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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.
Quabbin reservoir

A model district-determined measure for 7th grade Geography, developed by the Collaborative in 2015 for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A pre-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Quabbin Dam in Central Massachusetts in the 1930s. The post-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt in the 1960s. Students use…

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The following 5 day unit plan uses primary source images of the National Mall and a modern tourist primary source map to observe, reflect, and explain some the varied historical sites available to students, educators, and travelers alike. In particular, students will explore three of the following sites:

  • Capitol Building
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • WWII Memorial
fugitive slave law

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves. Northerner legislatures passed laws in an attempt to reduce the impact of the FSA and how the work of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was impacted. Students will learn how the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (FSA) changed perspectives of Northerners and the ultimate destination of the fugitives themselves. Students…

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Visually rich history published by Guy McLain, Director of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. Provides a rare glimpse into the evolution and history of western Massachusetts. Topics explored include European Settlement of the Valley, the Revolution and Shays’ Rebellion, Development of Transportation and Trade in the Valley, and Expansion of Business and Industry.

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UPDATED WITH NEW RESOURCES - This lesson uses primary sources to explore one of the most remarkable cultural meetings in history: Spanish sponsored Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans from the Taino population in the Caribbean. Two key primary sources in this lesson are a letter from Columbus to the King and Queen of Spain and a 1562 map of European attitudes toward…