Teaching Materials
Ask a Master Teacher
Lesson Plan Gateway
Lesson Plan Reviews
State Standards
Teaching Guides
Digital Classroom
Ask a Digital Historian
Tech for Teachers
Beyond the Chalkboard
History Content
Ask a Historian
Beyond the Textbook
History Content Gateway
History in Multimedia
Museums and Historic Sites
National Resources
Website Reviews
Issues and Research
Report on the State of History Education
Research Briefs
Best Practices
Examples of Historical Thinking
Teaching in Action
Teaching with Textbooks
Using Primary Sources
TAH Projects
Lessons Learned
Project Directors Conference
Project Spotlight
TAH Projects
Technical Working Group
Research Advisors
Teacher Representatives
Quiz Rules
Teaching History.org logo and contact info

The Evolving West in American History

Very few teachers in the Burbank and Glendale, California, districts have history degrees, and history professional development has been hard to get. Also, 64 different languages are spoken in these schools, adding another challenge for teachers whose students have little understanding of the nation’s history. Annual activities will include five after-school workshops, a summer institute or workshop, a spring break or summer field trip, 10 hours of one-on-one lesson development and coaching support, and visits to local museum and archive resources.

Cohorts of 25 teachers will participate each year, based on content appropriate to their grade level, with an additional 20 teachers per year having access to workshops and summer institutes. The participants will explore historical turning points, key individuals and founding documents through four interconnected themes: the setting, the stories of the people, the government policies and Western influence on the nation as a whole. Teachers will learn research techniques, use of primary source documents, lesson development and evaluation. Their visits to local and distant sites will help teachers better understand the content they teach. Participants will develop rigorous, standards-based lesson plans to be disseminated through presentations at professional conferences and at special professional development events sponsored by the project. In addition, the project Web site will house model lesson plans, recorded lectures and presentations, and other resources for content and pedagogy.