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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...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

The Battles of the Civil War

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Images from Gettysburg and Sherman's March to the Sea still haunt the America consciousness. The battles such as Vicksburg and Gettysburg, as well as Sherman's use of total war, still capture the American imagination. Using primary...
Lesson Planet

The Mexican Revolution

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The legacies of the Mexican Revolution are visible today—even if some history classes don't cover them. Using primary sources from leaders in Mexico at the time of the popular uprising and other evidence, such as railroad maps, young...
Lesson Planet

The Truth About Voting

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
True or False: Only Presidential elections matter. Academics delve into common voting myths to understand what is true and why the election process is critical to democracy. The lesson uses group discussion, activities, and handouts to...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

The Matter of the Philippines

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The United States won the Spanish-American War, so now what? Young scholars act as advisors to President McKinley and use primary sources to recommend what America should do with its territories. Using a variety of perspectives—including...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

The Spanish–American War

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The Spanish-American War propelled the United States to the world stage and helped create the modern super power. Using web-based primary sources and a WebQuest format, young scholars consider the causes and outcomes for the war. Working...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

The Question of an American Empire

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
As it rose to being the new super power, America had a choice: conquer other nations like its European predecessors, or stay home. Using primary source documents from those thinking about American foreign policy in the late 1800s,...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

The Power of the Majority over Thought

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
While Alexis de Tocqueville mourned a lack of "freedom of discussion" in America in the early republic, today's pupils are concerned about peer pressure. Using excerpts of de Tocqueville's writing and discussion questions, scholars...
Lesson Planet

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!: Simulating the Supreme Court

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Young scholars have freedom of speech—or do they? Using an actual court case and research materials on the Supreme Court, young legal scholars examine the Supreme Court's role and history. Then, they argue a case the court declined to...
Lesson Planet

“From Time to Time”: Presidents and Communicating with the Public

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
While the Constitution requires a "State of the Union" address, it doesn't give many details. In fact, it wasn't until Woodrow Wilson that the periodic update to Congress was given in-person. Using primary sources, recordings and...
Lesson Planet

How to Interpret Political Polls

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
While numbers don't lie, the reliability of information in a poll may be difficult to discern. After viewing video clips with polling experts, young scholars consider how polls work and the elements of a reliable poll. Extension...
Lesson Planet

Big Data and Politics

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Movie selection means more than entertainment. Learners consider what information Netflix gathers to understand the concept of "big data." Resource includes clips of experts talking about corporations that harvest the details of our...
Lesson Planet

Survey Analysis- Public Perceptions of Voting and Elections

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The perception of fairness in elections becomes more important with each passing election. Using data from a C-SPAN poll, budding historians consider the differences between how people perceive elections. The resource includes videos of...
Lesson Planet

Presidential Primary Challengers

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
A formidable opponent can shake up the election of an incumbent president. Class members explore the results of the elections of 1912, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1992 using video clips. A chart helps pupils organize their thoughts and analysis. 
Lesson Planet

News Judges

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
Order in the court! Scholars act as news judges, learning how to analyze the newsworthiness of several pieces of information. Working in small groups, they determine which events are most newsworthy and then complete graphic organizers...
Lesson Planet

The Impact of Citizens United v. FEC

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
What began as an effort to show a movie by an interest group has impacted financing of federal elections. Did the Citizens United case lead to more "dark money" in politics, or did it shine a light with more speech? Using video clips...
Lesson Planet

Why Do Americans Not Vote in Elections?

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
In an age of inflamed politics, who votes, who doesn't vote, and why are the questions everyone is trying to answer. Pupils listen to scholars, journalists and data crunchers on voting statistics to make their own conclusions. A chart...