Sunday, January 04, 2015

Website Review: Tracked in America

TRACKED IN AMERICA focuses on the history of U.S. surveillance. An outstanding tool for exploring the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Americans, the website contains a section for educators containing lesson plans, worksheets, and links to primary source materials.

Sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, California Teacher’s Association and others, the website explores seven time periods in history including Pre-World War I, World War I, Pearl Harbor, McCarthy Era, Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam, Sanctuary, and After 9/11. Each era contains a narrative with hyperlinks for additional information. Primary source documents such as posters and photographs bring the time period to life. Audio files provide historical perspectives from historians and a timeline detailing key events.

By exploring the stories of individuals who were targeted for surveillance, students are able to better understand the dangers of government surveillance and the courage of the individuals affected.

When using this website with students, it’s important to discuss the role of the American Civil Liberties Union in advocating for individual rights.

Go to

To connect this idea to libraries, go to the ALA Liberty, Privacy & Surveillance page at