Features are highlighted collections of resources that can be used to support related lesson plans or as standalone activities in the classroom. Browse our library of features by grade level or subject area below.
Each May, EDSITEment celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month by pointing to the rich array of educational resources on the history of the Jewish people in America.
On May 9, 2016, Ken Burns will deliver the 2016 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, speaking on the topic of “Race in America.”
Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) was created by the National Museum of American History in 2002 to celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. Each year the museum picks a major musician to commemorate.
Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in World History.
Social Studies/History for Back to School includes Philosophy resources and helps secondary-level teachers respond to the CCSS requirements. Each resource aligns to an ELA Anchor Standard for College and Career Readiness as well as three Literacy in History/Social Studies standards at a given grade level.
Literature and Language for Back to School includes American and World literature resources and helps secondary-level teachers respond to the CCSS requirements. Each resource aligns to an ELA Anchor Standard for College and Career Readiness as well as three Literacy in Reading, Language and/or Writing standards at a given grade level.
This feature is a guide to using informational read-aloud text, “Amazing Whales!” by Sarah L. Thomson. It introduces this species to young naturalists in the primary grades K–1, who are mastering reading skills.
Discover how the American people coped with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.
Teacher guide to Common Core Poetry exemplar, “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W. B. Yeats. The guide includes the poem; information about the poem; discussion questions. Supplementary documents provide suggested answers to the discussion questions and contextual background information from Irish traditional sources including Celtic mythology and influences of Irish aisling to shed light on the poem.
This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to Washington D.C.'s National Mall, and presents information about the history and landmarks of the Mall.
This page features resources relating to famous authors who were born in November, and presents information about William Blake, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, and Jonathan Swift.
A feature based on an informational read-aloud text, "The Year at Maple Hill Farm." This picture book will offer primary grade teachers new ways to engage students in discovering what a natural year really looks like, especially in relation to farm animals.
“James McNeill Whistler & The Case for Beauty” is a treasure trove of information for the classroom on this pivotal American artist, tracing his life and development as an artist. Connect with a streaming version of the film, classroom resources aligned with Common Core and the new arts standards, and more.
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.
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.
This feature outlines the context of The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 which produced the “Declaration of Sentiments,” a CCSS exemplar for grades 11 – CCR. This document made a bold argument, modeled on the language and logic of the Declaration of Independence that American women should be given civil and political rights equal to those of American men, including the right to vote.
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.
Celebrate the unique cultural expression that is jazz! JAM 2015 honors composer and pianist Billy Strayhorn.
Learn how to make the most of STEM in your humanities classroom and how to incorporate nonfiction into STEM with the National Library of Medicine's lesson plan resources.
National Poetry Month feature aligning Common Core State Standards Poetry exemplars with EDSITEment resources. Highlighted multimedia resources include links to the poem, commentary on the poem and the poet, curriculum resources, websites, audio recordings, etc.
This Women’s History Month, EDSITEment invites teachers, parents and students to honor American women’s experience in wartime. From the American Revolution through WWII, examine the vital roles women have played on the battlefield, behind the lines, and on the home front.
This essay written by a distinguished historian of American literature, gives an overview of the American slave narrative tradition, discusses five representative slave narratives, and provides a framework for cultural analysis of these works showing their intention and their arguments.
Topical feature highlighting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia
As students analyze historical documents, they will begin to appreciate the differences between North and South and the changes afoot in the United States that contributed to the developing conflict.
Using EDSITEment’s lesson plan on Carl Sandburg’s Chicago as an example, this presentation demonstrates how teachers can build critical literacy skills across the disciplines through the analysis of primary historical documents and literary techniques.
“Shakespeare Uncovered” is a six-part PBS series featuring celebrated actors and directors exploring the back stories behind his most famous plays. This guide helps teachers navigate the series website and offers ideas to integrate the series into a high school classroom setting. The guide links to full videos of each episode as well as lesson plans, play maps, character quiz and other educational resources.
Drawing on the EDSITEment’s lesson plan on Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, this presentation will demonstrate how teachers can use EDSITEment resources to satisfy the expectations of the Common Core while meeting the diverse needs of students in the classroom.
Immerse yourself in the great contributions women have made to our history and culture.
On the third Monday of January, Americans celebrate the life and achievement of one of our most respected citizens -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
An overview of resources for Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick,” and whaling in the 19th century.
The cornerstone of the inaugural ceremony is the inaugural address. Each president attempts to outline in the course he hopes to follow over the coming years in just a few short pages.
On Christmas Night 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware River to attack Britain’s Hessian army at Trenton.
Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw teams with Bill Gilly, professor of Marine Biology at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station to discuss the influence of Steinbeck’s best friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts, on Steinbeck and his work— in particular, "The Grapes of Wrath."
The Constitution provides for the president to be selected by an Electoral College, not by direct popular vote. Yet the Electoral College is one of the least understood aspects of the original Constitution.
This holiday season learn about different cultural traditions of Mexico! Attend a fiesta, break a piñata, make a traditional feast, sing popular songs, and decorate with poinsettias, a flower prized by Congress and the Aztec nobility.
The selections within this listing represent frequently taught authors and texts in AP English Literature and Composition.
For each of the twenty-one poems or poetic forms for AP Literature and Composition, students and teachers will find a link to the poem and multimedia resources. These include EDSITEment lessons as well as EDSITEment-reviewed websites that discuss the poem, the poet, and its context.
This feature guides students through Ancient Greek civics as told by philosopher Socrates and playwright Sophocles.
Through this collection of over 30 lessons, students can explore the great American authors of the 1800s, including Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain.
A complete listing of EDSITEment's lessons on the causes, the course and the consequences of the American Revolution and Independence
Gear high school students up for college with this collection of lessons based on College Board's recommending reading lists.
To mark the 2012 Olympics, head back to the ancient city-state and Classical Greek civilization. Examine Greek values and cultural assumptions about human excellence and competition. Then, explore the great city of London, site of this year’s Games, as well as the 1908 and 1948 Olympics.
Use Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, "Fallingwater," to learn about 20th-century architecture and Wright's prolific career.
In this feature, Dan McDowell, AP World History teacher and consultant for the PBS film "When Worlds Collide" surveys the features of the companion website, indicating how the K-16 educational community can make the best use of these resources.
This is an expansive multidisciplinary collection of EDSITEment resources on the antebellum and Civil War era of American history.
This page features resources relating to medieval literature, and presents information about the works of Chaucer and Dante. Learn more about these authors and Europe during Middle Ages by visiting the lesson plans and websites referenced on this page.
Read and discuss some of the great American writers and their work in the mid-19th century. This feature explores the themes of slavery, the role of women, and the experience of war.
A free, interactive curriculum for middle and high-school students and their educators that features individual testimonies of thirteen people who were adolescents during the Holocaust.
In 2004, the Olympic games were played in Greece—more than 2,500 years after the first Greek Olympics. This feature compares the ancient and modern incarnations of the games.
This feature describes EDSITEment’s library of Advanced Placement U.S. History resources and provides an index of these lessons aligned with APUSH topics.
Every April, the National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations recognize Jazz Appreciation Month. For 2013, JAM honors jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Andy Weston, and John Levy.
George Caleb Bingham's painting, "The County Election," highlights the growth of democracy in America as pioneers moved into the interior of the continent.
Descubre algunos de los más grandes poetas hispanos.
Explore the great Hispanic poets, from 1600 to present.
The year 2010 marked the centennial (El Centenario) of the Mexican Revolution, an uprising that took place roughly between 1910 and 1920, recognized as the first major political, social, and cultural revolution of the 20th century.
Constitution Day commemorates the signing of our supreme law in 1787. EDSITEment's resources cover the Constitutional Convention, the text of the Constitution, the federalist debates, and much more.
This classroom guide assists teachers who wish to use PBS's documentary film "Andrew Jackson," with accompanying lessons and other resources.
In celebration of a museum exhibit dedicated to Ancient Afghan history, check out EDSITEment resources on the Silk Road and South Asia.
A guide to Alexis de Tocqueville's landmark work surveying American republicanism in the 1830s.
Learn about the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who overcame an impoverished rural childhood to become a great American leader.
EDSITEment looks at the history of American presidential elections from George Washington to the present.
EDSITEment celebrates the PBS series "We Shall Remain" for Native American Heritage Month and shows how it can be used in the classroom.
This feature shows teachers how to use Chronicling America, an archive of old American newspapers, in social studies and literature lessons.
Give your students a treat and explore the ghostly historical and the ghoulishly dramatic with a variety of online resources on Halloween.
This National Poetry Month feature educates students about different poetic forms developed across time and around the world.
June is National Zoo and Aquarium month, a good time to explore your local zoo and aquarium as well as the websites of America’s great zoos and aquariums. EDSITEment resources feature art and artists who have drawn attention to the need for protecting America’s vanishing wilderness and wildlife.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, EDSITEment has highlighted lesson plans and websites about the great English poet William Shakespeare.
This feature gives students a history of the Statue of Liberty and the waves of immigration to the U.S. around 1900.
The U.S. Government has set aside the period from September 15 to October 15, to honor the many contributions Hispanic Americans have made and continue to make to our nation by observing National Hispanic Heritage Month. EDSITEment honors them with these resources.
Each February, Americans honor the rich and diverse history of African Americans. EDSITEment offers teaching resources to give students the chance to explore African American history through primary sources.
Each year, December brings a month filled with holidays, celebrations complete with a variety of gift giving traditions, and school vacations. Before departing to enjoy the break from school, take the opportunity to discuss with students ritual gift giving in their own families and across cultural holiday traditions.
The NEH-funded PBS documentary Prohibition, produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, presents a compelling saga of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment and the era that encompassed it.
November is Native American Heritage Month, and NEH and EDSITEment have numerous teaching resources to help students discover Native American history.
Over the course of this year, EDSITEment will be showcasing a series of innovative lessons which use classic American short stories to teach civics. We asked the editors of this new curriculum to introduce the project.
Throughout our history women have made valuable contributions during wartime both in the civilian and military realm.
EDSITEment has put together a collection of our lesson plans, student interactives, multimedia presentations, and vetted websites which will allow teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners to learn more about the U.S. Civil War.
For Presidents' Day, EDSITEment has collected lesson plans and websites covering the history of the presidency and some of its most famous office holders.
In this special revised and updated feature for Black History Month, teachers, parents, and students will find a collection of NEH-supported websites and EDSITEment-developed lessons that tell the four-hundred-year old story of African Americans from slavery through freedom and citizenship to the presidency.