Lesson Plans

For United America, YWCA

Students analyze a poster to investigate audience and creator purpose, then conduct research to learn more about the YWCA in order inform creation of a poster that conveys the advocacy organization’s mission and reaches out to women today.

Poor Richard Illustrated: Lessons for the Young and Old

Students build vocabulary as they analyze illustrations and maxims for citizens published by Benjamin Franklin. After, students create modern-day illustrations with captions that teach similar lessons people would be wise to follow today.

Explorations in American Environmental History: The Photographer, the Artist, and Yellowstone

Students analyze primary sources to understand the impact photographer William Henry Jackson and artist Thomas Moran had on the creation of Yellowstone National Park and how their artistic talents contributed to the creation of the American West. After, students may research a local environmental issue and create a work of art (photograph, painting, poster, etc.)…

Cesar Chavez & Good Citizenship

Using Cesar Chavez as an example, students read articles, analyze primary sources and create living pictures to consider how good citizens contribute to their communities and work together to affect change.

Pulling Down the Statue

Students analyze, then compare and contrast primary source images to investigate the historical removal of a monument. Next students read articles to to investigate contemporary events related to statue removals, then write an op-ed article that links their study of the past to the present situation.

The Art of Tribute

What can you learn about people by analyzing statues created to memorialize them? Who is worthy of a monument? Students consider these questions and more as they analyze primary sources. After, students research and evaluate the building of historical statues and monuments in the United States. Students then either create a drawing or small prototype of…

Community Helpers

The importance of community helpers is a building block of civics understanding. Students investigate who community helpers are and how they have changed over time through primary source analysis, then match historical and contemporary images of community helpers. After, have students draw a picture of themselves as community helpers and/or a community helper in their community…

Rosa Parks: A Proud Daughter

Students develop literacy skills as they analyze a greeting card to investigate families and the emotions they express and get introduced to civic activist and change maker Rosa Parks. The teacher’s guide includes ideas for making connections to historical inquiry through further investigations of greeting cards in the Library’s Rosa Parks Papers collection and applying…

Engine Company 54 lost 15 men, 9/11/01

Through analysis of a collage created post 9/11, students consider how art can help us to process and understand difficult events. After, they collect everyday materials to create a piece of art and an accompanying curator note that reflects on a contemporary event.

Illustrating America

Students explore the stories we tell when illustrating America through primary source analysis, reflection, and creation.

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