Teach US History
Developed in part by the American Antiquarian Society and Old Sturbridge Village, Teach US History is a collaborative grant-funded project created with help from scholars, educators, and institutions throughout Massachusetts. The site presents materials from three separate TAH projects: Keepers of the Republic (20062008), Preserving Our Democracy (20072010), and Securing the Blessings of Liberty (20102014). The goal of Teach US History is to provide teachers with a wide variety of primary sources, lesson plans, media objects, and background materials from across U.S. history, arranged thematically. The project's creators hope that these resources will give historical, cultural, and literary context to moments in U.S. history, and facilitate teachers' implementation of quality U.S. history instruction.
The site is divided into three sections. "Phase I: Coming of Age" covers early 19th-century temperance reform, as well as the War of 1812 and the Hartford Convention. "Phase II" focuses on the American Revolution and on westward expansion. "Phase III: Our Living Past: Antebellum America, 18151850" provides users with resources on the Second Great Awakening, the Age of Reform, Alexis de Tocqueville's visit to the U.S., Indian Removal initiatives, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, "Bleeding Kansas," and the Dred Scott Decision.
Not all of the 11 thematic subsections were completely developed as of November 22, 2011. The subsections on 19th-century immigration and the American Revolution, for example, contained some useful materials but were still marked "under construction," and the subsection on the War of 1812 was not yet open. Plans are in place to add more content to the website.
Teachers will find the How to Use This Site page a helpful summary of what Teach US History provides. Teacher resources include teacher-developed lesson plans, each containing clear objectives, background information, applicable resources and materials, worksheets, a suggested time frame and approach, ideas for assessment, and links to other resources.
Three subsections include a Teacher Resources section that is easily navigable and accessible for classroom implementation. Where this section exists, it organizes available lesson plans into unit plans centered on primary sources. Each Teacher Resources section may also include several subsections: Introduction for Teachers, Introduction for Students, Background Information, Worksheets (created by teachers for teachers), Student Assessment, and What are Primary Sources?
In addition, teachers can access each thematic subsection using the navigation menu on the left side of the Teach US History site. Seven of the subsections are divided into up to four sub-subsections: Overview, Approaches, Articles, and Resources (linked examples are from the subsection "The Second Great Awakening and the Age of Reform"). All of these sections contain and draw on primary sources, including broadsides, images, maps, newspapers, periodicals, and other materials. Additional materials included in some subsections include bibliographies, video clips (produced by professional actors and filmmakers), and related links. Overall, the site makes good use of the wide-ranging collections of the American Antiquarian Society, Old Sturbridge Village, and Worcester Historical Museum.