Middle School Introduction

Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered how to teach about the lives of young immigrants in 19th-century America? How to help students understand the differences between primary and secondary sources, or how to find new ways to talk about diversity and immigration in your classroom? Teachinghistory.org is a rich resource for teaching about America's past that can help you with all of this and more. Explore current best practices, find primary sources and classroom activities, and discover resources and strategies for teaching history in new, exciting ways. Let's take a closer look at three sections—History Content, Teaching Materials, and Best Practices.

History Content

Are you looking for new websites? Click on History Content, and then Website Reviews to find primary sources and teaching strategies for your classroom. Let's say you're teaching about America before the Civil War. Browse websites by time period, and enter a key word to narrow your results. The Oakland Museum of California presents rich material on the quest for gold in the West, including virtual tours, primary sources, and middle school lesson plans. Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Hills presents the less well-known story of gold mining in Georgia in the same period. Hoping to use more multimedia in your classroom, or to learn more about a complicated topic? Search History in Multimedia to find everything from a podcast about cooking on the Illinois frontier to an electronic fieldtrip on transportation in the U.S. to a panel discussion on the influence of Irish Americans on American culture. Related Content highlights relevant material from across the site.

Best Practices

Watch video of Teaching in Action as their students engage with primary sources and learn historical thinking. These 8th-grade students are exploring immigration and identity through photographs and letters. Teaching with Textbooks shows creative ways to engage with the tools already at your fingertips. Opening up the Textbook, or OUT, uses the textbook as one source among many. Students compare their textbook with a source that presents another perspective, and ask questions about how we understand the past. You can try this with a lesson plan on the Spanish-American War.

Teaching Materials

Teaching Guides cover many topics, from crafting fieldtrips to blogs in the classroom. This guide helps make primary sources accessible all readers. Lesson Plan Reviews provide good models and a rubric for assessing what a lesson does well and where it needs improvement.

Expect New Content

Keep exploring Teachighistory.org to find many other features. Visit the blog or follow us on Twitter for the latest content and resources. Ask a historian when you have a puzzling or interesting question, or ask questions of a master teacher or a digital historian. Whether you're curious about content or methods, Teachinghistory.org can help you find what you're looking for.

Image Credits
  • Blue Ridge Institute and Museum
  • California History Society
  • David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
  • Digital Library of Georgia
  • Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Library of Congress
  • Madison Public Library
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • Social Explorer
  • University of Illinois at Chicago