Lesson Plans

The Brownies’ Book: I Am an American Citizen

Students analyze an issue of the Brownies’ Book to investigate its historical significance and explore how the theme of American citizenship was presented to children back then and could be represented to youth of today.

Chinese Citizenship in Hawaii

Students analyze early 19th-century arguments against citizenship for Chinese immigrants to Hawaii and one journalist’s rebuttal to that “defense”, then investigate arguments for and against an immigrant group in America today and compare the historical and contemporary debates.

Shrinking Glaciers

Students analyze historical and contemporary maps to calculate glacier loss on Mount Rainier over time, then explore ideas for slowing glacier loss.

Bonus Veterans

Students analyze primary sources to learn about the Bonus Army and to consider the question, How does informing ourselves about the past guide us in the future?

Why We Can’t . . .

Students investigate how a powerful slogan was used by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and consider how it might be applicable to a contemporary issue.

Snap a Photo: Agent of Change

Students consider point of view and purpose while they engage in careful observation of Lewis Hine’s photographs that exposed child working conditions, generate and test hypotheses based on evidence, and reflect on their learning by applying it to related questions about a photographer’s point of view or purpose. Teachers may choose to have students extend…

Congress and Child Labor

Students analyze primary source images and posters to explore why Congress decided long ago that it was important to pass labor laws to protect children, then apply what they have learned by creating their own historical poster. After, students could investigate child labor today or another contemporary issue related to children and make connections by…

Capture the Flag

Students investigate primary sources to explore the various ways people use the United States flag to show characteristics such as pride, loyalty, and unity for the nation, then create a collage showing examples of celebration and remembrance. After, students can make connections by creating a collage, drawing, poem, video, etc., that shows how the flag…

Civil Rights and Civic Action

Students deepen their understanding and personal integration of the concept of commitment to civic service by examining the historic contribution of young people in shaping positive changes in America using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Students explore the civic service accomplishments of young people to help bring about social change and identify the…