Find collections of the Museum's top resources on major themes in American history here.  Additional resources on these topics may be found by using the search functions of the website.



Back to School

Resource Types: Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Books
Date Posted: 8/26/2015

Find activities to start the year including simple primary source analysis lessons and methods for interpreting objects. 

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Resource Types: Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Interactives & Media, Books
Date Posted: 8/3/2012

Examine immigration history from the 19th through the mid-20th century with an emphasis on the journeys of immigrants from Asia and Latin America to the American west and southwest.

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Civil Rights Movement

Greensboro lunch counter

Resource Types: Interactives & Media, Primary Source, Lessons & Activities, Books
Date Posted: 3/12/2014

Explore the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, the Freedom Rides, and other events of the civil rights movement through lessons, videos, and activities.

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Abraham Lincoln

Resource Types: Reference Materials, Interactives & Media, Artifacts, Primary Source, Lessons & Activities, Books
Date Posted: 6/2/2015

Explore the Museum’s extensive collection of resources on Abraham Lincoln’s extraordinary life through this theme page.

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Westward Expansion

1848 Gold Nugget

Resource Types: Worksheets, Lessons & Activities, Primary Source, Books
Date Posted: 8/3/2012

Create a virtual exhibit around the nugget that started the gold rush, follow one man’s journey to California in 1849, build a sodhouse and more with these lessons and interactives on westward expansion.

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American Revolution

Resource Types: Primary Source, Reference Materials, Interactives & Media, Books
Date Posted: 10/20/2014

Explore family life in the American Revolution, debate the legacy of Benedict Arnold and more with these activities on the War of Independence. 

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STEM Resources

Resource Types: Primary Source, Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities, Reference Materials, Books
Date Posted: 8/7/2013

Explore the science in history and find science, technology, and math-integrated resources with this STEM-theme. 

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War of 1812

Resource Types: Reference Materials, Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Web Link, Books
Date Posted: 3/3/2014

September 2014 marks the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." Find highlights of the Museum's materials related to the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner below; a full search of 1812-related resources can be found here.

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National History Day

Resource Types: Lessons & Activities, Interactives & Media, Primary Source, Reference Materials
Date Posted: 5/11/2015

Find resources to assist students in National History Day research. Be sure to check out these websites, too, for great primary sources: Smithsonian's Galaxy of Images and Collections Search Center (select "search" then "only return results only with online media")

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Mobile-Friendly Resources

Resource Types: Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 4/30/2014

Working in a 1:1 or BYOD school? Interested in exploring the possibilities for mobile in your classroom? Get started with these resources, and stay posted for more! For podcasts, note that you will need to download a podcast app, and our 3D collections work only on Android devices.

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Want to suggest a different theme topic?

Visit the Contact us page to request a theme that would help you in your classroom.

Featured Artifact

Cuban Rumba Dress

This is a Bata Cubana, or Cuban Rumba dress, donated to the Smithsonian by Celia Cruz, the great Cuban salsa singer in 1997. An adaptation of the traditional Cuban rumba...