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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.
"Grid with Represent, Engage, Express, and Cultural Considerations across top."

Emerging America's lesson plan template features a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) grid borrowed from Social Studies & Exceptional Learners (see below). It is designed to support teaching of Social Studies. Three columns call for strategies that support the UDL instructional framework (see description in Accessing…

Cover art for a timeline, showing rows of colored illustrations with captions "Ancient Era, "Middle Ages, Renaissance, & Reformation," etc.

Analysis of the timelines below can help students to locate important events in Disability History in a larger historical framework. Timelines also offer opportunities to explore the impacts of activism, policy, and social change. Disability History timelines work best when students are also gaining contextual background knowledge about larger social forces and events. Thus these particular…

Older woman standing with arms on a rough-hewn fence text reads: THE WIDOW OF A QUALIFIED WORKER WILL RECEIVE MONTHLY BENEFITS AT AGE 65. IN CERTAIN CASES, AN AGED DEPENDENT PARENT MAY GET BENEFITS. For information, write or call at the nearest field office of the Social Security Board.

In this lesson, students learn about the Social Security Act and its provisions to care for the elderly, the unemployed, mothers and children, and children and adults with disabilities.  Students will examine several primary source images and documents related to the New Deal era, using a primary source analysis organizer. The lesson offers options in how students can show their learning. This…

Teacher teaching students

This lesson encourages students to visualize the journeys and lives of immigrant children in the early 20th century and also of immigrant children today. It features video interviews with kids who have recently immigrated and archival photos of child immigrants from the turn of the 20th century. The multi-day lesson is designed to help elementary school students learn from primary and…

Uncle Sam: “You’re welcome in – if you can climb it!” 1916

Who gets accepted as a citizen or as an immigrant?  Who is considered a desirable immigrant? Students will work in small groups to examine a primary source text and image set about immigrants at the turn of the 20th century.  They will use the sources to develop a deeper understanding of the hurdles and discrimination many immigrant groups faced. In addition to learning about race-based entry…