TEACHING U.S. HISTORY THEMATICALLY
Document-Based Lessons for the Secondary Classroom
Each of the seven units contains 11–13 lessons and is structured around an essential question that highlights one theme: for example, the unit on civil liberties and public safety asks, "Under what conditions, if any, should citizens’ freedoms be restricted?" Units begin with a "Current Issue Question" that highlights the topic’s importance to the present (e.g., "Can reforming gun laws make Americans safer?"). Individual lessons then focus on an event involving a key historical figure (e.g., John Brown and Harpers Ferry), pose a related introductory question (e.g., "Would you break a law you thought was unjust?"), supply bullet points for a mini-lecture, define important words and terms included in the primary source document students will read, provide comprehension questions and extension activities, and conclude with a reflection question (e.g., "Do you see John Brown as a hero, a villain, or something in between?"). Other themes include American democracy; diversity and discrimination; states’ rights and federal power; government, business, and workers; foreign policy; and identity. Aligned to Common Core standards.
Teachers College Press