US History Resources

Lesson Plans

Foundations (Colonial – Reconstruction)

Would YOU join the American Revolution?: Slideshow that presents a series of short scenarios related to different types of people living in the colonies. Students can discuss each scenario as a class or divide up and take 1-2 to present.

Andrew Jackson Gallery Walk: Students look at five key events of Jackson’s time in office to determine how he expanded the power of the presidency.

Understanding Confederate Monuments (Choices Program – not my lesson!): This is an AMAZING lesson from the Choices Program out of Brown University that I use to discuss Confederate monuments and current events surrounding them (like Charlottesville). Any lesson you find from this program is well worth the time.

Postwar Expansion (1866-1900)

The Story of the Lakota: I love using this (admittedly basic) PowerPoint every year to walk kids through key events in one Native American group’s experiences with the US government. In the middle, students are grouped and given one of three major events from the late 19th century to research and tell the story using art, poetry, etc. I bring the lesson up to present day at Standing Rock so that they can see the continuities over two centuries.

Chinese Perspective on the Gilded Age: This is an AMAZING source from a Chinese journalist who visited the United States in 1903. He discusses NYC, poverty, trusts, J.P. Morgan, lynching, and Chinese immigrants.

Jim Crow Document Activity (Block Party): Students take a literacy test, then are assigned one document related to the Jim Crow Era. After understanding their own document, they “mingle” with other students, comparing documents. In the end, students are asked to form three groups based on their documents. This is a good introduction to DBQs!

Progressive Era

Interwar Years

Causes of the Great Depression: This is a “mind map” notes template I have my students use as they watch the Crash Course video on the Great Depression. I typically stop the video at the end of each “section” (noted on the worksheet) to share out and discuss!


Teaching with TV: Here is a list of episodes I have used to teach the 1950s-1980s. I used to use The Cosby Show for the 1980s but switched a few years back. I’m looking for shows that have a more diverse perspective (which is hard, since TV wasn’t super diverse in the past) so send along any recommendations you have!


This is the unit I’m covering online due to Coronavirus. So here are EdPuzzle videos I made that include basic multiple-choice questions and links to primary and secondary sources with reflection questions for deeper learning. Easy to assign to kids online!

Crash Course “Vietnam War” EdPuzzle (Links to additional assignments within the video: Students choose one of three protest songs to analyze; Students watch a short video on the War Powers Act and write a reflection)

Crash Course “1960s” EdPuzzle (Links to additional assignments within the video: Students choose one of two articles about the Black Panther Party to read and write a reflection; Students watch a short video about Dolores Huerta; Students read AIM’s “Alcatraz Proclamation” and write a reflection; Students watch a short video on violence at the 1968 Democratic Convention and write a reflection)

Crash Course “Rise of Conservatism” EdPuzzle (Links to additional assignments within the video: Optional link to my mini-podcast episode about the ERA; Students read an article about the Pentagon Papers and respond to a short writing prompt)