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Lesson Planet

Preserving the Bill of Rights

For Students 8th - 12th Standards
Consider how America's founding fathers and their experiences contributed to the rights we all enjoy today. A collection of reading, writing, and collaborative exercises prompt high schoolers to think about the ways their current lives...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Unit 2: Post-Revolution: The Critical Period 1781-1878

For Teachers 9th - 10th Standards
The post-Revolutionary Period of 1781-1787, also known as the Critical Period, is the focus of a series of lessons that prompt class members to examine primary source documents that reveal the instability of the period of the Articles of...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Unit 1: Building Historical Background Knowledge: The Road to Revolution 1754–1776

For Teachers 9th - 10th Standards
What were the conditions that led to the American Revolution? What are the conditions that lead to revolution in other times and places? Class members examine primary source materials and use evidence drawn from these documents to craft...
2 In 2 Collections
Lesson Planet

Spanish-American War: 1 Day Lesson

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
After analyzing newspaper articles portraying different perspectives of the explosion of the Battleship USS Maine, your young historians will take a stand on which position is the most believable in both discussion and writing.
Lesson Planet

Civics and Citizenship

For Teachers 8th - 12th Standards
What is a good citizen? Here is a fantastic unit of ten lessons that will thoroughly cover the concept of civics and citizenship in your class. Examples of activities include learning stations, primary and secondary source analysis of...
2 In 2 Collections
Lesson Planet

The Crime of the Bystander in the Holocaust

For Teachers Pre-K - 11th Standards
What are the dangers of remaining silent in the face of oppression? Learners analyze how German citizens and many around the world allowed the Nazi dictatorship to execute crimes against humanity.
2 In 2 Collections
Lesson Planet

Hate, Anti‐Semitism, & Propaganda in the Holocaust

For Teachers 7th - 9th Standards
What is a hate symbol, and what role did racism and anti-Semitism play in the Holocaust? Your young historians will answer these questions through a series of engaging and interactive activities, as well as discover how Jews were...
Lesson Planet

Cultural Change

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
High schoolers research the passage of the 19th Amendment as an illustration of the mutual influence between political ideas and cultural attitudes. They also read the Seneca Falls Declaration and explore the cultural shifts it both...
Lesson Planet

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: 19th Century African-American Writer and Reformer

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
New ReviewAlthough some African American abolitionists—such as Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass—are well known, others, like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, remain in the shadows of history. Harper was a poet and activist who played an...
Lesson Planet

Northern Racism and the New York City Draft Riots of 1863

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
New ReviewJust how racist were some people in the North during the American Civil War? Using excerpts of the Conscription Act, as well as graphic images of lynchings, young historians consider why white people in New York City rioted and killed...
Lesson Planet

The Civil War: Celebrate or Commemorate? Debate Definitions

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Match game for the win! Build learners' historical vocabulary using an interactive matching game. Class members match each term to its definition with a tap. A writing prompt rounds out the lesson, leading to further discussion on how...
Lesson Planet

Discover the Mary Ann Shadd Cary House

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an extraordinary woman, no matter the time period. Academics research the life and achievements of Mrs. Cary, who was born a free African American in 1823. The lesson uses primary sources, worksheets, written...
Lesson Planet

Lincoln's Suspension of Habeas Corpus During the Civil War

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
What is the balance between constitutional rights and security during a war? Young historians debate the question while looking at Lincoln's decision to suspect habeas corpus during the Civil War. After reviewing his order, discussion...
Lesson Planet

From Dred Scott to the Civil Rights Act of 1875: Eighteen Years of Change

For Teachers 10th - 12th Standards
What do a photo of Abraham Lincoln, a map for the Battle of Antietam, and the Dred Scott decision all have in common? Learners consider the broader question as they examine documents related to civil rights during the Civil War and...
Lesson Planet

Evaluating the New Departure Strategy in the Fight for Women's Suffrage

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
When women demanded their right to vote, did the Constitution already protect it? The New Departure Strategy in the women's suffrage movement made this claim through court hearings. Using documents, such as transcripts from Susan B....
Lesson Planet

Comparing Civil War Recruitment Posters

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
African Americans fought in the Civil War, and they were recruited by both the Union and the Confederacy! By comparing the wording of posters—one directed at freedmen and another to the owners of enslaved people—young historians discover...
Lesson Planet

Black Soldiers in the Civil War

For Teachers 7th - 10th Standards
Get hands on virtually with recruitment posters for African American soldiers during the Civil War with an interactive online resource. By highlighting key phrases in the posters using an Internet tool, learners discover how African...
Lesson Planet

A Petition for the Cotton Gin

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
While almost forgotten today, the cotton gin could be seen as one of the causes of the Civil War. The innovation led to more cotton production, which in turn undermined political power balances in the 1800s. Individuals unpack the...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Abraham Lincoln and Wartime Politics

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Americans today lionize Abraham Lincoln, but he was controversial during his presidency for suspending cherished rights and leading the country during a controversial war. Using primary sources such as campaign materials, young scholars...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

On the Eve of War: North vs. South

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The North and South had been on a collision course for years. Using primary source documents, including speeches from the American and Confederate presidents, learners consider how the regions were similar and different. Afterward, they...
Lesson Planet

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Escalation of the Vietnam War

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution propelled America's involvement into a bloody conflict—and it was based on a fallacy. Using the resolution and other documents from the Vietnam War, including declassified documents, young historians...
Lesson Planet

Ratifying the Constitution

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Ratifying the Constitution was no simple task. Using primary sources, such as classic writings from the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, young scholars examine the arguments for and against the Constitution. They then decide: Would they...
Lesson Planet

The Creation of the Bill of Rights: “Retouching the Canvas”

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
While the Constitutional Convention lay the foundation of the new government for the United States, the protections given under the Bill of Rights were controversial. Using documents, such as James Madison's and Thomas Jefferson's...
Lesson Planet

Empire and Identity in the American Colonies

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The American Revolution was born out of a European conflict that spilled over into North America—and the documents prove it! Using primary sources from the era of the French and Indian War, including British plans to try to unite its...