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American History Resources

posted on October 31, 2011

American History Resources

Teaching American history can be a daunting task. Each year it seems you’re required to cover more events, but as a skilled educator, you know your students need to get more out of your class than just historical facts. How do you express to your students that history is more than just memorizing dates? How do you communicate the lives, ideas, choices, and consequences of historical figures? How do you help cultivate well-informed, thinking citizens who can apply the lessons of the past to their lives of today? On top of preparing for standardized tests, helping students write well, and covering 300+ years of events, American history teachers can have a packed school year with little time to breathe.

IPTV's resources can help American history teachers try new things and innovate in the classroom. From primary source images and lesson plans featured in PBS LearningMedia to the numerous videos, interactives, and audio elements from the best of public media, IPTV has thousands of resources to help educators provide historical, cultural, and literary context to events throughout American history. Following is a small sample of what is available.

American Experience A collection of full online programs, bonus interviews, transcripts, essays, timelines and more from TV’s most watched history series. Documentary topics cover most eras of American history, from our founding fathers to contemporary events.

Mission US: For Crown or Colony This video game allows students to step into the shoes of a 14-year-old apprentice experiencing the events that led up to the Boston Massacre. Moreover, an all new second adventure begins this January with the events of the Civil War, helping students better understand this extraordinarily complex time in American history.

Iowa Pathways Iowa Pathways is an online learning environment that challenges students to create their own story of the state as they explore the people, places, events and ideas of Iowa. This award-winning Web site helps students choose topics that interest them as they examine relationships among Iowa concepts—past to present.

History Detectives Each episode of History Detectives is full of innovative learning opportunities. From suggestions on how to help your students sharpen their research skills to helping your student conduct their own historical investigations, the History Detectives website offers rich lessons to help your students learn history through research and investigation.

Frontline In-depth resources on contemporary issues facing the United States, including the economy, technology, foreign affairs, politics, government and more. Find full online videos and clips, interactive features, timelines, essays, lessons plans and other vital tools to engage your students.

Freedom: A History of US See why the promise of freedom has attracted millions of people from all over the world to come to America. Hear for yourself why generations of men, women, and children have lived, sacrificed, and died for that freedom--a story that is still unfolding today.

Africans in America America’s journey through slavery is presented in four parts with this series, each with a historical narrative, a resource bank, and a teacher guide.

Liberty!  The American Revolution  This dramatic documentary about the birth of the American Republic and the struggle of a loosely connected group of states to become a nation brings the people, events and ideas of the revolution to life through military reenactments and dramatic recreations performed by a distinguished cast.

John and Abigail Adams A great biography of the couple and depiction of the times in which they lived. The site comes with teacher guides, a timeline, and a variety of helpful resources.

Freedom Riders The story of the Freedom Riders offers students a window into the Civil Rights Movement that allows them to identify more closely with the sacrifice and courage that was needed to secure civil rights for all Americans. The site contains a full study guide and companion teaching materials, as well as educator workshops to train teachers in using the Freedom Riders curriculum in their classrooms.

The Civil War The critically acclaimed documentary film created by Ken Burns that explores the Civil War in a level of detail never before seen when it aired. The website also comes with several resources to help you tie the film to your teaching methods.

Prohibition The newest documentary film from by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

The American Presidents A fresh and relevant narrative (developed with a former producer of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), the American Presidents takes a closer look at the people who led this country through change and the lives they affected, from an early idea of democracy to our first African-American President.

The North, the South, and the Great Migration With this lesson plan, students can examine the correlation between blues music and African American literature, understand what life was like for African Americans in the Jim Crow South, and explore the literature produced by African Americans throughout the 20th century.

War Letters American military men and women have captured the horror, pathos, and intensity of warfare by writing letters home. Tens of thousands of these letters have been handed down from generation to generation. Using the most compelling and enlightening of these missives, War Letters tells the story of American wars from the viewpoint of the men and women in the front lines.

PBS Teachers PBS Teachers houses hundreds of lesson plans, activities, and ideas from all types of series and programs from PBS. Just search "American history" to begin your exploration.


Tags: american dream Americans civil wars education educators history lesson plans Social Studies teachers video war World War I World War II

Subjects: Social Studies

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