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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.
map of boston 1900

Boston Public Schools teachers collaborated on this lesson to engage students with the sweep of American industrial and urban history. Due to Boston’s breathtaking changes in landscape, including the filling of much of Boston Harbor to create neighborhoods–the city offers a dramatic case study of change across the ages. Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding map…

Columbus taking possession of the new country

When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Bay, indigenous peoples on the East Coast had been in sustained contact with European explorers and fur traders for over a hundred years. In the 17th century, however, European colonists began to permanently settle in North America. Indigenous communities found ways to adapt their cultural forms to the regular presence of Europeans, building upon knowledge…

Image of tiger stripe camouflage

American involvement in the Vietnam War was one of the most polarizing issues of 20th century American history. Many supported the conflict, claiming that a victory for communism would destabilize the entire region. Others argued that United States policy towards Vietnam was an illegitimate and unnecessary use of American power that led to an unconscionable loss of American and Vietnamese life…

manifest destiny propaganda poster

The story of the American West is the story of the meeting of French fur traders and a variety of Indian communities, of American settlers and soldiers and Mexican families, of black miners and Chinese laborers. The creation of the continental United States was made possible through the acquisition of vast tracts of land that were not, contrary to the opinions of many, simply an empty…

an old picture of a city skyline

America’s self image, forged in the era of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmers, is of a rural nation. The great landscape of the West often dominates popular culture and Americans imagine themselves as independent and self-sufficient, shaped by the western frontier. Yet there is also a long urban tradition in the United States that has equally shaped the development of American culture. The rise…