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Lesson Plans: Grade Level Summary

Sorted by Grade Level: High School

Title: African American Soldiers - Civil War View Details
Topic: Civil War - African American Soldiers  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze primary sources to understand the contributions of African American soldiers in the Civil War. After reading letters and interpreting a map, students create written reflections from multiple perspectives.

 
     
Title: Civil War Covers: Patriotism and Propaganda View Details
Topic: The Civil War - Postal Cover Propaganda  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This lesson is designed for students with a good understanding of the issues and events of the Civil War Era.  Students analyze envelope propaganda and make interpretations through the lens of how various groups define patriotism.  After analyzing multiple sources of political propaganda (postal covers), students share ideas and prepare to write a reflective essay that answers the essential question.

 
     
Title: Cobbling an Understanding of Civil War Shoes: The Paradox of Shaping and Reflecting Identity View Details
Topic: The American Civil War 1861 - 1865: A study of material culture and social history as told through a study of shoes.  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This unit uses shoes as a catalyst for understanding the varied perspectives and experiences of the Civil War. Students analyze Civil War Era shoes, using historical methodology, and share historical interpretations as to how these shoes both shape and reflect individual and group identity.

 
     
Title: Cultural Migration - Gullah-Geechee View Details
Topic: Migration and Cultural Continuity - Gullah-Geechee in the Sea Islands  
Category: Traditions and Histories That Transcend Eras  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This lesson is designed to introduce students to the concept of cultural continuity in migration. Specifically, students explore the history and cultural of the Gullah-Geechee people on the sea islands of South Carolina, making connections to cultures of West Africa. Through the lens of the essential questions, What are the geographical, historical, and cultural connections between the west coast of Africa and the Sea Islands of South Carolina?  How can various aspects of Gullah-Geechee culture illustrate these connections?,  students analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources before designing a project that demonstrates an aspect of cultural migration.

 
     
Title: Exploring Town and Social History through the 1940 Census Records View Details
Topic: Social History through Census Records  
Category: 1880s - Present  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze census records to gain historical empathy of a period of time under study. This lesson uses the 1940 census records from Colchester, Vermont, but it can easily be adapted to the era and the community of your choice.

 
     
Title: Fort Laramie Treaty 1868 View Details
Topic: Civil Rights - Lakota Nation  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze primary and secondary sources to gain an understanding of the impact of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 on the Lakota people, making connections to current living conditions on Pine Ridge Reservation.

 
     
Title: Free at Last??? View Details
Topic: Reconstruction Era - What Does Freedom Mean to People Freed from Slavery?  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students often have little understanding of the Reconstruction Era, what happens after emancipation and what the values of freedom, justice and equality meant to people formerly enslaved. This one-day lesson explores the idea of freedom and its suppression during the Reconstruction Period in the United States from the perspective of the people freed from slavery.

 
     
Title: How Does Time, Place, & Social Class Make a Difference? View Details
Topic: The colonial era in US History: Conception of Modernity  
Category: 1760s - 1820s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students engage in activities and connect to primary resources that help to formulate an individual interpretation of the concept of modernity, a concept that endures over place and time.

 
     
Title: Mankato Memorial Hanging Site (Reconciliation Park) View Details
Topic: Dakota Wars - Mankato Hanging  
Category: Traditions and Histories That Transcend Eras  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze primary and secondary sources connected to the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862, examining both the issues surrounding its cause and its aftermath, which continues to reverberate today. This lesson would fit into broader units on Social Justice, the American Civil War, Westward Expansion, or the American Indian Movement.

 
     
Title: Reconstruction as seen through the Martha Johnson letters View Details
Topic: Reconstruction  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This lesson explores the beginnings of Reconstruction through the letters from Martha Johnson to her family in Peacham, Vermont. As part of the National Freedman's Relief Association, Martha Johnson taught at schools for freed slaves near Beaufort, South Carolina. The eleven letters begin with Martha's arrival in Beaufort in March 1863 and end with her death in December 1871.

 
     
Title: Reconstruction Era Research Project View Details
Topic: Reconstruction Era  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students explore Reconstruction era historical characters in a three-part lesson. Students use the SCIM-C strategy to analyze a primary resource, conduct an independent research project, and write an ‘I Am From’ poem. 

 
     
Title: The American Ideal: Abraham Lincoln and the Second Inaugural View Details
Topic: Civil War Era - Lincoln's Second Inaugural  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze primary source documents from the Civil War Era to establish foundation for interpreting Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address through the role of a member in the audience.  Students will share their character’s interpretations in a group discussion, responding alternately from the assigned role and from the student’s own interpretation. 

 
     
Title: The Impact of Jane McCrea's Death View Details
Topic: American Revolution - Death of Jane McCrea  
Category: 1760s - 1820s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Many history texts offer a limited perspective, so students are often unaware of the life and death of Jane McCrea.  This lesson takes students on a different path and introduces them to the story of Jane McCrea and how her death might have contributed to the outcome of Battle of Saratoga, a battle considered by many to be THE major turning point of the American Revolution.  McCrea has become a "folk hero" in the Hudson River Valley region.  In this lesson, students are introduced to this story and have the opportunity to evaluate its credibility.

 
     
Title: The Photo Story Experience View Details
Topic: Storytelling with images and voice  
Category: Traditions and Histories That Transcend Eras  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

 This lesson introduces students to digital storytelling using Photo Story 3, a free software program for PCs. Photo Story 3 can be downloaded online and is easy to use, offering students a way to combine still images, captions, soundtrack, and voiceover to tell historical stories in their own voices. Students may work individually or in pairs to complete a brief Photo Story, using their own images or historic images available online.

 
     
Title: The Role of Women in the American Indian Movement View Details
Topic: American Indian Women - American Indian Movement  
Category: Traditions and Histories That Transcend Eras  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This unit focuses on the pivotal role Ojibwe and Dakota women have played historically and within the American Indian Movement.  Students read and analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, documenting their findings in journals. The collected evidence is used to support a thesis in a culminating essay.

 
     
Title: Trial of Mary Surratt - 1865 View Details
Topic: Lincoln assassination - Trial of Mary Surratt  
Category: 1830s - 1870s  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This lesson integrates technology and student collaboration to explore the historic trial of Mary Surratt, a widow executed as a conspirator in the assassination of President Lincoln.  Students analyze primary sources, read texts from varied perspectives, and reflect upon the issue of access to justice.

 
     
Title: Visual Historical Narratives View Details
Topic: The Great Migration  
Category: 1880s - Present  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

This lesson can be utilized by students studying any historical era.  The introductory activity focuses on the artwork of Jacob Lawrence and is set in the early twentieth century, during the Great Migration.  Students analyze Lawrence’s series of paintings and use it as a model to design their own stories, weaving images and text to craft an historical narrative. 

 
     
Title: What Can We Learn from Clothing? View Details
Topic: Material Culture - Fashion Circa 1900  
Category: 1880s - Present  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students analyze historic photographs to explore what clothing can reveal about a person’s life. Using the SCIM-C method of analysis, students summarize, contextualize, infer, monitor, and collaborate for a thoughtful look at an era through the lens of material culture.

 
     
Title: Wounded Knee 1973 View Details
Topic: Civil Rights - Wounded Knee 1973  
Category: 1880s - Present  
Grade Level: High School  
Summary:

Students take a close look at the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973 in order to understand that Native Americans were fighting for right supposedly guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution and other historic documents, analyzing events from the perspective of both Euro-Americans and American Indians.