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Classroom Lesson Plans: Helping Teachers Teach History

Below are links to sites specifically designed to help teachers use the Internet in designing courses in history. Please feel free to send us other links we should post. Just drop an email to the editor. Note: Descriptions of the sites are taken from the sites themselves.


The Syllabus Finder: This site, run by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, features an automated search tool that locates relevant syllabi on any topic. The Syllabus Finder scans the largest database of history syllabi--over 11,000 and growing daily--in combination with a powerful Google-based search of thousands of others on the web. You can compare courses at different universities, see how widely assigned a specific book is, or use it to plan your own course. (Authors: You can use it to find out how widely assigned your own book is.)


New York Times Learning Network: This site is geared towards students in grades 3-12, their teachers and parents. Teachers can access daily lesson plans for grades 6-12, as well as quizzes built around NYT articles. Previous lessons are available in the archive and in thematic lesson plan units. Teachers can also use News Snapshot, aimed for grades 3-5, to explore current events through New York Times photos and related questions. The site also provides them with the latest education news from the newspaper.

Lehigh University: Using films to help teach history.

Ask ERIC Virtual Library: Produced by the Education Research Information Center (ERIC), this site provides education information for teachers, librarians, and anyone else interested in education. AskERIC is an information clearinghouse on 16 specific subject areas, offering thousands of lesson plans for varied grade levels and over 3000 resources on a variety of educational issues. The site further provides a question-and-answer service and plenty of educational tips and guides.

SCORE: The Schools of California Online Resources for Educators (SCORE) project is a terrific resource for both teachers and students alike. Teachers can access history resources and lesson plans -- arranged by grade level and content area -- as well as ideas for virtual projects and field trips.

Social Studies School Service Links: Comprehensive site containing lesson plans and teaching strategies, online activities, and tips on teaching current events.

ThinkQuest: A global network of students, teachers, parents and technologists dedicated to exploring youth-centered education on the Internet. Teachers and students form teams around the project of their choosing. Teachers then coach and advise students as they research and ultimately create an educational website based on the project idea. In the course of participating in this program, the team will explore and add to growing sources of educational information on the Internet for students by students.

Social Studies Lesson Plans (Columbia U.): Lesson plans and activities for students in K-12

The Internet School Library Media Center: A meta-site with links to Internet sites organized by subject discipline for K-12 educators.

The Web Quest Page: This site is designed to serve as a resource to those who are using the WebQuest model to teach with the Web. A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use time efficiently, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Lesson Plans Page Lesson plans, science projects, math worksheets, tips for improving student reading, and more for PreK-12 teachers.

The FunBrain.com Quiz Lab: Highly-rated site provides tons of games, quizzes, and activities for students and teachers K-8.

Teachervision: This site is created by teachers for teachers. Provides access to free resources -- including lesson plans, activities, resource material listed by subject, and classroom management tips -- and allows teachers to exchange ideas with one another.

Teachers.net: Site designed for teacher exchange of ideas and lessons plans. Enter chatrooms, submit or browse lessons, or join a mailring to benefit from this bank of collective wisdom.

The Classroom Flyer: Sign up for a free flyer from The Learning Company that contains daily listings of new websites in every category and for all grade levels.

Teaching Vietnam: For decades, high schools brushed quickly over, or completely ignored, the complicated period of the Vietnam conflict. Now, 20 years after the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, a group of teachers have vowed to find a way to teach their students about all the aspects of Vietnam in all its shades of gray. (This is a radio program presented by On Point, public radio's live evening news program).


AHA K-16 Collaboratives: Collaborative projects designed to strengthen history education for K-16 students.

Teaching History Online: Spartacus Educational publishes Teaching History Online every week. The newsletter includes news, reviews of websites and articles on history used in the classroom.

C-Span in the Classroom: A free membership service that provides web-based educational resources. Through CSiC, teachers and student can access information about teaching and learning with C-SPAN's television programming, as well as live streaming and archived video on C-SPAN's web site, c-span.org. Resources include lessons and teacher guides (some may include video clips), modules, interactive activities and more.


Gilder Lehrman: Modules on Major Topics in American History: Classroom-tested lesson plans, fact sheets, and handouts created by master teachers.

Gilder Lehrman History Now: Quarterly online history journal for teachers and students.


George Mason University's History Matters: This feature provides annotated syllabi that offer creative approaches to teaching, with particular emphasis on innovative ways of organizing the U.S. Survey and integrating technology. Teachers reflect on how a social history approach, active learning techniques, and Web-based resources and new media have impacted their teaching and their students.

University of Virginia: Teaching about Pocahontas.

Teaching The Koran: Interest in the Koran has skyrocketed since 9/11. Many universities have created courses about the Koran, although none have required students to read the religious text. Click here to learn more about studying the Koran and for suggestions to questions such as: How should religion be taught in public schools? What should American students be learning about the Koran and Islam? (This is a radio program presented by On Point, public radio's live evening news program).

Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age: Reconceptualizing the Introductory Survey Course This web project offers historians models for how to use digitized primary sources in survey courses in World History and the History of the Americas. The topics of the models vary, as does the technological sophistication. All of the sites open different possibilities for teachers to be creative in their survey courses for group or individual projects as well as ways that teachers can present materials. Different technological techniques, such as audio and video, are used on the various sites.

Additional Links on Using Technology in the Classroom: