Lesson Plans

Setting the Pace for Racial Tolerance

Students analyze an historical newspaper article to learn about a 1944 conference on building better race relationships and identify the claim that keynote speaker first lady Eleanor Roosevelt made about the need for the U.S. to set the pace for the rest of the world and provide supporting evidence for that claim. After, students consider the relevance the article has today and create a product to demonstrate their understanding.

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A New National Anthem

Students analyze the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner, then investigate how a 1991 musical rendition of the song by Whitney Houston and a poem by Ada Limón provide them with deeper insights and understanding of the U.S. National Anthem. After, students create a new version of the national anthem by either creating an erasure poem from the lyrics or writing a response to Limón’s poem or the original anthem.

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What is Our Value?

Students analyze primary sources to investigate people whose lives may not have been adequately valued by their contemporaries and consider how those individuals could have been valued, and possibly assisted.  After students create a song, diary entry, or podcast that addresses their historical investigations as well as their own contemporary viewpoints.

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American Memory & Me Birthday Project

Students learn about primary sources then analyze both secondary and primary sources to investigate historical events that happened on their birthdays, helping them to recognize that each person is part of and contributes to the ongoing American memory. After, students create news sheets that summarize key points of a seminal historical event or person in American history, celebrate their births, and describe the legacies they would like to imprint on the American memory.

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Pledge of Allegiance Image Sequencing

Most school children in the United States recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. But what does the pledge really mean? By analyzing primary source images and pairing them with the text, students deepen their understanding of a citizen's commitment to country. After, students create and decorate their own pledge to family, heritage, culture, class, or school.

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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.

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I Am an American Day

Students analyze historical newspaper opinion pieces, focusing on argument, audience and author purpose. After comparing and contrasting the texts, students write a short opinion piece for a modern-day audience that speaks to being an American.

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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.

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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.

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