United States History Teacher Resources
Find United States History educational ideas and activities
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Students create a timeline of historical weather events in Bedfordshire, England. In this local weather lesson, students interview elders, research the Internet and newspapers to gather information about weather events of the past. the class comes together and add their events to a class timeline.
Modern Minstrelsy: Exploring Racist Stereotypes in Literature and Life
Satires may be designed to expose a bias to ridicule but if misunderstood can they reinforce that bias? Langston Hughes poem, “Minstrel Man” opens a discussion of racist stereotypes, the minstrel tradition, and the musical, “The Scottsboro Boys.” Class members watch a video, read a New York Times review of the play and discuss these sensitive topics. Preview the richly detailed plan and decide if appropriate for your classroom.
Comparing Time Periods in U.S. History: The Ashford Project
Fifth graders use a "fact book" comparing periods in American history then students create a picture to illustrate their assigned periods. # # students use their pictures and concept maps to write expository paragraphs about their assigned time periods.
Social Activism in the United States
Seventh graders explore the goals of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In this US History lesson, 7th graders read a newspaper article that reported a significant event during this era. Students write a summary of this event.
Getting a Sense of Time
Students gain an appreciation for geologic and historic time. They gain a general amount of information of the development of hte Chicago area, with particular attention given to the role of the Chicago River. Students contruct a time line using events from US and Illinois history.
The Economics of Risk
Students consider the plight of immigrant food industry workers in the United States. In this social justice instructional activity, students identify the pros and cons of being an undocumented worker in the U.S. and discuss labor laws.
Abraham Lincoln and the Five-Dollar Note
Students study Presidential history by researching Abraham Lincoln. In this U.S. history instructional activity, students discuss the changes in the 5 dollar bill and create a timeline of Abraham Lincoln's life. Students complete a puzzle activity based on the leadership characteristics of Lincoln.
Harriet Tubman: An American Hero
Students explore U.S. history by viewing a Civil Rights video. In this Harriet Tubman lesson, students identify the era in which Tubman fought for equality and list her important achievements after viewing a biographical film. Students create a chart based upon their identification of Tubman as an American hero.
The Age of Jackson
High schoolers study the image of Andrew Jackson. In this presidential history lesson students investigate the political image that was groomed by Jackson as they examine advertisements. High schoolers compose essays regarding the topic.
Oh, Say Can You See?
Fourth graders explore the role of Maryland in U.S. History. They read a synopsis of the War of 1812. Students observe, through video streaming, the bombardment of Ft. McHenry and the writing of our national anthem. Students create a mini-book that demonstrates the role of Maryland in 1812.
Time Marches On
Students discover the times of Colonial America by creating a timeline. In this U.S. History lesson, students research a teacher-directed website about African Americans in early colonial times. Students utilize their information to create an accurate retelling of the events in this country by creating a timeline of the Colonial era and Africans being taken from their home.
A Thousand Points of Light
Students explore philanthropy in the United States. In this character education and U.S. history lesson plan, students analyze a quote from President G.W. Bush requesting that U.S. citizens put more time into service projects. Students view an interactive website explaining the history and purpose of the nonprofit organization Points of Light Institute and complete a timeline illustrating an increase in service work performed as a result of President Bush's call to action.
Johnny Tremain for the 21st Century
Seventh graders complete a unit of lessons on the American Revolution based on the novel, 'Johnny Tremain.' They define key vocabulary terms, develop a timeline, write a report on a colonial craft, make a colonial flag, and create a Powerpoint presentation.
Do You Have a Prayer?
Students review the 1st Amendment and the clauses which deal with prayer/religion in schools. They discuss, in groups, the Equal Access Act, which gives students the right to practice/express their religion at school and take a quiz on the material.
At The Western Frontier
Students discuss the differences between myths and facts. They examine myths and facts found in movies about the old west. They write an essay that explains how facts differ from myths.
The Twentieth Century
Fifth graders summarize a decade in the twentieth century and compare it to another decade. They present facts in a Hyperstudio document that includes text, photos, and audio to describe the decade.
Post Civil War Reconstruction
Students analyze the process of Reconstruction after the Civil War. In this U.S. History lesson, students discuss specific details about Reconstruction with the class, then complete a worksheet with multiple activities reinforcing the ideas they shared.
A Nation Counts
Students explore the functions of the U.S. Census. In this civics lesson plan, students understand the origins of the census and its role in U.S. history, recognize the political importance of apportionment based purely on population, and use a time line to place significant events surrounding the census in the context of U.S. history.
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
Learners identify what key characteristics of a peacemaker are. They write in their journals about a time when they have been treated unfairly: What happened? How did it make you feel? What did you do about it? Students read an excerpt of a biography; modeling using the graphic organizer to come up with key events and ideas for artifacts.
King Campaigns in Birmingham
Eleventh graders discuss the contributions of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. In this civil rights movement lesson, 11th graders read Rev. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", answer questions about the letter, share their answers with the class and write a journal entry on their thoughts about Rev. King's letter.