Lesson Plans

53 Result(s)
Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 3: George Washington: The Precedent President

George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history of the United States. The Confederation had threatened to unravel; the weak central government (which included a weak executive with the sole responsibility of presiding over meetings of Congress and no special power to initiate laws beyond that of any member of Congress, enforce laws, or check acts of Congress) created by the Articles of Confederation had failed.

Grade Range
6-8
Harriet Jacobs and Elizabeth Keckly: The Material and Emotional Realities of Childhood in Slavery

Harriet Jacobs was the first woman to write a slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). She was born a slave in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina, and died free in Washington, D. C., at the age of eighty-four. Elizabeth Keckly was born into slavery in 1818 near Petersburg, Virginia. She learned to sew from her mother, an expert seamstress enslaved in the Burwell family.

Grade Range
6-8
The Preamble to the Constitution: A Close Reading Lesson

The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution, and it serves two central purposes. First, it states the source from which the Constitution derives its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.

Grade Range
6-8
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.

Grade Range
6-8
Chronicling America: Uncovering a World at War

This lesson provides students with tools to analyze primary source newspaper articles about the Great War (1914–1917) in order to understand public opinion regarding the U.S. entry into the war from multiple perspectives.

Grade Range
6-8
David Walker vs. John Day: Two Nineteenth-Century Free Black Men

In this lesson, students examine the contrasting view of two free black men in nineteenth century America abolitionist David Walker and black nationalist John Day. After reviewing background information and primary sources about the two polices, students will argue for or against the most beneficial policy for nineteenth-century African Americans.

Grade Range
6-8
Vengeful Verbs in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Expose middle school students to a first taste of Shakespeare from the angle of the ghost story and launch into the subject of verbs. In this lesson, they learn how Shakespeare uses verbs to move the action of the play. Students then distinguish generic verbs from vivid verbs by working with selected lines in Hamlet’s Ghost scene. Finally they test their knowledge of verbs through a crossword interactive puzzle.

Grade Range
6-8
Why Do We Remember Revere? Paul Revere's Ride in History and Literature

After an overview of the events surrounding Paul Revere's famous ride, this lesson challenges students to think about the reasons for that fame.  Using both primary and secondhand accounts, students compare the account of Revere's ride in Longfellow's famous poem with actual historical events, in order to answer the question: why does Revere's ride occupy such a prominent place in the American consciousness?

Grade Range
6-8
The Statue of Liberty: Bringing “The New Colossus” to America

While the French had kept their end of the bargain by completing the statue itself, the Americans had still not fulfilled their commitment to erect a pedestal. In this lesson, students learn about the effort to convince a skeptical American public to contribute to the effort to erect a pedestal and to bring the Statue of Liberty to New York.

Grade Range
6-8
Native American Cultures Across the U.S.

This lesson discusses the differences between common representations of Native Americans within the U.S. and a more differentiated view of historical and contemporary cultures of five American Indian tribes living in different geographical areas. Students will learn about customs and traditions such as housing, agriculture, and ceremonial dress for the Tlingit, Dinè, Lakota, Muscogee, and Iroquois peoples.