Online Resources for History Teachers
- DailyHistory.org Study Guides
DailyHistory.org has over 600 articles that cover a multitude of topics. Our study guides organize core groups of articles for specific topics and you can look for other articles with our search function. In addition to articles, we also have book reviews and booklists
The American Yawp is a free online textbook that is also published by Stanford University Press and describes itself as "A Massively Collaboration Open U.S. History Textbook." Essentially it is an open-source textbook. Historians essentially modeled the textbook on the open source model that has successfully used for numerous computer programs such as Linux, Mediawiki, Wordpress, and many more. In addition to the textbook, "The American Yawp" has an outstanding Sourcebook that can be used to expand on topics.
The Smithsonian site includes teaching lessons, interactives, videos, museum artifacts, and other teacher resources. There is a remarkable amount of material to explore. The site also has an outstanding search function. The search function allows you to look for resources based on resources type (videos, artifacts, reference materials, etc.), grade, historical era, and cross-curricular connections (look for resources that touch on multiple subjects such as economics, science, etc.)
EEDSITEment! focuses on Lesson Plans and Study Activities. The Lesson Plans cover a number of topics and are exceptionally detailed. The plans even suggest how many class sessions should be used to teach the lesson. The lesson plan even breaks down how each day should be organized to get through all of the material. For an example, take a look at Turning the Tide in Europe, 1941-1944. It provides Background for the lesson, preparation, lesson activities, assessment, lesson extensions, and a ton of resources. These are some of the best lesson plans you will find online.
The site also has a section on Student Activities. There are over 200 different student activities that can be used in classrooms. These student activities include texts, videos, and interactive maps.
EDSITEment! is easily one of the best resources for teachers and instructors.
Like the Smithsonian, the Libary of Congress is another outstanding United States government resource. The Library of Congress has multiple missions, but it has a teachers portal that allows you to more easily browse materials and search for them. It also has a search function that will help you find resources, but it isn't as good as the Smithsonian's search. It does allow you to search for content that satisfies Common Core and State materials. It also permits you to search for materials that fit organizational standards as set by the NCTE, AASL, NETS, NCSS and the NCSG.
The Stanford History Education group actually has created History Assessments of Thinking (HATS) that draw on the Library of Congress's digital resources. Here is a list of the HATS that Stanford has compiled. You can download the lesson plans from the site after you register (free) to the site. Typically, these HATS are essentially critical writing assignments. The HATS use images or statements and to get students to write critically about the content. It is a fantastic way to add a writing assignment to cover materials that you have taught in class.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute is an archive based in the New York Historical Society building in New York. Instead of relying on its 70,000 piece collection on American History it has become a resource for teachers, undergraduate, and graduate students, professors and writers. Its website has a blog called History Now that has articles, videos, online timelines, and information from the Institute's exhibitions.
The 50+ Issues from History Now typically focus on a single broad historical topic. The articles in that issue will help you dive deeper into specific historical topics such as US Immigration Laws, Voting Rights, Alexander Hamilton, and Civil Rights. Each issue of History Now links to relevant videos, articles, and even lesson plans.
TeachingHistory.org resource created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It has a mixture of resources for teachers including teaching guides, lesson plan reviews, website reviews, history quizzes, guides to best practices, and history content. Teachinghistory.org has a ton content, but you will need to do a deep dive into the site to find what you are looking for. Probably the most useful aspect of the Teachinghistory.org is its Website Reviews of various historical sites.
The Voices of Democracy is a web project that focuses on great speeches from American history. There is a journal, curriculum units (based on themes, Speakers, Authors and time periods) and blog with short posts focused on key speeches. Typically, each speech part of the site will have either a video or text of the speech, an essay, teaching materials, and additional resources. Voices on Democracy also has an Grades 8-12 Educational Resource Guide that shows teachers how to use their materials and comply with Common Core Standards.
PBS Media is a resource that includes videos, interactive content, and lesson plans. The site has resources for a ton beyond history and social studies. The key component of PBS Media is its wealth of videos that have been drawn from PBS. It has over 6,000 videos (K-13+) on various social studies topics for students.
The Organization of American Historians has a number of tools for high school and college level United States history course, but the material is primarily for members of the OAH. Memberships range in price from $45 (for students), $60 (K-12 Educators), and up to $245 (income over $150,000). The membership includes access to several OAH publications and US History Teaching Units. While there is a rationale to join the OAH as if you are United States history teacher, it probably cannot be justified based solely on the materials offered by the organization.
The American Historical Association (AHA), the largest history organization in the United States, has a much rich assortment of material for teachers and instructors. Like the OAH, the AHA is member organization and has some excellent resources on their website. They offer a mixture of classroom materials, discussions of teaching, plagiarism and a Teaching and Learning History community portal. Like the OAH, some materials will require a membership. Membership for K-12 teachers costs $59 a year.
The Open Yale Courses offer free complete courses taught by Yale History professors. It is a fantastic place to get a refresher on topics that you have not studied in years.