Lessons & Activities

A complete listing of all the standards-based educational resources designed to be facilitated by a teacher or parent.


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The Time Trial of John Brown

Grade Range: 8-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 135 Minutes
Date Posted: 8/3/2012

In this lesson, students will examine the difference between history and memory by debating the legacy of John Brown.  Using video clips of an actor playing Brown, students are invited to debate his actions and determine how history should re...


The Voting Machine and Election Reform

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Date Posted: 11/8/2009

This object-based learning activity revolves around an 1898 Standard Voting Machine, the fight against voting fraud and the extension of voting rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Students will learn how voting technology ...


The Water Nearby

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Duration: 30 Minutes
Date Posted: 5/21/2009

Do you live near the water? There is probably a body of water closer than you think!  In this activity, students will use Google Maps to first find their school, and then locate and learn about the closest body of water to their school. Inclu...


Three Sides of the Smalls Story

Grade Range: 4-6
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials, Primary Source
Duration: 40 Minutes
Date Posted: 3/18/2011

Take a close look at two newspaper articles and a children's book telling the story of an escaped slave-compare the stories they tell to uncover the perspectives they represent. Part of an OurStory module entitled Full Steam to Freedom , t...


Timelines Tell Stories

Grade Range: 3-5
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Primary Source
Duration: 15 Minutes
Date Posted: 3/9/2012

How can the Statue of Liberty be used in a timeline? Take a close look at an object made by an immigrant, then tell your family or cultural stories through a timeline. Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity i...


To March or Not to March

Grade Range: 3-5
Resource Type(s): Worksheets, Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source
Duration: 25 Minutes
Date Posted: 1/5/2010

In this activity, children pretend to be an American during 1963 and decide whether or not to join the March on Washington. Children base their choice on information gathered through guided observation of a handbill from the march. Included in an ...


Tracking the Buffalo: You Be The Historian

Grade Range: 4-8
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media
Date Posted: 6/10/2008

What can we learn by studying a buffalo hide painting? In this activity, students will learn about the culture of the Plains Indians by determining the meaning of stories told on a buffalo hide painting and compare their interpretations to that of...


Tracking the Buffalo: Stories From a Buffalo Hide Painting Homepage

Grade Range: K-8
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials, Interactives & Media
Date Posted: 6/10/2008

In this interactive website, students explore the role buffaloes played in the lives of Native Americans of the northern Plains. The website includes: online interactives, printable activities and a map of the Plain Indians, information about the ...


Trains Near You

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials
Duration: 50 Minutes
Date Posted: 11/30/2010

Explore a local train-related site with safety and discussion tips for kids and families. Part of an OurStory module entitled All Aboard the Train! , this activity includes strategies for selecting a train-related field trip in your area (...


Transportation in America Classroom Activity Guide

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets
Date Posted: 8/7/2008

This activity guide accompanies the exhibition America on the Move . It delivers a variety of historical primary source materials from the exhibition directly to your classroom. Through these documents and activities, students can build a ...

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Featured Artifact

The Three Kings

On the Catholic calendar, the Three Kings are celebrated on the 6th of January. On this date Puerto Rican children traditionally expected their Christmas gifts, not from...