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U.S. History Resources



Associations/Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union: Racial Justice
The Racial Justice webpage of the ACLU website provides information and news stories about current issues relating to racial justice and civil rights.
Grades: 9 - 12
https://www.aclu.org/issues/racial-justice
American Indian Library Association -- Resources
The American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, work to improve library services of American Indians and Alaska Natives. This page identifies a variety of resources about American Indians including lists of recommended books, archives of photographs and images, and other initiatives for improving the life and image of American Indians.
Grades: PreK - 12
http://ailanet.org/resources/
History Now
History Now is an online journal for K-12 history educators and students, produced by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Access to the journal's content is free, but requires the user to create a free account.
Grades: K - 12
https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-now/2016-03/
alexander-hamilton-american-imagination
National Geographic Society: Education
The National Geographic Society's website features an Education section which includes resources for educators, such as lesson plans, units, activities, and educational games. These resources can all be filtered by age group and/or subject.
Grades: K - 12
http://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/
The Supreme Court Historical Society
The Supreme Court Historical Society is a private non-profit organization which collects and preserves the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. It supports educational programs and includes several lesson plans on the website (under Learning Center). The History of the Court and How the Court Works pages also contain valuable teaching resources and quizzes.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://supremecourthistory.org/index.html

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Bibliographies and Research Guides

American Historical Fiction
A selected bibliography of historical fiction from pre-revolutionary America to the early twentieth century. All titles are available from the Curriculum Materials Center of the Cheng Library.
Grades: K - 8
http://www.wpunj.edu/library/cmc/PDF/AmHistFict.pdf
American Indian Library Association -- Resources
The American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, work to improve library services of American Indians and Alaska Natives. This page identifies a variety of resources about American Indians including lists of recommended books, archives of photographs and images, and other initiatives for improving the life and image of American Indians.
Grades: PreK - 12
http://ailanet.org/resources/
Celebrating America: Teaching about Patriotic Holidays
A selection of resources available from the Cheng Library's Curriculum Materials Center. These can be useful for teaching about patriotic holidays, symbols and history in Preschool through grade 8 classrooms.
Grades: K - 12
http://www.wpunj.edu/library/cmc/PDF/PatrioticHolidays2007.pdf
Celebrating Black Pride
A selected bibliography of materials for teaching about African American history in the PreK-12 classroom. These materials are available in the Curriculum Materials Center of the Cheng Library.
Grades: PreK - 12
http://www.wpunj.edu/library/cmc/PDF/CelebratingBlkPride2006.pdf

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Lesson Plans and Teaching Activities

American Civil Liberties Union: Racial Justice
The Racial Justice webpage of the ACLU website provides information and news stories about current issues relating to racial justice and civil rights.
Grades: 9 - 12
https://www.aclu.org/issues/racial-justice
American Experience (PBS)
This website accompanies the long-running PBS series. The educational resources can be browsed or searched. The browse function opens up a page divided into time periods and events. After selecting a time period, you can refine your results by type, such as primary source, map, bibliography, teacher's guide, etc. The types can also be further refined by selecting the media type, such as text, image, video, audio, etc.
Grades: 9 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/teachers/index.html
American Experience: Eyes on the Prize
Eyes on the Prize is a 14 hour documentary series about the Civil Rights movement that was produced by PBS. This companion website includes primary sources (newspaper and magazine articles, video footage, photos, etc.) from the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 until 2006. The Teachers section contains sample lesson plans for elementary, middle school and high school.
Grades: 5 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eyesontheprize
American Memory from the Library of Congress
The American Memory Project is a digital record of American history, containing documents, maps, photographs, moving images, sound recordings and memorabilia from American life. The collection of over 5 million items chronicles daily life as well as major events. Searchable by broad subjects or keywords. The Teachers section includes sample lesson plans and other teaching suggestions.
Grades: 3 - 12
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
American Valor
This PBS website includes stories and interviews with recipients of the Medal of Honor, a history of the award,sample lesson plans and other resources.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/stories/
Circle of Stories
This documentary series from PBS focuses on the rich oral history tradition of Native American cultures. This website includes several lesson plans that correspond with the series, and can be incorporated into the subject areas such as language arts, theater, history, social studies, multicultural studies, technology, and life science.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/circleofstories/educators/index.html
Civil Rights Digital Library
The Civil Rights Digital Library, a project of the University of Georgia, is a comprehensive effort to identify and collect resources about the Civil Rights movement from 1950-1969. It includes primary source materials (sound and video recordings, photos, government documents, diaries, etc.) as well as links to resources in other collections. The Educator Resources consists of lesson plans, study guides, timelines, worksheets, etc.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://crdl.usg.edu/
Civil Rights Resource Guide
Part of the Homework Center of the Multnomah County Library, this page identifies a number of civil rights topics and web resources for that topic. Also included are links to lesson plan websites on Civil Rights.
Grades: 6 - 12
https://multcolib.org/homework-center/civil-rights-resource-guide
Constitution Center: Constitution Day
The Constitution Center provides many resources to help educators plan Constitution Day lesson and celebrations for their students. These include lesson plans, videos, and other activities for all grade levels.
Grades: K - 12
http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution-day/
constitution-day-resources/
DocTeach
The National Archives has developed seven free teacher tools that can make primary source materials more accessible to students. A curated collection of primary source materials, divided into eight time periods of U.S. history, is part of this website. Registration is required.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://docsteach.org
Glossary of Legal terms: SCOTUSblog
This blog produced by the Supreme Court of the United States provides a comprehensive glossary of legal terms. This blog also has other resources such as cases, statistics, and videos.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.scotusblog.com/reference/educational-resources/
glossary-of-legal-terms/
Historical Scene Investigation
In partnership with the Library of Congress' Teaching with Primary Sources program, the College of William & Mary School of Education created this model of researching with primary sources. Thirteen "cases" are presented with primary sources and critical thinking questions. The Teacher View provides additional background information, teaching suggestions and NCSS standards.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://web.wm.edu/hsi/
History Channel: Brown v. Board of Education Ruling
The History Channel's website features a section on Speeches and Audio, where you can listen to the radio news broadcast of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. The news report demonstrates the segregation of the 1950's, as seen through the media.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.history.com/speeches/brown-v-board-of-education-ruling
History Lab
Subtitled: An inquiry-based approach to teaching history. The History Lab provides a framework to help teachers teach history through primary sources. Search by broad topic, grade level or keyword. Search results identify primary sources and instructions for the suggested project. A primary source guide guides students through the activity.
Grades: 3 - 12
http://hlab.tielab.org
History Matters
From George Mason University this website includes extensive list of links to primary sources and teaching activities focusing on American History from exploration through the present day. Many resources are available with suggestions of how to use primary sources with students.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/
History Now
History Now is an online journal for K-12 history educators and students, produced by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Access to the journal's content is free, but requires the user to create a free account.
Grades: K - 12
https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-now/2016-03/
alexander-hamilton-american-imagination
Jamestown Rediscovery: Historic Jamestowne
The Education webpage of the Jamestown Rediscovery website features several educational resources to teach the history of Jamestown and the story of the first permanent English settlement. It includes lesson plans, YouTube videos, and virtual tours.
Grades: 3 - 12
http://historicjamestowne.org/education/for-educators/
Jazz in America
Jazz in America is a project of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz that provides lesson plans about jazz and its role in US history. The curriculum aligns with standards of the National Association for Music Education and the National Center for History in the Schools. Includes links to video and audio recordings.
Grades: 5 - 12
http://www.jazzinamerica.org
Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court
Landmark cases of the Supreme Court is a joint effort between Street Law, Inc., a nonprofit organization, and the Supreme Court Historical Society. each landmark case on the website provides an overview of the case, teaching materials, and the case decision.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://landmarkcases.org/en/landmark/home
National Geographic Education
Covering a variety of subject areas National Geographic Education tries to inspire the spirit of adventure. Videos, games, lesson plans, unit plans and other learning activities are searchable by grade level and subject area.
Grades: K - 12
http://education.nationalgeographic.com/
National Geographic Society: Education
The National Geographic Society's website features an Education section which includes resources for educators, such as lesson plans, units, activities, and educational games. These resources can all be filtered by age group and/or subject.
Grades: K - 12
http://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/
National History Day
"It's not just a day, it's an experience" is the slogan for the History Day competition for students in grades 6-12. Stressing strong research skills and the use of primary and secondary resources, the official website includes information about the contest, lesson plans, links to primary resources, as well as samples of successful History Day projects.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.nationalhistoryday.org
National Museum of the American Indian: Online Collections Search
This webpage from the National Museum of the American Indian includes a sample of the museum's object and historic photo collections. The webpage notes that "Records for many objects include their original catalog cards, which often date to the early 1900's. These cards may include tribal names and terminology considered unacceptable or offensive today, but they have been included to illustrate the information that originally accompanied the objects."
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.nmai.si.edu/searchcollections/home.aspx
National Park Service: Learn NPS
Information on parks as classrooms, historic places, and Great American Landmarks are given, and ideas for lessons based on these themes are included in this official site from the National Park Service.
Grades: 4 - 12
http://www.nps.gov/learn/home.htm
New Jersey Digital Highway
Your "one stop shop" for New Jersey history and culture, from the collections of NJ libraries, museums, archives and historical societies. It provides primary sources such as photographs, documents, and maps from the American Revolution, Civil War, Cold War and in social protest during the 1960's and 70's.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.njdigitalhighway.org/
New Jersey Historical Commission
With its mission "to enrich the lives of the public by preserving the historical record and advancing interest in and awareness of New Jersey's past" this website provides information about grants and awards, special events and links to lesson plans and other teaching resources.
Grades: K - 12
http://nj.gov/state/historical/
New Jersey History Kids
Multimedia clips and accompanying teaching materials focus on 11 New Jersey locations to teach children from grades K-4 about the geography and history of the state. The Lenape Indians, American Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Underground Railroad, Thomas Edison, farming, the Pinelands and the shore are introduced through this website.
Grades: K - 4
http://www.state.nj.us/state/historykids/
New Jersey Women's History
Facts, images, documents and sample lesson plans are included in this web site designed by the Women's Project of New Jersey in collaboration with Rutgers University Libraries and the Alice Paul Institute.
Grades: 3 - 12
http://www.njwomenshistory.org/
NewseumED: EdTools
NewseumED: EdTools is the Newseum's website for educational resources relating to history, civics, and media literacy. It includes lesson plans that align with teaching standards, case studies, primary sources, videos, digital collections, and more. Some of the content is copyright-protected and requires the user to create a free Newseum account to access it.
Grades: 6 - 12
https://newseumed.org/ed-tools/
Reading Like a Historian
Developed by the Stanford History Education Group this curriculum includes lessons in both U.S. and world history. Using collections of primary sources each lesson encourages the use of reading strategies to engage students to respond to an historical question and support their responses with evidence.
Grades: 6 - 12
https://sheg.stanford.edu/rlh
Rock and Roll: An American Story
This free online resource is available through Steven Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. The curriculum is divided into four major periods and is filled with photos, video clips, short articles and other resources. The lessons include an essential question, objectives, links to standards, handouts, etc. Resources are searchable by keyword and artist names. Creating a user account will enable users to be notified when new resources are available.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.teachrock.org/
Separate is not equal: Brown v. Board of Education
In 2004 the Smithsonian National Museum of American History mounted an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. This website tells the story of the history of the fight for equal rights through text, images, quotes and other primary sources. Resources include an annotated bibliography, timeline and teacher's guide.
Grades: 4 - 12
http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/
Smithsonian Education
Created by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies this website provides lesson plans and other resources from the Smithsonian Institute. Searchable by keyword, grade level, subject area or standards, the resources range from activity sheets, photos, videos and across all subject areas.
Grades: PreK - 12
http://smithsonianeducation.org/educators
Supreme Court, United States
This encyclopedia entry from Infoplease.com provides a good overview of the history of the Supreme Court, as well as the current court.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/
supreme-court-united-states-history.html
TeachingHistory.org
This website provides history educators with a variety of resources, such as lesson plans, teaching guides and other teaching materials, history content, quizzes, and best practices.
Grades: K - 12
http://teachinghistory.org/
The Supreme Court
This website from PBS includes information from their documentary series on the Supreme Court. The website has a timeline of the Supreme Court, videos from the series, interactive games, history by topic, and lesson plans.
Grades: 9 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/index.html
The Supreme Court Historical Society
The Supreme Court Historical Society is a private non-profit organization which collects and preserves the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. It supports educational programs and includes several lesson plans on the website (under Learning Center). The History of the Court and How the Court Works pages also contain valuable teaching resources and quizzes.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://supremecourthistory.org/index.html
War
The War, a Ken Burns video series about World War II, explores the war through the stories of four American towns. The web site contains an extensive database of photographs,primary source documents, and videoclips of historical footage, interviews, home movies, and historic newsreels. Lesson plans are available in the For Educators section.
Grades: 9 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/
War of 1812
This website, produced in part by Parks Canada, provides the Canadian perspective of the War of 1812. It includes a timeline of events of the war, an A-Z list of topics, lesson plans, and trivia games.
Grades: 5 - 9
http://www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng
War of 1812
This website from the History Channel provides a good overview article of the War of 1812, as well as videos.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.history.com/topics/war-of-1812
War of 1812: The Canadian Encyclopedia
This article from the Canadian Encyclopedia provides a thorough overview of the War of 1812 from the Canadian perspective. It also includes a timeline of events.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/war-of-1812/
Women in African History
This is an interactive site from UNESCO about women in African history. It provides "modules" on various women, each of which includes a comic, quiz, biography, and other resources. To view the full list of historical women available on this site, click on "Alter view map" under the map on the home page. The modules for the women listed in orange are available; the ones listed in blue are in production.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://en.unesco.org/womeninafrica/

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Standards

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
The C3 Framework was the result of a collaborative effort of many social studies teaching organizations to help states and local districts to update their standards. Its objectives were to increase the rigor of social studies education, build critical thinking skills and align programs to the Common Core Standards.
Grades: K - 12
http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/c3/
C3-Framework-for-Social-Studies.pdf
National Standards for History
Developed in 1996 by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles under the guidance of the National Council for History Standards, the National Standards for History for grades 5-12 are divided into three strands. Standards for K-4 are also available through this website, as well as an alignment to the Common Core Standards.
Grades: K - 12
http://www.nchs.ucla.edu/history-standards

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Other Resources

American Experience
Video footage from the American Experience series that looks at a variety of topics, e.g. the Abolitionists, Silicon Valley, the Rockefellers. See the For Teachers link at the bottom of the webpage for a chronological list of historical topics with primary and secondary resources,and suggested teaching activities.
Grades: 7 - 12
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/
American Women through Time
Created by librarian Ken Middleton of Middle Tennesee University this website provides links to resources about American Women. Organized by broad date ranges, the timelines link to collections in institutions throughout the U.S. Most of the resources are primary sources.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://capone.mtsu.edu/kmiddlet/history/women/wh-timeline.html
Digital Public Library of America
An DPLA strives to facilitate access to online collections of photographs, maps, documents and other resources from libraries, museums and archives from throughout the U.S. Searchable by keyword, exhibition, map, date and subject. Also provides links to apps that have been developed to access the collections.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://dp.la/
Digital Vaults
Digital Vaults is a National Archives Experience that introduces students to primary sources (images, documents, etc.). Focusing on a collection of 1200 items students are challenged to find "Pathways" or connections between sources. Students and teachers can create their own "Pathways" or digital posters or videos.
Grades: 6 - 12
http://www.digitalvaults.org
Teaching the American 20's: Exploring the Decade through Literature and Art
Based on an exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center in Tucson, AZ this website examines the social, and cultural changes of the 1920's decade. Each broad category, e.g. Big Debates, is divided into a smaller topic, e.g Rise of Women, and will include a narrative as well as primary sources (photos, documents, etc.). Lesson plans are available, as well as an online glossary.
Grades: 9 - 12
http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/educator/modules/teachingthetwenties/
Veterans History Project
This project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress "collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans." The collection includes interviews, personal correspondence and photos of veterans from World War I to the present. Only a small portion of the collection is available online, however, the website includes information about how additional interviews, etc. can be collected.
Grades: 7 - 12
http://www.loc.gov/vets/

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