Teacher Resources
Discover new resources and events.

Getting Started
Find out about Iowa Pathways and how this exciting new resource can be used in your classroom!

Using the Quest and Challenges
These tips and downloads help students develop research skills through investigation and inquiry.

Literacy and Engagement
Find out how this project supports investigative research, vocabulary acquisition, and content fluency.

Lessons and Activities
Check out these great lessons, activities, and WebQuests from IPTV, PBS, and others.

Recommended Teacher Resources
Discover other great Iowa resources, including online archives, primary resources, local history, field trips, and more.

Professional References
Find links to standards, professional journal articles and Web sites, all of which connect to the Iowa Pathways framework.

Lessons & Activities

 

From a simple idea to get you started to a full-blown plan, this section provides you with resources to connect Iowa Pathways to your classroom. Do you have a classroom activity to share? Contact us.

Lesson Plans

Using Primary Sources

WebQuests

Lesson Plans

Topics

Grades

Description

Iowa history

4-5

Prairie Voices: Iowa Heritage Curriculum
Developed by the State Historical Society of Iowa, this curriculum guide includes numerous lesson plans and teaching resources for the elementary classroom.
http://www.uni.edu/iowaonline/prairievoices

Iowa history

4-5

Iowa Pioneer Life: A Teaching Unit for Elementary Grades
This teaching guide, written and pilot tested at the Laboratory School and revised in 2003, is available for elementary grade teachers to use in the teaching of pioneer life. The 12 lessons encompass topics ranging from transportation to home remedies. Each lesson includes objectives, materials, procedures and supplemental materials.
http://www.uni.edu/iowahist/Other%20Resources/pioneer_life.htm

Language Arts / History / Math / Technology / Art

3-6

History Detectives
It's Not Conjecture, Look! It's Architecture!
Examine architecture as a record of the past and as the oldest art form. Sequence various buildings by the age of their architectural styles.
http://pbskids.org/historydetectives/parentsteachers/lesson_2.html

Language Arts / History

5-7

Frontier House
"Oh, Do You Remember the Clunes From L.A.?"
Examine challenges faced by pioneers in the 19th century during westward expansion. Analyze a song recounting a couple's journey to their new home on the frontier, and compose additional verses.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/resources/lp2.html

Language Arts / Social Studies

5-7

Frontier House
Time Out!
Explore life in the mid-1800s during westward expansion and become aware of events and inventions that shaped the era. Compare and contrast real-life families of Frontier House to characters in the novel Running Out of Time.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/resources/lp5.html

Social Studies / Geography / Math / Language Arts

5-8

1900 House
Our Town, 1900
Research your town in the early 1900's and discuss what it was like to live in your town at that time. Build a model of your town, as it existed in 1900, and play the roles of different townspeople.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/1900house/lessons/lesson1a.html

Social Studies

5-8

1900 House
Living without Technology
Understand how dependent we have become in the technical world and what "modern conveniences" really are. Identify the machines (technologies) in homes and agree to live without them for a 24-hour period.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/1900house/lessons/lesson2a.html

Language Arts / History

5-8

Frontier House
Free Land
Identify the purpose, rules and repercussions of the Homestead Act. Describe how the concept of the American frontier changed throughout the 19th century, and describe the day-to-day lives of homesteaders.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/resources/lp1.html

Language Arts / History / Math / Technology / Art

6-12

History Detectives
Home, Sweet, Home!
Explore the economic, cultural and environmental issues that connect history and architecture. Investigate and record the historical heritage of local communities, and use clues to determine the history of specific buildings and neighborhoods.
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/educators/class_home.html

Language Arts / Science / Social Studies / Math / Technology

6-12

History Detectives
Written in Stone
Examine tombstones as artifacts, identifying information that can be instrumental in investigating a community's past or an individual's genealogy. Make gravestone rubbings to help record and synthesize information for genealogical research.
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/educators/class_stone.html

Language Arts / Social Studies / Technology

6-12

History Detectives
Primary Sources
Distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and acquire and apply investigative skills to locate them. Collect, study and use primary sources to research issues related to the treatment of Native Americans in U.S. history.
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/educators/class_sources.html

Adaptable to All Subjects

6-12

History Detectives
Field Trip
Taking a field trip is always excellent opportunity for doing investigative research, extending classroom walls, and making learning fun! Follow this guide and encourage students to become an investigator, historian, archaeologist, architect, geographer, or environmentalist.
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/educators/class_trip.html

Language Arts / Science / Social Studies / Math / Technology / Art

6-12

History Detectives
Inventions
Inventions Application
Expand your ideas! Learn from others! Explore the future drawn from the past. Design, invent, demonstrate, and share! Take your place among visionaries!
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/educators/class_inventions.html

Government / Civics / Social Studies / Journalism / Art

6-12

NewsHour Extra
Analyzing Election Cartoons
There are several activities in this lesson to provide teachers with different options. There is a teacher introduction with information on teaching political cartoons, a brief history of political cartoons, and several activities on separate sheets complete with student instructions and discussion/written questions. Also, there are extended activities for more in-depth review of the subject.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/socialstudies/
Vote2004/political_cartoons.html

Economics

6-12

First Measured Century
The Great Depression: What Would It Be Like Today?
Examine the economic consequences of the Great Depression that citizens endured in the early 20th century by calculating the percentage of decline in factors affecting quality of life. Analyze what life would be like today if the economy collapsed.
http://www.pbs.org/fmc/lessons/lesson6.htm

United States History

6-8

Lewis And Clark
Lesson 5: Lewis and Clark and Native Americans, Part I
Explore the structure of the Dakota or Sioux Nation. Examine the relationships and conflicts between Lewis and Clark and the Lakota tribe during the 19th century expedition from varied points of view.
http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/class/l05.html

United States History /   Historical Understanding

6-8

Lewis And Clark
Lesson 7: Lewis and Clark and Native Americans, Part III
Consider that while Lewis and Clark are widely recognized for their exploration of the west, they came upon areas already inhabited by Native Americans. Identify the values and contributions of the tribes with which Lewis and Clark interacted.
http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/class/l07.html

Language Arts / History / Art

6-8

Mississippi River Of Song
Extension Activities: Episode One
Explore, study and perform various types of cultural music, dances and songs. Consider scale, patterns, chords, rhythm and style when participating in the various dances.
http://www.pbs.org/riverofsong/teachers/ext1.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Cemetery Records
Examine tombstones for original epitaphs and explore cemetery records and other repositories of personal family histories. Create a research log to document artifacts, sources, and facts gained from genealogical investigations.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode7.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Family History
Create a timeline of major events of your life and write a biography as a record to pass on to your descendents. Select a project that will help you share your research with other members of your family.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode13.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Family Records
Learn where to gather physical clues to your family history, including diaries, photo albums, account books, letters, and official records. Conduct and record oral history interviews with family members for use in genealogical research.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode2.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Immigration Records
Investigate records of immigration, including ships' logs, passenger lists, and naturalization records, to find your immigrant ancestors.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode12.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Military Records
Investigate family ancestors through military records such as pension records, service records and military histories. Learn to use indexes of the wide array of service documents found at state and national clearinghouses.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode9.html

historical research

6-8

Ancestors
Newspapers
Explore the use of newspapers as research tools in genealogical research. Evaluate facts found in newspaper records for validity and compare historical evidence with original documents whenever possible.
http://www.byubroadcasting.org/ancestors/teachersguide/episode10.html

U.S. History / Sociology / Social Studies

7-12

My Journey Home
Political Events and Personal Lives
Investigate the impacts of various civil rights movements, the Vietnam War, Operation Wetback and the Biafran War to appreciate the extent to which individuals are affected by political events. Interview someone who lived through one of the events.
http://www.pbs.org/weta/myjourneyhome/teachers/lessonplans.html

Language Arts / Civics

8-12

Circle of Stories
Our Small World
Explore contributions of Native American cultures understanding the importance and preservation of stories, traditions, and other cultural beliefs. Understand differences among people and gain a sense of tolerance for other cultures and ideas.
http://www.pbs.org/circleofstories/educators/lesson2.html

Language Arts / History / Art

9-12

American Roots Music
The Strength of Native American Music
Analyze and discuss the relationship between music, culture and history. Identify and discuss how music can be a tool for cultural survival, and understand the role of music in the preservation of Native American culture.
http://www.pbs.org/americanrootsmusic/pbs_arm_itc_lesson_four.html

history / economics / geography / civics

9-12

American Experience
War Letters - History
Investigate and create a timeline of major wars fought throughout the history of the United States. Write letters responding to those featured in the accompanying program on a topic related to that war.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/warletters/tguide/index.html

language arts

9-12

Art in the 21st Century
Wartime Voices
Compare and contrast personal letters, memoirs, songs, poems and visual art that represent the experiences of wartime participants. Define "voice" in art and literature and create a narrative from the point of view of a wartime participant.
http://www.pbs.org/art21/education/war/lesson1.html

social studies / history / communication arts / journalism / film study / psychology

9-12

The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color
Learning From World War II and Connecting it to the Present
Explore the stories of those who lived through World War II by examining letters, diaries, maps and video, and research one related topic of interest. Compare and contrast WWII to the current situation between the U.S. and Iraq.
http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/teachers

social studies / history / communication arts / journalism / film study / psychology

9-12

The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color
War Stories
Investigate personal letters sent to and from Americans involved in World War II, and interview someone with memories from that time. Write a story from this person's point of view, based on the interview and other research.
http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/teachers

US History

9-12

American Experience
America 1900
Investigate American life at the turn of the twentieth century through diverse activities which target key themes such as modern conveniences and new technology, racism, immigration, national identity and the rise of America as a world power.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/1900/tguide/index.html

US History

9-12

Frontier House
Bring No Poor Articles with You
Reflect on one's own basic needs and compare these needs to those of homesteaders in the 1880's. Determine an acceptable supply list for a 1880s homesteader based on the economic and transportation realities of the period.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/resources/lp3.html

US History / Economics / Civics / Geography

9-12

American Experience
The Crash of 1929 - Civics
Compare the feelings of euphoria and greed experienced by the American public in the 1920s with advertisements today that promise quick riches. Explore past and current issues relating to ethics and Wall Street.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/crash/tguide/index.html

US History / Economics / Civics / Geography

9-12

American Experience
The Crash of 1929 - History
Graph the ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average each month in 1929-30 and explore investors' motivations for selling or sticking with stocks each month. Create posters of popular songs in boom times and the Depression.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/crash/tguide/index.html

Social Studies / U.S. History / Civics / Social Science / Language Arts

9-12

The New Americans
The American Mosaic
Determine reasons for immigration, and chart patterns of immigration throughout America's history. Describe the experiences of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, and examine policies and laws that sought to limit immigration.
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/newamericans/foreducators_lesson_plan_08.html

History / Civics / Geography / Culture

9-12

American Experience
Vietnam Online - Culture
Examine the lyrics of popular songs of the era that referred to the Vietnam War and explore the influence they may have had on certain sections of the public. Construct a timeline and critique of Hollywood films about the war.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/tguide/index.html

U.S. History / World History / Language Arts

9-12

Frontline / World
Teaching About the Vietnam War in Vietnam
Explore the Vietnam War to consider how Vietnam's government teaches today's youth about the war and what Vietnamese students know about the conflict. Compare how students are taught about the Vietnam War in Vietnam and in the U.S.
http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/educators/history_vietnam.html

Social Studies / American History / Media Literacy

9-12

Point of View
Soldados: Soldiers' Stories
Conduct an oral history interview to gain insight into what it is like to be a soldier, to gain knowledge about the Vietnam War and to understand the Chicano experience in the United States.
http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2003/soldados/for.html

U.S history / Language Arts

9-12

NewsHour Extra
Remembering September 11
Examine the impact of 9-11 on the U.S., and explore the symbolic and historic importance of the Gettysburg Address. Compare and contrast differing viewpoints on 9-11, and write about how America has changed since September 11.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/terrorism/sept11.html

Many of these resources were selected from the PBS Teachers collection of over 3000 teacher guides, lesson plans, activities, and related programs. Visit the PBS Teachers site to find out more: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/

 

Using Primary Resources

Lessons about using primary sources in historical research.

Topics

Grades

Description

historical research

4-12

Zoom Into Maps
Using historic maps from the Library of Congress, help students understand what maps can tell us.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/maps/introduction.html

historical research

5-12

Become a Historical Detective
Search American Memory collections to test your D.Q. (Detective Quotient)!
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/detect/detectiv.html

historical research

5-12

Port of Entry: Immigration
Students investigate photographs and eyewitness accounts of immigrant life in America.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/port/start.html

historical research

5-12

What Do You See? Using Selected Civil War Photographs, 1860–1865
In this lesson students analyze a single photograph from the American Memory collection Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865. Using the skills developed, students then find and analyze other images. Conclusions reached will allow students develop links between the Civil War and American industrialization.
http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/curriculum/socialstd/loc/hinesday.html

historical research

6-8

Learning About Immigration Through Oral History
The primary goal of this activity is to give students the genuine experience of oral history in order to appreciate the process of historiography.
http://learning.loc.gov/learn/lessons/97/oh1/ammem.html

historical research

7-12

Grandparent/Elder Project
Learning history from real people involved in real events brings life to history. The Grandparent/Elder Project provides a means to learn about the twentieth century from real people and primary sources. An interview with a grandparent or significant elder provides a human face for life in the twentieth century. Through researching primary and secondary sources, students become conversant with significant aspects of twentieth century history.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/98/grand/overview.html

historical research

8-12

The Historian's Sources
This lesson introduces students to primary sources -- what they are, their great variety, and how they can be analyzed. The lesson begins with an activity that helps students understand the historical record. Students then learn techniques for analyzing primary sources. Finally, students apply these techniques to analyze documents about slavery in the United States.
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/psources/pshome.html

 

WebQuests

WebQuests are activities that help you make the most out of the best of the World Wide Web.

Topics

Grades

Description

Social Studies

3-8

Meet The Immigrants
Students study immigrants from different countries and eras to discern similarities in reasons for coming, and common problems encountered.
Students study the settling of the United States. They should be able to relate to prior knowledge about explorers and immigrants, while gaining new knowledge and insight to the topic.
http://www.lubbockisd.org/webquests/MeetImmigrants/index.htm

Language Arts / Reading / Social Studies

4-5

Westward Ho, Shall we Go?
Introduce your students to pioneers and their travels west.
http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/sessions/westwardho/t-index.htm

Social Studies / Language Arts / Technology

5-12+

America Dreams
This WebQuest challenges students to investigate the American Dream...look through the eyes of those who lived before us...use the American Memory collections, The Library of Congress, to visit America's past ...learn research skills and experience the richness of the library collections ...defend ideas, create products that show understanding of others' dreams ...then share the dream for America's future.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/97/dream

Art / Music / English / Language Arts / Math / Social Studies / Technology

6-12

Road Trip: Retracing Lewis and Clark
Students retrace the footsteps of Lewis and Clark in an effort to understand the changes that have taken place in America since their historic journey.
http://eprentice.sdsu.edu:16080/S04X/calbus/wq/index.htm

History / Language Arts

6-12

Voices From the Past (Oral History Project)
Students follow oral history processes to contact and interview a World War II veteran or person alive during the World War II era. They then use the information to write a script for an historical documentary.
http://oldsegundo.com/webquests/voices_from_past/teacher-intro.htm

U.S. History

6-12

Gilded Age WebQuest
You are a member of a film production studio that has recently been hired to produce a documentary about the Gilded Age of American history.
http://www.oswego.org/staff/tcaswell/wq/gildedage/student.htm

Language Arts / Visual Arts / Social Studies

6-8

A Stitch in Time: An Internet WebQuest on Quilting Traditions
Students will be directed to sites that contain information on quilting and the cultures of African, Amish, and Native American people.
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/
education/projects/webquests/quilts/t-index.htm

Language Arts / History / Social Science

8

Comparative Democracy
Students will explore and compare the elements of democracy in the USA and in other countries. Working in groups, they will research these areas of a democratic government such as political parties, the role of the individual in government, the role of the military in our society, the role of the judicial branch, and more.
http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/langacad/compdemo/index.htm

U.S. History / Language Arts

8

Rock the Vote
The unit will enable students to make more informed and intelligent decisions about public issues and participation in the governmental process as well as help students to understand how the Bill of Rights still affects our lives today.
http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/lewis/rock/index.html#Introduction

English / Language Arts / Social Studies / Technology

9-12

The Great Depression
In this Web Quest students will research not only the causes and important events of the Great Depression, but also examine the personal struggles and challenges of a nation and its people in one of the worst the socio-economic periods of the twentieth century.
http://www.ats.edu.mx/proyectos/racevedo/depression/index.htm

Social Studies

9-12

Living American History
This is a year long project in which students research historical figures from U.S. Government/History. Students develop supporting materials to enhance their knowledge of these figures, such as brochures, commercials, videos, and historical newspapers. The quest culminates in students assuming the persona of these figures and presenting them in a talk show format, which is shared with other school participants via videoconferencing.
http://members.cox.net/kpeterson35

Social Studies

9-12

The Life of an Immigrant
Students are placed in the shoes of an immigrant. They will organize information in the form of poster and a letter.
http://www.geocities.com/tinakorich/Title

Social Studies

9-12

Cold War Museum
Submit a design proposal for the Smithsonian's Cold War Museum.
http://oswego.org/staff/jdeloren/coldwar/coldwarquest.html

 

 

 

 


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