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Lesson Plan
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Smithsonian Institution

General George Washington, Military Leader

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
Teach pupils the characteristics that make George Washington such an effective leader, especially in context of his time period. Scholars view artifacts, participate in group work, create lists, compare and contrast, and discuss as a...
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Interactive
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American Battle Monuments Commission

Ypres-Lys Offensive

For Students 8th - 12th Standards
The end of World War I saw an Allied victory, thanks in large part to the 1918 Ypres-Lys Campaign in Belgium. Middle and high schoolers learn more about the tactical decisions and military strategies of these important months during the...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

What Kind of Leader Was General Douglas MacArthur?

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
For five decades, General Douglas MacArthur shaped US military involvement around the world. His career ended when he went toe to toe with President Dwight Eisenhower over the Korean War. Young historians evaluate the complicated command...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Integration of the US Armed Forces

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Uncle Sam wants you to integrate the military! The activity uses images and documents to help scholars understand the integration of African Americans into the mainstream military. Academics analyze a series of military photos and...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The Vietnam War Timeline: Understanding the Nature of a Controversial Conflict

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The story of the Vietnam War is often told through images. Young historians analyze images and primary sources —including the Vietnamese Army's Seven Commandments poster and photos of the daily life of soldiers—to construct a timeline of...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The War in Vietnam - A Story in Photographs

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The Vietnam War was the first war to come into American living rooms with its images of American soldiers fighting in jungles far, far away. Young historians analyze and curate photos from the conflict, deciding how they would create a...
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Lesson Plan
Center for History Education

The Cuban Missile Crisis

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Cold War tensions led to hostile actions. Scholars use primary sources to understand the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis during President Kennedy's administration. The instructional activity provides primary sources and a...
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DocsTeach

Introduction to the Domino Theory and Containment Policy in Vietnam

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Scholars analyze a propaganda poster against communism. The resource uses the poster to examine the domino theory and containment policies used by the United States to stop the spread of communism in Vietnam. Scholars work in pairs or...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Gulf of Tonkin Incident and Resolution

For Teachers 7th - 12th
They sunk our battleship! An engaging activity focuses on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the sinking of the USS Maddox. Young historians learn how it increased tensions leading to the Vietnam War and read through a first draft of the...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Analyzing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Original Draft Resolution)

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Breaking news, President Johnson addresses the nation! Scholars watch a video of President Johnson's address to Congress regarding the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The activity focuses on the  motivation behind the resolution and the...
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Containment in Korea: Entering the Korean War

For Teachers 6th - 8th
An interesting resource explores President Truman's decision to enter into the Korean War to contain the spread of communism. Historians analyze the document using an online worksheet before participating in group discussion on the...
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Interactive
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Analyzing US Involvement in the Vietnam War

For Teachers 9th - 12th
War: unavoidable or a necessary evil? A thought-provoking activity explores the United States' long involvement in the Vietnam War as well as the aftermath. Scholars research and summarize primary documents and complete online worksheets...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

New Technology in World War I

For Teachers 7th - 12th
A fast-paced activity focuses on the development of technology during World War I. Young historians match images of new technologies and complete a worksheet. Scholars also read an account of the war from the perspective of an American...
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Lesson Plan
Center for History Education

Fighting for Whose Freedom? Black Soldiers in the American Revolution

For Teachers 3rd - 5th
Fight for freedom! The lesson delves into the world of African American soldiers during the American Revolution. Scholars read documents, such as the Dunmore Proclamation, to understand how the British government treated African...
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Lesson Plan
Center for History Education

Who Fired the Shot Heard Round the World?

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Take a closer look. Young academics become detectives in an engaging lesson on the American Revolution. Scholars work in groups to analyze documents to uncover whether the American colonists or British soldiers fired the first shot at...
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Lesson Plan
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Smithsonian Institution

Borders with the World: Mexican-American War and U.S. Southern Borderlands

For Teachers 8th - 11th Standards
The Mexican-American War created social borders—not just physical ones. Scholars learn about the effects of the Mexican-American War on the people living in the borderlands using text excerpts, maps, and partnered activities. Academics...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Artists Document World War I

For Teachers 8th - 12th Standards
Drawings may be worth even more than a thousand words. Curious scholars query an artist's rendering of troops leaving a ship after they have arrived in Europe to fight in World War I. By zooming in and looking at the entire piece, class...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The Night Before D-Day

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Get inside the mind of General Eisenhower regarding the D-Day invasion. An interesting activity uses historical documents to highlight the differences between Eisenhower's public stance on D-Day and his private opinions. Scholars analyze...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Pearl Harbor Dispatch Analysis

For Teachers 5th - 8th
Scholars play a historical version of the telephone game when they analyze the dispatch from the Pearl Harbor attack. The quick activity uses primary sources to help academics analyze an historical event. Young historians also complete a...
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Letter to Truman about the Manhattan Project

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Delve into the past to understand the opposition to the Manhattan Project. An interesting activity is designed to be completed in pairs, groups, or individually. Scholars analyze historical documents, complete an online worksheet, and...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Analyzing Evidence of the Pearl Harbor Attack

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Don some detective caps and delve into the past to explore the evidence left behind after the attack on Pearl Harbor. An interesting activity uses primary sources to explore how the United States Navy was caught off guard and how the...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
While there are no photographs of actual battles during the Civil War, the pictures of Matthew Brady still paint a vivid image of what life was like as a solider. Using a series of photographs, including those of camp life and the...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Analyzing a Letter from Jackie Robinson: "Fair Play and Justice"

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Jackie Robinson was more than a baseball legend; he was an activist, too. An interesting resource explores Robinson's time in the military using primary sources. Scholars examine the racially inspired event that led to a court martial...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Alfred Sinker and the Writ of Habeas Corpus in 1861

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Scholars learn how the judicial system treated under-age Civil War soldiers using historical analysis. The resource uses court documents to help historians understand why Habeas Corpus was used in the case of Alfred Sinker and why he was...