Lesson Plans

The Declaration of Independence: Created Equal?

Through discussion and primary source analysis, students investigate Thomas Jefferson’s efforts to deal with the complex issues of equality and slavery in the Declaration of Independence. After, students rewrite the Declaration of Independence (or portions of it) to fit a contemporary society and may also stage a mock trial with the students playing the roles…

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.

Pair the picture book, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution., with primary sources to have students consider multiple perspectives as they build knowledge of this historic event in LGBTQ+ rights movement. After students can read the summary of the Equality Act, which passed in the House but has not moved out of committee in…

When Washington Crossed the Delaware

Pair the picture book, When Washington Crossed the Delaware, with primary sources  to have students practice close reading of both texts and maps while investigating the events leading up to and following this key accomplishment in the Revolutionary War. After, students can research a current event and create a map based on their learning along…

All the Way to the Top

Pair the picture book, All the Way to the Top, with primary sources to have students investigate the ideas behind the movement that made the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) possible and the motivations and character traits of a girl who was a part of that movement. After, students can investigate contemporary…

Let the Children March

Pair the picture book, Let the Children March, with primary sources to have students investigate the beliefs of the marchers and their supporters. After, students can tell the story, in words or pictures, of a march they have participated in or a march they could imagine themselves participating in because they passionately support that cause.

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…

Monumental Men

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt made significant contributions to the United States. Through the lens of both primary and secondary sources, students learn about the characters and contributions of these presidents and determine for themselves the qualities and accomplishments that make someone, including themselves, worthy of a lasting tribute. The lesson…

Welcome to Congress

Students are introduced to Congress through primary source analysis and discover how a member of Congress is part of two communities- their home community that they serve, and the community of Congress. After, the teacher may guide students in finding out about their congressional representative and consider sending the rep a letter (see Teacher’s Guide).