrims’ primary reason for coming to America was religious freedom.  They wanted freedom to believe and worship without harassment or persecution.  They sought freedom in America to set up their own church and community as they believed and chose.  As early French historian Alexis de Tocqueville observes in his well-known 1835 Democracy in America, the Pilgrims sought some “unfrequented part of the world, where they could live according to their own opinions, and worship God in freedom….”  The Pilgrims also hoped, in the process, to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Like other Christians, the Pilgrims and Puritans were monotheistic, believing in one God—the God of the Bible.  They identified God as Creator (Genesis 1 and 2, Isaiah 42:5), Provider (Genesis 22, 1 Corinthians 5:7), and Supreme Ruler or Judge of the world (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, Psalm 97:1).  They recognized God’s supreme authority or “sovereignty” in the world.  God’s sovereignty means that all human and earthly spheres—including church, civil government, family, and individual—are under God’s rule and are accountable to God.  God is the highest authority on earth among equal men.

The Pilgrims’ and Puritans’ Bible-based view of God’s sovereignty affected their political as well as religious views.  It affected their organization of church and civil government.  It also set an important precedent for the direction of the Puritan colonies in New England and, ultimately, for the founding of the new nation.

Contributed by AHEF and Angela E. Kamrath.

Source for more information:
Kamrath, Angela E.  
The Miracle of America:  The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief.  Second Edition.  Houston, TX:  American Heritage Education Foundation, 2015.

Related blogs/videos:
1.  Why the Pilgrims Identified with the Israelites
2.  The Mayflower Compact:  The Pilgrims’ First Self-Governing Act in America
3.  The Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact as a Covenant
4:  The Pilgrims and Private Property:  What the Pilgrims Might Have Thought About Communism and Socialism
5.  The History of Thanksgiving Day in America
6.  Three P’s That Led to Freedom in the West:  Printing Press, Protestant Reformation, & Pilgrims

Activity:  The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide, Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 8: Learning More About the Puritans, pp. 69, 318-319.  ES-HS.

To download the whole unit, sign up as an AHEF member (no cost) to access the member resources page on americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

Women’s History Month – Katherine Lee Bates

March 1, 2017
The Founding

In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to share a blog featuring the author of “America the Beautiful” Katherine Lee Bates.

“America the Beautiful” first appeared in print in 1895. Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929) wrote the poem in 1893. She wrote a second version in 1904 and the final version in 1913.

Katherine Lee Bates 1859-1929

Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts on August 12, 1859. In 1880, she graduated from Wellesley College where she taught from 1886 -1925. She wrote books of poetry and books about her travels around the world. She also enjoyed writing stories for children. Miss Bates loved animals and often had her picture taken with her collie, Hamlet, and her parrot, Polonius. She retired in 1925 and died four years later on March 28, 1929.

In the summer of 1893, Miss Bates was teaching at Colorado College. She joined a group of teachers one afternoon on a trip to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When she reached the top of the mountain, she was inspired by the beautiful view to write the first four verses of her poem. She wrote in her journal:

“One day some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view,  I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.”

Lesson Plan Ideas:

  • Define: spacious, amber, majesties, grace, brotherhood
  • Who wrote the poem America the Beautiful?
  • Where was the poem first written?
  • What beautiful things are described in the poem?
  • What does “God shed his grace on thee” mean?
  • What does “from sea to shining sea” mean?

Activity: America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty. Unit 10: America the Beautiful. pp. 163-166. ES.

This unit is available to download from the Member Resources at www.americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

The Meaning of the Great Seal of The United States

February 20, 2017
The Founding

The Meaning of the Great Seal of the United States

The Great Seal of the United States is the official emblem and heraldic device of the United States of America.  It was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1782 to represent the nation and to demonstrate to other nations of the world the ideas and values of its Founders and people.  Great Seals have their origins in the royal seals of the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries.

The Great Seal of the United States guarantees the authenticity of official U. S. documents.  It is used 2,000-3,000 times per year to seal documents.  Such documents include treaties, presidential proclamations, appointments of government officials, and presidential communications to heads of foreign nations.  The seal is also printed on the U. S. $1 bill, providing U. S. citizens with a ready reference to the nation’s foundational ideas.  The custody of the Great Seal is assigned to the U. S. Department of State.  The seal can be affixed by an officer of the Secretary of State.

The Great Seal was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 20, 1782.  It was first used officially on September 16, 1782, to guarantee the authenticity of a document that granted full power to General George Washington “to negotiate and sign with the British an agreement for the exchange, subsistence, and better treatment of prisoners of war.”  Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State to have custody of the Great Seal.

The Great Seal has two sides and displays a number of important symbols.  The front (obverse) side of the seal displays the coat of arms of the United States.  The coat of arms is officially used for coins, postage stamps, stationary, publications, flags, military uniforms, public monuments, public buildings, embassies and consulates, passports, and items owned by the U. S. government.

Do you know the meaning behind The Great Seal? This Great Seal file breaks it down for you.

“Symbolically, the Seal reflects the beliefs and values that the Founding Fathers attached to the new nation and wished to pass on to their descendants.”

– U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs


ObverseGreatSeal

ReverseGreatSeal


Check out Elementary School lesson plans for The Great Seal in America’s Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty.

This unit is available to download from the Member Resources at www.americanheritage.org.

Copyright © American Heritage Education Foundation.  All rights reserved.

The Great Seal of the United States – Elementary Lesson Plan

January 20, 2017
The Founding

AHEF_The Great Seal
Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the American Patriotic symbols. The Great Seal was produced by the Founders to help unify the nation and demonstrate to the world the qualities of the nation.

Objective
The student will be able to identify elements and American patriotic symbols including Great Seal of the United States.

Theme-Unity
The Latin words on the Great Seal are one of the factors that express our intention as a nation to be one. The nation is composed of people from all over the world and residents of different states, but from these many the one people of the United States are formed.

elementary-school-activity


Sneak peek of one of the activities in the lesson plan.

GreatSealBookMarks


To see The Great Seal in color, head over to this blog post.

ObverseGreatSeal ReverseGreatSeal

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