The Dead of Antietam: Photography in the Civil War


This lesson can be used with The United States: An Open Ended History, a free online textbook.  Adapted in part from open sources.

Mathew B. Brady (May 18, 1822 – January 15, 1896) was one of the earliest photographers in American history, best known for his scenes of the Civil War.

Continue reading “The Dead of Antietam: Photography in the Civil War”

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Live from Moscow, Travel Writing

For most of history, Russia has often found itself at odds with the United States.  For brief period during World War II, however, these nations found themselves to be unlikely allies in a fight for survival against Nazi Germany.  It is in the spirit that Openendedsocialstudies.org founder Thomas Kenning traveled to Moscow to participate in the 73rd annual Victory Day celebration – one part Veteran’s Day, one part Fourth of July, one part Thanksgiving, this is a massive holiday for Russians.

Below are the Adventure Blog entries documenting that expedition from May 2018. Educational in their own right, his blog posts offer plenty of history, culture, and photos woven into a first person narrative, which attempts to present honestly and conversationally one traveler’s experience while conducting research abroad.

Consider reading these dispatches at face value, for enjoyment.  Use them to plot a geographic course through Moscow, Russia or to plan a hypothetical student trip, or as a starting point to inspire an individual research project from questions that arise naturally while reading.  

Happy travels and happy reading.

Find the lessons inspired by this expedition here – Victory Day in Russia.

Take a Guided Tour of Maya Mexico, 2017

Explore the ruins of Ek’ Balam, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza, scramble through streets of colonial Merida, and sample the cuisine and culture of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on this guided photo essay (complete with suggested activities for use in your social studies classroom.)

This photo essay works perfectly in conjunction with the rest of our free Maya unit.

Suggested Activities

  1. Choose any topic described in a photo or caption in this album. Do deeper reading and research on that topic, creating a presentation to share with your class.
  2. Research and plan a realistic travel itinerary through Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that focuses specifically on its Maya and colonial histories. Explain the historical or cultural relevance of your choices. Present the final itinerary with photos and estimated costs for the whole trip.

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What is Openendedsocialstudies.org?

Open Ended Social Studies collects and presents original and dynamic classroom materials focusing on parts of the world neglected by traditional world history textbooks in the United States.  The middle and high school lessons hosted here aim to foster critical and historical thinking, greater cultural awareness, and a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it. Open Ended Social Studies is free, always growing, and collaborative – please check back and contribute often.

Browse all of the free texts, activities, and lesson plans – all of the chapters missing from your conventional textbook.

Check out the library of travel writing and photography from previous adventures in the field.