History Teacher Resources
Find History educational ideas and activities
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People and Whales: A History
Whales and people have had a long and sodid history. To understand the impact that biological populations have had on each other, learners conduct research on specific topics related to the whale industry. They use their findings to create Glogs, which are interactive posters that include text, animation, and illustration. Discussion, active research, and application, makes for a good lesson!
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.
New! Oral History Interview Questions Worksheet
What is an oral history interview? What goes into the planning and what should be said? Why is it important that we know and learn from oral history? This is an excellent worksheet to support your young historians as they conduct interviews and gather first-person accounts of historical events. Beginning with a description of an oral history interview, the worksheet includes instruction on how to choose the interview subject, introduce yourself as an interviewer, design appropriate questions to acquire details, and design questions for follow-up. The resource also explains an interview's ability to add a personal dimension to the study of the past and provides key tips for actually conducting the interview.
History of the Star Spangled Banner
We have all heard the "Star Spangled Banner" at many points in our lives, but how often do we take the time to truly understand what the words of the national anthem mean to Americans? Don't miss this opportunity to examine the lyrics and explore the history behind an important piece of national heritage with your class. If you are pressed for time, you can combine activities from days one and two for a great lesson.
The Mathematics of History
Is there a relationship between mathematics and history? In this video, Jean-Baptiste Michel explains how our technological advancements will afford many opportunities for mathematics to play an integral role in revealing key trends in our history. This could be a great start to an interdisciplinary project, or prompt a simple discussion on how mathematics can possibly help us to answer questions about where mankind has been and the decisions it will make in the years to come.
Lesson: Dongducheon: A Walk to Remember, A Walk to Envision: Interpreting History, Memory, and Identity
Cultural discourse can start through a variety of venues. Learners begin to think about how our minds, memories, and identities shape our attitudes toward culture and history. They analyze seven pieces from the Dongducheon art exhibit and compose a narrative based on personal research.
New! American Indian Art History Detectives
An art history detective; I want to be one of those! The class puts their heads together to hone their deductive and critical thinking skills in order to determine which Native American tribe created and used parfleche boxes. They'll use maps, research, and discussion to complete this fun and engaging task.
Write Your Story, Change History
Begin your course with an engaging video that inspires viewers to "dream big, work hard, and stay humble," even at a young age. Incorporating a variety of examples from United States history and popular culture, educator Brad Meltzer encourages a diligent work ethic and individual initiative. The video also highlights the importance of chronicling one's efforts and ideas through writing.
A Brief History of Plural Word...s
One of the most straightforward rules of the English language is to add an s to make a word plural, except for a few irregular words. However, English wasn't always like this. Watch a narrated, animated video that explains the history of the development of the pluralization method we know and use today. The video emphasizes the malleability of language.
Putting History in its Place
Examine ways in which historic places and landmarks represent significant themes and events in American history. Then create theme-based travel guides for related historic locations. This lesson plan requires informational reference materials and includes great discussion questions and extension activities.
A Walk Through History
Students examine the relationship between relics found in history museum exhibits and the meaningful ways in which those relics are presented. They, in groups, select objects for a history exhibit about the event or time period of their choice.
What is History? Timelines and Oral Histories
Students consider how we learn about the past and discuss how the framing of history is always done by the person who is telling it. They construct a personal and class timelines, compare two or more accounts of the same event and record oral histories from members of their family.
"I" Witness to History
Young journalists write two to four diary entries from the point of view of a person involved in a historical event. They focus on including facts, clear narration, and accurate description of the individual's feelings. Use this lesson in a cross-curricular writing assignment between language arts and U.S. history, or to bring emphasis to the importance of descriptive writing.
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.
History in Quilts
Young scholars investigate the use of cloth-based art forms intended to pass down traditions and history. They research types of quilts, quilt characteristics and then identify how Freedom Quilts were historically used in the US.
The History of Art
Teachers can use these art history lesson plans as a way to get students to look at art in a new light.
US History Overview 1: Jamestown to the Civil War
Complete with territory maps, photos, and interesting anecdotes, this video covers the major events of American History, roughly from 1754 to 1865. Plymouth and Jamestown are mentioned in the beginning of the video, but the speaker "fast-forwards" 130 years to discuss the French and Indian War. This is an engaging way to review American history up to the Civil War for students who might be a little fuzzy on the details.
Recalling History by Pulling Strings
Students investigate the role and nature of story-telling as it preserves history and culture and discuss how puppetry serves as an effective method of presentation. They create basic outlines for puppet shows that relay important historical events.
Research Famous People in History
A research project about famous people in history can be an interesting, and motivating assignment for students.
The History of Writing
The history of written communication can be an interesting addition to history lessons.