Eras in American History Teacher Resources
Find Eras in American History educational ideas and activities
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A Review of American History
In this instructional activity young scholars research an important event in American history and use drama, art, music, and dance to express their findings. Suggested activities include illustrating a time line, decorating a shoe box, reciting a speech, putting on a play, or singing a traditional song from a particular time period.
The Fabric of History
African-American history is an integral part of what America is. Learners examine important events, read informational texts, and create quilts depicting specific eras in African-American history. Each image created for the quilt will be followed by a written explanation of its significance. This is a great lesson, it is appropriate for any time of the year.
Black and White in United States History: A Gray Area
Compare and contrast old and modern historical accounts of the life of Thomas Jefferson. Learners begin by evaluating the responsibilities of history textbooks in reporting historical events, people, and eras. Next, they discuss how new information should be used to enhance the information contained in standard texts. This exercise could be used as a critical thinking activity for your class.
Hidden Stories: A Three-Part Lesson in African-American History, Research, and Children’s Literature
Groups of high school learners conduct research on a particular era of African-American history, focusing on events, people, and places important to that era. Next, they review children's literature in four different genres. As a culminating activity, group members combine what they have learned in their research and readings to create their own piece of children's literature based on African-American history.
New! Political Parties
What is a political party, and what major parties exist in American politics today? How did the party system develop in American history, and how are parties organized? These questions and many other details regarding the political party system in the United States government are addressed in this publisher-designed presentation.
Educational apps reviews are available to members
Introduce your class members to the essential questions and information they will be learning in an American history unit with a game app that can also be used again as a review at the end of the study.
The Progressive Era
The purpose of this resource—to help increase understanding of the Progressive Era—is excellent, as are the numerous available resources. However, the instructions are somewhat unclear, so be prepared to fill in a number of blanks. After reviewing more than ten sources of information, individuals write a narrative description of this era. Next, the class divides in two to debate whether the Progressives failed or not. Lastly, individuals reflect on the validity of a quote about building healthier communities.
Music and the American Identity/American Culture
Does music unite or divide Americans? How does music reflect and influence American culture? After journaling an initial response to these central questions, groups examine primary source documents, listen and respond to a wide range of music, and the whole class engages in a “Public Issues Discussion” or SAC. The exercise concludes with individuals crafting an essay in which they argue that music has united or divided American culture.
American Girl, Too
Students discuss the popularity of the American Girl dolls and write a wish-list for a nine-year-old girl. After reading an article, they discover the differences between this doll and barbie. As a class, they brainstorm eras or point of views that have not been addressed by the doll company. They sketch a picture of the doll to represent one of these eras.
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Students explore the contributions of African Americans of the 20th century. In this African American history lesson, students examine portraits of Muhammad Ali, Romare Bearden, Lorraine Hansberry, Judith Jamison, and Leontyne Price in efforts to analyze the images and make inferences prior to discovering their individual contributions.
Young scholars explore how immigration, citizenship, due process of law, and the freedoms of speech and assembly have shaped American values throughout American history
Students examine different decades in American history, finding connections between the historical events and the poetry written during these time periods. They write their own poetry based on current world events.
Build a Black History Database/Timeline
Students research famous people and events in Black History then break the biographies and events down into specific information related to dates in history. They
Ben Franklin and the Rising Americans
Students prepare for and learn through a walking tour of Philadelphia. In this history lesson, students support their studies with a field trip. This lesson could be adapted to suit regions with other historic places or museums.
Language Arts, Social Studies, African Americans, The Blues, To Kill A Mockingbird
African American history during the Jim Crow era includes encounters with poverty, racism, disrespect, and protest. Harper Lee develops all four of these themes in her famous 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. To help students understand these ideas, this
History, African Americans, The Blues
This lesson enables teachers to use blues music to explore the history of African Americans in the 20th century. By studying the content of blues songs, students can learn about the experiences and struggles of the working-class Southerners who created th
Utilizing Art, Literature and Film to Teach Black History
Fifth graders are introduced to different aspects of African-American history through literature, art, and films. As a class, they are read a story about the Underground Railroad, identify the main characters and put the events into chronological order. They read another story and view artwork on their own and answer questions. To end the instructional activity, they identify the location of plantations on a map.
What is History and Why Do We Study It?
Students examine why it is important to study American history. In this American history lesson, students discuss why it is necessary to study history, arrange an outline of American history events in chronological order, and write an article with a futuristic look back at history.
Exploring The American Dream
What is the American Dream and how is it achieved? This lesson plan focuses in particular on the rise of the American Dream during the 1950s and includes a variety of primary sources for class members to interact with as they explore this idea and prepare for a Socratic seminar and a quick essay response.
The Vietnam War & its Impact on American Society
Foster discussion in your advanced high school history class with primary sources from the Vietnam War era. After a timeline activity involving manipulatives, pupils get down to business analyzing and categorizing the document set. All of this work is in preparation for a fish bowl discussion and timed essay.