The Library of Congress

Learning Page Chat, April 15, 2004: Exploration and Explorers

BjB: |** ANNOUNCEMENT: the Library of Congress Learning Page chat is starting in the After School Online room. The topic is Exploration and Explorers. To participate click on the ONLINE tab to the left of the chat window, single click on LeniD and then click on the door icon at the bottom of the frame. **|

LeniD: Would you please do the honors, Michael? :-)
MichaelH: sure, Leni!
LeniD: Thanks!
MichaelH: first of all, let me remind everyone to detach the chat window if you haven't already...
MichaelH: Leni has a lot to show, and it will fly by if you have a small window :)
MichaelH: Ok, all...
MichaelH: Welcome to tonight's Learning Page Chat...
MichaelH: As always, Leni has a plethora of great stuff to show,
JanGst4: how do you detach the chat window
MichaelH defers to BJ...
JeffC: Click the "Actions" drop down menu... it's there.
MichaelH: so without further adieu...
JanGst4: thanks
MichaelH: let's start our session.

MichaelH: As always, let's start with everyone introducing themselves... who you are, and where you are from...
RonaldJ: I'm Vance Jenkins. I teach high School English in Greenville, South Carolina.
LeannM: I'm LeAnn from Greenville, South Carolina. I teach second grade.
JeffC: Jeff Cooper... ex-Education Technology Specialist from Oregon... looking for new ideas... and work.
SuzanneH: I am Suzanne from Starr Elementary in Anderson.  I teach special education grades 1-5, self-contained
JanGst4: jan - Thornton CO business & tech teacher - chat rookie
GradyM: I am a seventh grade language arts teacher from Iva, S.C
GailP: Hi - I'm Gail and I work with Leni in DC on the Learning Page - I'm a retired Library Media Specialist from New York State - mostly elementary school...
LawrenceH: Larry Hansen - AIU student Masters candidate in Education Technology, living in Brazil
CraigN: Craig Nansen - district technology coordinator in Minot, ND
JosephLH: Joe from Carolina HS in Greenville, SC.  I teach U.S. and World History
MichaelH is Michael Hutchison, technology curriculum facilitator in southern Indiana, and straight man for Jeff Cooper
LeniD: Welcome, Vance, Leanne, Jeff, Suzanne, Jan,Grady, Gail, Lawrence, Craig, Joe!
LeniD: I’am Leni Donlan, the coordinator of the Learning Page Project at the Library of Congress.
GailP: What a nice crowd - we're glad you are here!
MichaelH checks to see if anyone else would like to say "hey"
LeniD: Nice to have you ALL here :-)
SuzanneH: Thanks
LeannM: thanks
LeniD: Let's get started...
LawrenceH: obrigado
JulieSz joined the room.
LeniD: Hi Julie...we were just introducing ourselves. Would you like to do so before I begin our chat?
JulieSz: Sure, thanks.  I'm Julie....I live in Missouri and work for the eMINTS program
JulieSz smiles
LeniD: Thanks :-)

LeniD: Throughout history, mankind has sought new experiences and new territories.
LeniD: Astronaut Frank Borman said, "Exploration is really  the essence of the human spirit."
LeniD: Would you agree with Borman?
JosephLH: not really
LawrenceH: absolutely
JulieSz: I think it's a driving force
LeniD: Joe, why not?
RonaldJ: I'm with Joseph.
JanGst4: from birth!
LeannM: I agree that exploration is a great part of the human spirit
JosephLH: Without getting into too much detail, I think other things would be more of a true essence.
LeniD: Aha! Essence is a tricky word...good point.
GradyM: I really think it is part of being human.
RonaldJ: Is the mind and the spirit one and the same? We have to consider this while we tackle Borman's philosophy.

LeniD: Photographer Ansel Adams said, “In wisdom gathered over time, I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” Does Adams sentiment ring true for you?
JosephLH: That I can agree with.
JulieSz: I agree
LeannM: true
SuzanneH: Yes.  We are in essence always looking for things
MichaelH: but, in Borman's case it was a study of exploration AND knowledge... the mind and body were one...
JulieSz: looking to better ourselves, our lives, our family
LeannM: and everything that we experience is a new exploration for us
LeniD: So while exploration may or may not be the "essence" of the human spirit...we agree that every experience is a form of exploration.
JeffC: I'd like to agree with Borman's philosophy... but I fear that what we're doing in American schools tends to stifle exploration more than engender it... we're more about conforming... testing... than challenging and questioning.
JulieSz: yes
SuzanneH: Sure
JosephLH: true
LawrenceH: we both explore ideas (philosophy) and territory
RonaldJ: Agreed
GailP: Sad, but true, Jeff!
LeniD: When we watch our students, this thinking is reinforced...even though we can't always give it free reign, as Jeff points out :-(

LeniD: Tonight, let’s take a look at resources about exploration and explorers available on the Library of Congress Web sites.
MichaelH perks up!
LeniD: Michael, will you explain how Tapped In works, please?
MichaelH: sure, Leni, be glad to...
MichaelH: Leni will show us a lot of great stuff tonight...
MichaelH: however, don't take too long looking at any one site
MichaelH: or you'll miss the bus to the next great exploration adventure
MichaelH: remember, everything will be in the transcript...
MichaelH: ok, Leni, they're all yours :)
LeniD: Thanks :-)
LeniD: Are you ready?
SuzanneH: Yes
JosephLH: yup
RonaldJ: You bet.
LeannM: sure
JulieSz: yup
NuritS: yes
MichaelH is

LeniD: Let’s start with some exhibitions from the Library.
LeniD: If you are lucky enough to visit the lovely Jefferson Building in Washington, DC, you can see some of these exhibits in person.
LeniD: Others are no longer on display and can be seen ONLY online.
RonaldJ: Why is this, Leni
LeniD: Exhibitions are on display for limited time...but, luckily, they have an online version which is always available, Ronald.
LeniD: When we think of explorers, Christopher Columbus quickly comes to mind. Take a look at...
LeniD: 1492: An Ongoing Voyage, one of the Library’s early online exhibits.
MichaelH . o O ( click on the blue link, and the page will open in a new window :) )
MichaelH: but don't stay away too long...
MichaelH checks to see if everyone sees the page Leni is showing?
LeniD: From the Library’s Prints and Photographs Reading Room: Images of Christopher Columbus and His Voyages...
GailP: These are images that you should be able to both view and download from the LOC site
LeniD: Moving along... In 1493, Columbus reported his discoveries. Note that you may view the original document, OR a translation...
LeniD: And for your students...from America’s Library...
GailP: If you haven't used America's Library, this LOC site is geared for families and younger students.

LeniD: While Columbus may have "led the way," many followed...
LeniD: Are you familiar with Diego Gutiérrez and his 1562 map of America?
JosephLH: Vaguely
SuzanneH: No.
RonaldJ: I'm sorry, but I am not familiar with this.
LeniD: Now you will be! :-)
LeniD: Let this Special Presentation acquaint you with the explorer and the map..
GailP: The Library of Congress has an amazing collection of maps - and this one is from 1562.
JosephLH: I love the map features from LOC to zoom in and out!
LeniD: Isn't that wonderful, Joe?
LeannM: I like the maps too!!
GailP: You can zoom in on the Gutierrez map and see wonderful details.
RonaldJ: I would like to use more maps in my English classrooms - I enjoy trying interdisciplinary approaches to instruction.
LeniD: Excellent! I have many more to share, tonight :-)

LeniD: Jacques Cartier was exploring for France during this era, as well. Here is information for your students about his exploration of the St. Lawrence River. From America’s Library...
LeniD: And from Today in History (scroll way down the page)...
LeniD: Here’s another description of Spanish Florida! From America’s Library...
LeniD: Within the Hispanic and Portuguese Collections, you and your students can learn about “Encounters in America”...

LeniD: In the early years of the 16th century, Dutch exploration was occurring in North America, as well.
LeniD: In the international collection, The Atlantic World, you and your students can learn more about the Dutch in America.
LeniD: Visit “Spain, The United States & The American Frontier: Historias Paralelas,” to see more of the Library’s international collections...

RonaldJ: Leni - my project focuses on the West African Slave trade to the U.S. as an introduction to events leading to race relations in the South (as a prelude to our study of Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I want to iterate how great the International Collection is, and how much stuff there is here.
LeniD: Glad to hear that you have explored them, Ronald.
LeniD: Note that these international collections from the Library’s Global Gateway, created in collaborations with other international libraries, are written in two language.
LeniD: Do take some time to explore this area of the Library’s web site if you have never visited it.

LeniD: Now...from the Wise America got its name...
LeniD: How are we doing? Any cases of whiplash, yet?
RonaldJ: Doing fine.
MichaelH had his seatbelt on the whole time :)
GailP: The Wise Guide has lots of great offerings - and you can find them all in the Archives -
LeannM: my head's spinning!  just kidding
NuritS: Great here!
LeniD: Glad to hear you are all right, folks :-)
SuzanneH: Yes.  Now I see why you can get a printed transcript.

LeniD: And of course...Lewis and Clark immediately come to mind when one thinks of explorers...
LeniD: From the Wise Guide, once again...links to sources about this famous duo:
LeniD: “Go West, young men!”
RonaldJ: I just saved the Wise Guide as a WEB favorite
LeniD: To support a study of the Lewis and Clark expedition, try this interactive activity from the Learning Page...
Fill up the Canvas...
JulieSz: a hot topic in MO
LeniD: A hot topic many places, this year :-)))
GailP: And for a couple more years I think!
LeniD: True, Gail!
RonaldJ: WOW!
GailP: Here is the Canvas Resource Page - come back and visit later - it will link you to many primary resources in the LOC related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition...
LawrenceH: A 4th grade topic in Washington (in the 40s)

LeniD: And more from the Library’s amazing Map collect ions...
Discovery and Exploration..
LeniD: And a Learning Page activity to help teachers and students glean all that can be learned with maps....
CraigN: Here is one we have done - a VR movie from the inside of an earthen lodge similar to one that Sacagawea lived in.
GailP: Craig - that is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!!
LeniD: Ah, yes! I remember this one, Craig. It was "in process" when last you shared it. Cool!
RonaldJ: The student graphic organizer for these maps are a great feature.
LeniD: It helps to scaffold the thinking, doesn't it Ronald?
RonaldJ: Indeed so.
CraigN: How about a quote - one I use in my signature - deals with how you are using technology to share these resources.
" If learning is an act of exploration, then technology equips the explorer for the journey of a lifetime".....
JeffC: I have a couple hundred Social Studies links at
LeniD: Nice, Craig! Thanks for sharing :-) Thanks, Jeff!
JeffC: Going to take me a while to add all the ones Leni gave us tonight.
MichaelH . o O ( don't forget Leni posts a transcript on the LP web page soon after the session is completed, too )

LeniD: The Learning Page collection connections take an in depth look at a single collection...
LeniD: Visit these collection connections to learn about exploration and explorers...
LeniD: Evolution of the Conservation Movement: 1850-1920...
LeniD: History of the American West, 1860 - 1920...
LeniD: Mapping the National Parks...
LeniD: “California as I Saw It”: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 - 1900
JohnLi: That would be great for our fourth grade teachers, who concentrate on California history.
JosephLH: California Pictures in Prose and Verse would be great to link Social Studies and Language Arts

LeniD: Are you looking for classroom tested lessons?
LeniD: Classroom lessons...
LeniD: How about this one for grades 8-12...
LeniD: Explorations
RonaldJ: This would be terrific when used in conjunction with T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"
JulieSz: any for elementary grades?
LeniD: Good connection, Ronald!
LeniD: And for grades 3-8...
LeniD: Marco Paul’s Travels on the Erie Canal...
JulieSz: thanks!
LeniD: and this new lesson...
LeniD: Journeys West
GailP: Julie - we'd love to hear what would help you - at the elementary level - beyond this lesson -
LeniD: Yes, indeed, Julie.
RonaldJ: Again - another literary connection - Steinbeck's work (naturalism, the dust bowl -) all great historical information as background to the study of these novels.
NuritS: This lesson would be great for 4th or 5th!
LeniD: Yes, I love Journeys West, too :-)
LeniD: you are the "connections man," Ronald! Bravo!
SuzanneH: Fabulous.  I am doing westward expansion this month.
GailP: And remember - even if a lesson is targeted to a higher level - you can use the resources suggested and adapt them to your own level...Both Leni and I are so interested in your needs and how the Library of Congress can work to help you in the future...
LeniD: Feel free to write to us, offline, if you wish. We WOULD love to hear from you!
JulieSz: I'm back!   I work primarily with 3rd and 4th grade teachers
JulieSz: It's hard to find age appropriate materials for that age that they can read and understand
RonaldJ: Gail - I'm interested in tying these LOC documents/sites to literature and writing. Students need these as a 'hook' to get them interested in American literary classics. If I can link history with imaginative literature, then I have generated some interest.
LeniD: You are right, Julie, though there is much in America's Library that you can use.
NuritS: Yes, I teach 3rd and their reading and comprehension levels are so varied.
GailP: I'm so glad to hear that, Ronald.
JulieSz: And the varied levels makes teachers not use some great sites
LeniD: Julie and Nurits...many activities on the Learning Page, in addition to America's Library, can be used with teacher "facilitation".
GailP: I agree, Julie...
NuritS: I usually use partners and literature circles to group some of the advanced readers with the slower ones
JohnLi: In California, Lewis and Clark is initially covered in fifth grade (slightly higher reading levels, for those on-level anyway).
RonaldJ: All too often, our disciplines are departmentalized. They needn't be so much. If the teacher is willing to dig, each discipline can in some way inform the other - and for good purposes in the classroom.
LeniD: Great...that's very effective, NuritS.
LeniD: Ronald, I'm a firm believer in "whole" learning...that's how we make real connections!
JulieSz: The classrooms I work with are all equipped....2 kids per computer.  They do a lot of online activities (webquests, online projects, etc)....but get hung up on the reading level of some of the resources on the Internet
LeniD: Julie, much of what we do in workshops is done with image sets...and can be done by any age group.
RonaldJ: You're right, Leni. But I find that the teacher must be a student, too, in order for this to happen. I've also found that not to be the case in many situations.
GailP: I think, Julie, that we are aware of that....but what could we do to help you make our resources more accessible?
CraigN: Have you looked at Nettrekker? A subscription service that has collected web sites by curricular area, grade level, and standards.
RonaldJ: I'm sorry - I didn't mean to digress.
LeniD: Especially in secondary's easier for the elementary teachers I think, Ronald.
JulieSz: hmmm...lower the readability level a bit, or at least "chunk" the information into 8-10 year old pieces
LeniD: Good suggestion, Julie. Have you used America's Library? Is it hard for your youngsters to use, too?
GradyM: I think many teachers are just unaware of all the resources offered by the LOC. I really feel this is a vast tool we haven't taken advantage of.
GailP: I think we are all here for the same purpose - to share great resources to make the teaching of history more fun, meaningful and understandable....give us your suggestions...
LeniD: Craig, that's a good suggestion, too...thanks :-)
LeannM: I agree with Grady
JosephLH: The more I look, the more I want to use.
LeannM: I'm so excited about the material that the LOC provides for teacher and students
LeniD: It can be overwhelming, Grady and Leann...we know that :-( But we are definitely looking for ways to make it more approachable...
ChristyD: After looking at what the Library of Congress has to offer, I think materials can be found for most every grade level to use.
JulieSz: It's a bit over the heads of some of the younger  kids.  Now a days, you get a group of kids in a third and fourth grade room that really struggle with reading
LeniD: that is the whole point of the Learning Page. We WELCOME your comments and suggestions :-)
JulieSz: If they can't read, they can't comprehend either
LeannM: I have been sharing information from the LOC with other teachers as well as friends that are interested in America's history
GailP: Grady...I'm sure you are the voice "of the people"....any suggestions....???? We're listening....
GradyM: The more you explore, the easier it seems to navigate and search. At least for me, anyway.
JulieSz: I now know I need to spend a LOT more time looking through everything you have to offer.  THis way I can make useful suggestions to my teachers
RonaldJ: The problem with me is that I don't know when to stop and use. I just keep looking and looking and looking.
LeniD: Definitely true, Grady. There is a real learning curve...but then the possibilities are endless.
LeniD: LOL...Lost in LOC-Land...been there, done that :-)
JosephLH: Whenever I look for anything on the internet, I often find myself looking and looking, etc.  I just love to learn!
JulieSz: Is the LOC-ness monster there too?
GailP: I think we'd love to hear, Ronald, what might be the kind of resource you Would stop and use - one document, an activity, a lesson... or something that we are not offering...?
CraigN: our Lewis and Clark links can be found at
GailP: Thanks, Craig!
CraigN: Our general curriculum links are at
RonaldJ: I would love to see more literary connections and uses -- especially more linkages between the Library's holdings and our nation's literatures.
LeniD: Nice, Craig!
JosephLH: I think what helps are personal stories or background-to help link the big idea.
RonaldJ: You would get more English faculty involved, I believe.
GailP: Ronald - give us some titles and maybe we can make the connections....
GailP: Agreed, Joseph...
LeniD: I always made those connections with my students, too, Joseph. Agreed.
MichaelH knows there's a good "To Kill A Mockingbird" lesson on the LP site
RonaldJ: Starting with Oral traditions  and Native American literatures - then following up the philosophic/literary historic timeline. I'll be glad to put together a few ideas, if you're interested. How may I get in touch with you?
LeniD: Please!
GailP: But how great if you would give us 10 of your top 10 titles for connections....
LeniD: Write to
GailP: I feel a research project coming on....:-)
RonaldJ: Gail - I would be glad to.
GailP: Wonderful, Ronald...
GradyM: As a seventh grade teacher, our SC curriculum standards don't seem to focus as much on U S history as much as they do on a broader "world communities" concept. Hopefully, the LOC might be able to expand into more world regions.
RonaldJ: You can expect it this evening.
LeniD: Thanks, Ronald.
GailP: Thanks, Ronald!
LeniD: Grady, the Global Gateway is slowly growing...keep an eye on that...
ChristyD: I teach with GradyM.  I agree.  It has been difficult trying to find resources that fit our curriculum standards.  I would like to see more on world regions.
RonaldJ: Glad that I can help. This site makes me want to teach HISTORY and Social Studies. It's terrific.
LeniD: and we will try to make some connections through the Learning Page, too.

LeniD: All of the resources I shared this evening (and many more) can be visited in the Exploration and Explorers Community Center from the Learning Page...
CraigN: those were thematic links. curricular links at
CraigN: has over 2,000 educational videos and a 30 day free trial. One 50 minute video broken into many short clips on Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea.
JulieSz: This will help with Lewis and Clark...
LeniD: United Streaming is AMAZING!
GailP: Please do keep in touch with us......
GailP: And thanks Julie...
JulieSz: Check out the MO heritage videos
LeniD: Our time is drawing to a close...
JulieSz: it went fast!
LeniD: Hate to stop this very helpful discussion...
LeannM: it sure did
LeniD: Please join us next month, on May 20, when we will be discussing War and Peace (and, hopefully, seeing more peace in our world than we do today!).
GailP: I congratulate you all for your caring and interest about your profession....
GailP: We're here to help you....
LeannM: this has been wonderful
RonaldJ: Thank you, Leni and Gail, for your time.
ChristyD: Thanks!
JulieSz: thanks!
CraigN: thanks. bye
GailP: and we want to hear from you....
RonaldJ: This has been most informative and helpful.
GailP: Bye....
SuzanneH: Thanks a lot for everything.  I can't wait to use the westward expansion stuff.
JosephLH: Thank you
MichaelH waves
NuritS: thanks, very useful info!
GradyM: I have enjoyed the sites I got to visit, and I look forward to viewing those I couldn't access. Thank you for the information
LeniD: We thank you for making time to join us! Great discussion...thanks!
RonaldJ: And Michael H, too!
LeniD: Thanks, BJ and Michael :-)
LeannM: thanks so much!
MichaelH: great session, Leni!
GailP: Peace to you all....and off to toddlers....
LeannM: good night!
NuritS: good night
LeniD: Good night :-)
RonaldJ: Goodnight.
MichaelH waves good night!

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Last updated 04/17/2004