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Teaching Resources

Welcome to the Emerging America resource library. Browse our ever-growing collection of primary source sets, lesson plans, classroom assessments, and more, developed by teachers and edited for quality and consistency. Use the controls in the blue box to search and filter by Type, Subject, Time Period, and Grade Level. NOTE: Use the website search engine (above) to find resources–such as apps and curriculum from other organizations–that appear only in the blog.
syringe labeled “POLIO VACCINE” is shown above two test tubes, one labeled “MONEY” and one labeled “PLANNING”, with the prominent words, “The Missing Ingredients!”

Polio and Parallels to the Covid-19 Pandemic 

Closed movie theaters, church services, and summer camps – special hospital wards with ventilators called ‘iron lungs’ for polio patients with the most severe cases – parallels between polio and coronavirus epidemics are…

Teacher observes four students huddled over a primary source.

The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) developed by the Right Question Institute is both a simple, practical teaching technique and a philosophy of learning that empowers ALL learners to discover questions for themselves. 

Asking good questions is a vital skill that takes time and much practice to master. Most…

Screen shot of the cover of a lesson plan with image of a teen worker.

Keep at hand all seven items in the  Emerging America Lesson Design Toolkit to support strong lesson plan development. You will also need copies of applicable academic standards and, of course, your text set, and any other support materials for the lesson. Refer to each tool to broaden choices for you and for students. The tools help make precise and clear the language in lesson objectives,…

Using this chart, students confirm knowledge or challenge misconceptions.

A Tool to Challenge Misconceptions

The point of the RAN Chart is for students to research and confirm or correct their ideas for themselves! (Thus the RAN Chart improves on the old "KWL" chart.) 

Step 1: Draw the RAN Chart on a whiteboard or smart board, or build from note cards or post-its. Ideally, leave the RAN Chart up through throughout an investigation. Create…

Hand-drawn diagram lists ideas around a central document.

Prior to investigating a source, students examine the variety of people and groups that would interpret the source differently. Members of the class brainstorm to arrive at a list of all the different viewpoints, then one by one speak from the perspective of the varying stakeholders. This thinking routine, published by the Visible Thinking project at Project Zero, helps students consider the…