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Moments in American History

Screen from introductory video, Moments in American History

If you're looking for a fully realized web-based Teaching American History grant product, you've come to the right place.

Working together, 18 Central Washington School Districts headed by the Thorp School District; seven universities; a historical society; four libraries; and four museums created Moments in History, a beautifully designed documentary website. The grant also covered creation of a DVD with additional history content, which won a Regional Emmy Award. All speakers featured on the website and/or DVD were interviewed by grant director Tom Christian, with editing, sound, and graphics added by Central Washington University's media company—an excellent example of the working partnerships which TAH permits education professionals to form.

TAH grants are given to foster educator professional development and increase student insight in U.S. history. This project takes these goals a step further, providing the means for teachers, students, and the general public to reap these same benefits, regardless of their lack of participation in the project itself.

The Website

The website opens to a professional-looking page complete with project description, an audio tour by the director, and "documentary-style" music, which has been well-selected to add to the mood of the page, without hindering its use.

The more than 60 short documentaries provided are broken down into three eras—"1750-1865: Events Affecting Growth of Territories and States," "1865-1945: Growth to World Power," and "1945-2005: Interactions Within Our Borders & Throughout the World." The documentaries are clearly labeled, and are hosted by 21 recognized historians.

Additionally, visitors can access a multiple choice question for each video. To do so, select a documentary, choose "add this movie to your knowledge cache," and then click "Test Your Knowledge" in the main menu. You can choose to try your hand at the questions before and/or after viewing the videos.

The Teachers

Teachers involved in the grant attended nine content workshops, with presenters from regional universities and historical societies, in addition to a presentation on Classroom Based Assessments. At these events, teachers were able to compare and contrast their teaching methodologies.


Central Washington University, CWU Media Productions, University of Idaho, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, Seattle Pacific University, Eastern Washington University, Yakima Valley Community College, Oregon State University, Washington State Historical Society, and others