For years, I ended my unit on Reconstruction by teaching about the controversial election of 1876 leading to the Compromise of 1877. The Democrats' "corrupt bargain" allowed Rutherford B. Hayes to be declared the winner in exchange for Union troops to be pulled out of the South.
This led directly to the Jim Crow Era of the South. The Jim Crow Era was when racial segregation was legalized, African Americans were disenfranchised, and white supremacists controlled governments across the South.
I realized recently that a case study of how dramatic these changes were for people in the South would be a powerful lesson to conclude the unit with. Following the Jan. 6th insurrection at the Capitol (I have a lesson for this here), I came across an article about the only "successful" coup or insurrection in US History.
I couldn't believe I had never heard of it before, but I dove into learning all I could about what happened at Wilmington, NC in 1898 and created this lesson...
The insurrection of January 6th, 2021 is something that will be taught in US History classrooms as long as American History is a part of high school.
Of course, it can be difficult to maintain the right perspective when teaching events that are so recent. However, ignoring this tragic day does a disservice to our students and to what we do as social studies teachers.
I don't recall anyone saying not to talk about 9/11 immediately after it occurred or in the years since. No one demanded that teachers ignore the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Violent intruders breached what should be one of the most secure buildings on the planet, attacked police, and made violent threats against lawmakers in their hopes for a coup to overturn the will of the American democracy.
I loved what middle school teacher Dylan Huisken told the AP, “Not addressing the attack is to suggest that the civic ideals we teach exist in a vacuum and don’t have any...
If you're a US History teacher looking for PDF worksheets for your high school or middle school classroom, I have tons to share, including this 30+ page packet of free engaging assignments you can download and start using right away.
Our worksheets are perfect for helping students with reading comprehension, preparing for the Regents review or state assessment, pairing with a video like the Crash Course US History series, or with your lesson plans throughout the school year.
While they're sometimes belittled, worksheets are an excellent tool for helping students analyze primary sources or better understand a historical event through a secondary source.
Each US History unit also include thorough 9-page worksheets packets for every unit in the curriculum. These worksheet packets condense everything you need for the unit into one packet, include answers for you in the teacher guide, and are editable with the Google Doc version!
Are you curious about what's included with a Student of History subscription?
Well, let's take a look!
Here's a sneak peek of what your subscription will look like after you login. First, you'll be brought to your dashboard where you'll see the curriculum that you have. It could be Civics, World, or US History.
After clicking on your curriculum, you’ll see all the units that are included. You get immediate access to all of them immediately after signing up. So, no matter where in the curriculum your course begins, you can get started right away.
From there, just click on any unit you want to start with and you’ll see it is broken down by day. Most units are between 7-10 days long. That is based on longer block-scheduled classes. So, if you teach daily 45-minute classes, you might need to break up each day’s lesson over two periods.
The lessons are designed to be easy to understand quickly, so you don’t need to slog through a bunch of pages...
If you're teaching social studies through the COVID-19 pandemic, you've likely tried to connect this moment in history with events in the past from your curriculum.
Since I have both World History and US History, I wanted separate lessons that would allow students to see connections to history from what they have lived through.
To do this, I developed these two lessons. The first one is for US History and allows kids to analyze primary sources from the 1918 "Spanish Flu" pandemic. The second one for World History has students analyzing a primary source from the plague.
The 1918 Spanish Flu was one of the deadliest pandemics of all time. It affected nearly 1/3 of the entire world and killed millions.
It didn't develop in Spain, but earned the name because other nations censored any news of widespread sickness because of World War 1. Spain was neutral in the war and one of the few countries that accurately reported how...
Going digital was already one of the biggest trends in education when COVID-19 hit and schools across the world were forced to move to Distance Learning. Suddenly, all teachers were thrust into digital resources, Google Docs, Zoom, and all the headaches that came with them.
No matter if your experience with Distance Learning was brutal or just a small struggle, there are many excellent resources you can use with Google Classroom now and in the future.
I never ran a paperless classroom and don’t think I'd ever go fully paperless. There’s too many activities that lend themselves better to doing by hand. Distance Learning taught the limits of teaching through technology.
However, I do integrate many Google Docs, Slides, and digital interactive assignments into every unit of US History. When technology is used effectively, it’s an amazing resource. There are many digital learning tools available that enhance student learning.
If you've been forced to move to Distance Learning, have recently gone 1:1 in your school, or just want to use more Digital activities with your students, my Google Drive notebook sets are an amazing resource for your social studies students.
Each digital interactive notebook set covers an entire unit in US History and include 8 to 15 pages of activities. Each page features short directions and links to online sources for kids to learn about the topics covered. There's over 150 pages on US History in all!
The activities on each page vary to ensure students are learning in various ways. Some pages have students drag-and-drop events along timelines of important events. Other pages require students to insert images or respond to prompts. The variety is perfect for keeping students engaged.
There's also pages on vocabulary, geography, primary sources, and all the important information students need to know about each unit in US History.
Social Studies teachers and education leaders have long preached the benefits of using Primary source materials in the classroom. These documents are essential to helping students understand history and encourage analytical thinking.
Primary sources allow teachers to expose students to different perspectives throughout US History and allow students to draw their own conclusions about important historical events.
Many studies have shows textbooks to contain bias or even inaccurate information in some cases. Primary sources bring students directly to the history and eliminate bias in the classroom.
Finding good primary sources that students can understand is the tough part. Often primary sources are at a higher reading-level that students struggle with or are too long to be digested in a class period or for a single assignment.
Over the past few years, I dedicated myself to curating and editing engaging primary source resources for my US History classes. I have spent...
If you teach US History in middle school or high school, you how how important timelines are. They organize events in a simple visual way, help students see cause and effect, and are perfect for showing students all the key events that students need to know in any unit.
I teach ALL of American History, from the Colonies through to Modern America and include printable timeline worksheets in the packets I give students for each unit we cover.
When you do cover so much content in a year, timelines become essential. We often don't have that much time to spend on any one unit. That's why the packets become very effective at showing students exactly what they need to know. The printable timeline pages are perfect for giving students a chance to see each significant event in that.
I make them very simple to use. The timelines are included in a PDF file and a Google Doc. I print out the PDF file of the entire packet at the start of each unit and give them to each...
There is no one way you need to be teaching US History. Every teacher has their own preferred way to run their classes. How you teach your classes is really up to you and what’s best for you and your students.
You might prefer a very structured classroom with routines that students stick to the whole year. Or, you may prefer to mix things up and keep students on their toes with different activities for each unit. Either way can work very effectively!
Over my years teaching US History, I developed a host of resources and teaching strategies that I found to be effective for different groups of kids. Here, I want to share 5 teaching strategies/resources you can use either as the backbone of your curriculum or to mix things up so that each unit has a new feel.
Each method can be combined with inquiry lessons, primary resources, station activities, and Project Based Learning to ensure you’re preparing your students and providing critical thinking...
If you're not sure about signing up, why not try out some of our resources for free? Sign up to download over 30 pages of awesome free activities for social studies!