Advanced Placement United States History content
image for film

"Last Days in Vietnam"

From American Experience, a film about the desperate attempt by heroic Americans to save as many people as possible at the 11th hour. Also on iTunes.

  • Harriet Jacobs and Elizabeth Keckly: The Material and Emotional Realities of Childhood in Slavery

    Created March 24, 2015
    Harriet Jacobs and Elizabeth Keckly: composite image

    In this lesson, students learn firsthand about the childhoods of Jacobs and Keckly from reading excerpts from their autobiographies. They practice reading for both factual information and making inferences from these two primary sources.

  • Frederick Douglass’s “Narrative:” Myth of the Happy Slave

    Created October 8, 2014
    Frontispiece of original edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    In 1845, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and Written by Himself was published. In it, Douglass criticizes directly—often with withering irony—those who defend slavery and those who prefer a romanticized version of it.

    Tryptich of Roosevelts, Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy

    The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

    Ken Burns’s new seven-part PBS series chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor: three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. Premieres September 14.

    Tryptich of Roosevelts, Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy

    How Teachers Can Make the “Most of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”

    Ken Burns’ seven-part, fourteen hour film “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” illuminates over 100 years of American history as the country transitions between “politics as usual” and reform, isolation and internationalism, a laissez faire economy and government regulation, and international war and peace.

    September—Back to Work, Back to School, Back to Books

    Common Core Lessons and Related Resources for Back to School 2014

    Annual feature detailing resources teachers may find useful as school resumes. For this 2104 listing, EDSITEment has framed new resources aligned to respond to the Common Core State Standards including a number of exemplars.

    Original Fort McHenry flag

    The Star-Spangled Banner

    On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem.

    Peter Whittemore (left), a descendant of Herman Melville, reads from Moby Dick

    A Revival of the American Spirit on the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan!

    On the occasion of the Charles W. Morgan’s homecoming to New Bedford, Massachusetts (June 2014), a descendent of Herman Melville, Peter Whittemore, acting as one of the 38th Voyagers, delivers an open letter to the world in the form of a “top-gallant salute.” He draws inspiration from his ancestor’s novel, Moby Dick and reflects upon the 38th Voyage of the Morgan as a wake-up call for 21st-century environmentalism.

  • The Preamble to the Constitution: A Close Reading Lesson

    Created July 8, 2014
    Preamble to the Constitution image

    The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution and like all good introductions it serves several purposes. First of all, it states the source from which the Constitution gets its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the great objects or ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.

  • The Argument of the Declaration of Independence

    Created June 23, 2014
    The Argument of the Declaration of Independence

    Long before the first shot was fired, the American Revolution began as a series of written complaints to colonial governors and representatives in England over the rights of the colonists.