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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.
illustration of Abraham Lincoln

Since arriving in North America in the 15th century, Africans in the United States were forced to navigate the social, economic, and physical limitations placed upon their lives by the institutions of slavery and the racist ideology that justified it. The following primary source set shows several ways that different communities responded to the outlawing of the Atlantic slave trade (and…

A three-column chart reflects the use of terms as described in the video by Cairn.

A large, discipline-specific vocabulary is a distinct challenge for Students with Disabilities and other diverse learners in History and Social Science. Concepts like "citizen" or "rights" are complex, culturally fluid, and difficult to picture. While the vast number of specific or historical technical terms like "longitude," "veto," "cuneiform," and "carpetbagger" require depth of context and…

Screen cap of Relevance Matrix worksheet for teachers

The Relevance Matrix from Teaching Tolerance is a tool for teachers to consider means to connect content to real world applications and contexts that relate to students' lives. Thinking critically about engagement and effective classroom strategies can help students answer, "Why should I learn this?"

Strategies listed include:

Using the table teachers think about…

Four Ideas for Engaging Students in Active Learning

This worksheet from Teaching Tolerance presents four quick, basic ideas to support active learning. Building on inspiration from Herbert Kohl, this tip sheet outlines uses of writing, drawing, images, and small groups to engage students. Any of these strategies could be used to assess student understanding. 

Strategies described and illustrated include:

  1. The…
Screenshot of social justice book covers

From Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project, this powerful site offers more than 60 curated lists of books on social justice and multicultural points of view for children, young adults, and educators. Book lists are organized by topic areas–including Changemakers, Disabilities, Immigration (and specific immigrant groups), Organizing, and Voting Rights! 

"Not only do we…