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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Why is John Adams Standing on Thomas Jefferson's Foot?

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Was it a bromance, or were they frenemies? Young historians use a controversial portrait and letters between Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and others to evaluate the relationship between the two Founding Fathers. Examining the primary...
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How Did the Public View Women’s Contributions to the Revolutionary War Effort?

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Calling upon the legacies of Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, and Catherine the Great, Esther Reed rallied Southern women to support the American Revolution. Using a broadside by Reed and other primary sources, such as poetry, young historians...
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Was the Stamp Act Fair?

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Pledge your loyalty to the king and the Stamp Act or sign an oath against the tax. After simulating an in-class tax for school supplies, young historians consider the reasons for the Stamp Act and similar colonial policies. The...
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Who Burned the Peggy Stewart?

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Not all Patriots were on the same page against the British before the Revolutionary War. While some wanted to use peaceful means, such as debate and petition, others used violence, such as burning ships carrying British tea. Using...
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Runaway Slaves: From the Revolution to the New Republic

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Who were the enslaved people in colonial America? Using ads from enslavers looking to recapture escaped people, young historians put faces and identities to them. Primary sources, such as wanted ads, help scholars reconstruct who these...
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Colonial Tea Parties

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Most people know of the Boston Tea Party, but it was only one of similar protests throughout the colonies. Using a case study from Maryland, learners explore primary sources, including images and newspaper accounts of similar tea...
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Pontiac's War

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Invaders are coming: fight them off or run? Native American peoples had to decide this question after British colonists went west following the French and Indian War. Using a speech from Chief Pontiac, young historians consider if they...
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Native American Gender Roles in Maryland

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Toss gender roles out the window—some societies lived in a world where women not only possessed the family wealth but also were the farmers and butchers. Many Native American societies had more gender equity than European societies....
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Comparing Urban and Rural Life in the Early 1900s

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Experience a bit of what life was like at the turn of last century with images of rural and urban life. Learners consider pictures from each environment and then compare and contrast them. Activities include discussing the differences,...
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Assimilation and the Native People of Metlakahtla, Alaska

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
Fitting in to a dominant culture comes at a price—especially for native peoples. Class members consider this concept using a photo matching game of indigenous people in Alaska. Discussion questions help them consider to what extent these...
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Analyzing Photographs of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
While a catalyst for the labor movement, 146 people lost their lives in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1913. A series of photographs of the aftermath of the tragedy help young historians consider the impact of the fire. The...
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Analyzing a Photograph of a Young American Indian

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
A true glimpse of the past, Angelic La Moose smiles back from more than 100 years ago. Young learners examine the picture of a young girl on a Montana Native American reservation from 1913 to comb it for historical details. A form, which...
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Through Their Eyes: Major Causes and Events of the American Revolution

For Teachers 4th - 12th Standards
Looking for an efficient way to explore the causes and results of the American Revolution? The American Revolution Museum offers a seven-lesson series to hit the highlights of this turning point, using primary sources and activities such...
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Patent Analysis: Joseph Glidden's Barbed Wire

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Barbed wire may have made cattle farming easier, but it brought to an end the free-roaming days of the plains. No longer could Native American groups continue their nomadic lifestyle, and the days of cowboys herding large groups of...
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What Else Was Happening During the Civil War Era?

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
Examine a time of political division and upheaval— not unlike our own—using firsthand accounts. While study of the Civil War often takes center stage in the classroom, the 1850s and 1860s were a period of profound change in other areas...
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Suffragist Susan B. Anthony: Petitioning for the Right to Vote

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
What is the best way to get a point across: a petition or a protest? Using primary sources, including a petition from Susan B. Anthony and a photo of a White House protest from the early 1900s, young historians examine what women did to...
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Patent Analysis: J.W. Davis and Levi Strauss's Fastening Pocket Openings

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Commonplace today, the zipper and button construction of blue jeans was a major innovation. Using the patent for the J.W. Davis and Levi Strauss innovation, individuals comb an image of the fly for clues. Afterward, they discuss its...
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Patent Analysis: Alexander Graham Bell's Telephone

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Believe it or not, the plugs and wires on Alexander Graham Bell's patent application for telegraph improvements has a direct connection to devices today. Young historians examine the fine details of the patent application. After they...
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Patent Analysis: Thomas Edison's Lightbulb

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Watch lightbulbs go off in learners' heads as they look at a patent for Thomas Edison's most famous invention. After examining the light bulb patent, young historians speculate on how the invention changed life in the 1880s and its...
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Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
While most Americans connect the celebration of Thanksgiving to a colonial celebration of pilgrims and Native Americans, the national holiday was actually the product of a war-time measure by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War....
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Featured Activity: City Planning With Census Data

For Teachers 5th - 6th Standards
What's more important ... an ice cream store or a police station? How about a school or a hospital? Using a simulation game, pupils allot resources as the federal government would based on the census. Discussion questions round out the...
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Constitution Day

For Teachers 5th - 6th Standards
Give your Constitution Day celebration a timely slant by discussing the census! An activity that includes analysis of the Constitutional call for a census, along with scaffolded worksheets, help pupils understand the connection between...
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Post-1865: Effects of the War

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
What did Lincoln want? Historians still debate this question, and perhaps people will never fully know. Class members examine the legacies of the war, including the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. The lesson plan also...
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Civil War Overview: Elementary Lesson Plan

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
How do you teach the Civil War and all its intricacies within the time limits of an average school day? Using a three-part plan, teachers easily integrate coverage of key Civil War battles into the unit. The lesson includes activities to...