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History Lesson Plans

Be sure to see our History Subject Center for more great lesson ideas and articles.

Cross-Cultural Dialogue Writing: Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot
Expand students’ cultural horizons by shaping a fun dialogue-writing exercise around Guy Fawkes Night, a November 5 historical observance that’s popular in England.

Lesson Plan: Rewriting History
In this engaging lesson, students write a news story about widely believed inaccuracies within the stories of American historical figures.

Lesson Plan Booster: What Makes a Great Speech?
Do your students love to talk? Turn that energy into something productive by discussing common elements of great speeches from a variety of genres. Kids identify what they admire about famous orations while they learn about the art of persuasion.
Lesson Plan Booster: Does Vengeance Do More Harm Than Good?Students consider the message the world has received from American celebration over the death of Osama bin Laden, and in a larger sense, whether acts of military vengeance tend to increase or decrease the probability of future violence.

Lesson Plan Booster: History of the Coup
Spice up high-school history class by examining how coups have shaped the political landscape.

 A Timeline of Terror
Since 2001, there have been many ups and downs. In order to help you and your students put bin Laden’s death into historical context, EducationWorld has assembled a timeline of significant terrorist attacks and important allied victories, beginning with the Sept. 11 opening salvo and culminating with bin Laden being brought to justice. Each date provides a link to more information on the incident.

Museum Teaches History Through GardeningThe National WWII Museum offers elementary school teachers the opportunity to grow Victory Gardens in their classrooms.
Election: Teachable Moment
To help you capitalize on this teachable moment, Education World has gathered lesson ideas from our archive. Use them to teach about the elections, our government, and many other topics.

Biography Brainstorm: Using Word and the Web to Jumpstart Research
Students use Internet resources and Microsoft Word drawing tools to brainstorm (through webbing) questions about a person they will research and write about.

Portrait of a Hero
Students select and research someone they consider a hero and then use facts about that person and quotes by that person to create micrographic portraits.

No Place Like Home
Students learn to "read" digital content as they analyze photographs of high plains sod homes and read accompanying narratives. They then choose one photograph and identify characteristics, points, differences, and questions they find in that photograph.

Constitution Day
America and its educators recognize each September 17 -- the day our Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution -- as Constitution Day. Education World has scoured our site and the Internet to gather dozens of teaching ideas to help you recognize this landmark day.

Will the Leaning Tower Fall?
Students in grades 9-12 research the Tower of Pisa and write a report about its history. They examine the physics of why the Tower leans and whether it might fall. Finally, they plan a trip to Italy to see the Tower, developing an itinerary and budget for the trip.

Presidential Bookmarks
Students in grades 3-5 use online resources to find basic information on a U.S. president. Then, using Microsoft Word, they create bookmarks containing a few facts about the selected president along with his photograph, print the bookmarks, and trade them with their peers.

Visiting a Historical Site
On the PBS show History Detectives, experts solve mysteries from the past using modern research methods. Teach your students to think like the history-mystery detectives with these lessons for visiting a historical site. Appropriate for grades 7-12, the lessons provide step-by-step instructions for research before a visit to a historical site, procedures during the visit, and the creation of a poem based on the visit.

Four Days in Paris
In this foreign language or social studies lesson for grades 4-6, students research a travel destination, set up a four-day itinerary, and then use iWork's Pages program to create an illustrated travel journal detailing their "experiences."

Quilting Connections
Help your K-8 class celebrate Women's History Month. Students research an influential woman, then create on the computer a quilt block with text and graphics. Quilt blocks are then printed and combined to form a quilt of connections.

I Do Solemnly Swear: Presidential Inaugurations
Stuffy and formal or disorganized and strange? Presidential inaugurations have run the gamut over the years. Check out this lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which the facts and frenzy surrounding 55 presidential inaugurations are investigated.

Ball and Triangle Game
Students create a modern-day version of a game that was popular among some Native American children.

Country Comparisons in Current Events Class
Do you have middle or high school students who are eager to debate current events, but sometimes lack evidence for their arguments? Or, are students struggling to understand the challenges faced in a developing country? If so, this lesson plan, using online resources and a spreadsheet program, may be just what you need to inform and inspire classroom discussions!

Brown v. Board of Education Celebrates 50 Years
On the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, Education World offers this special lesson planning resource. Included: Links to more than 3 dozen lessons.

Electing a President: Lessons for Teaching About the Presidential Primaries
Candidates are crisscrossing the country in a quest for the votes that will put their name on the presidential ballot in November. Capitalize on this "teachable moment" with five lessons that teach about the process and engage students in learning about it.

Voice of Experience: Video Time Machine Engages Students, Energizes Curriculum
Teacher Max Fischer uses his video time machine -- a VCR with snippets of movies that offer teachable moments -- to bring Ancient Rome and other parts of his history curriculum to life. Included: Guidelines for selecting video clips.

A World of Learning: Geography Activities for Geography Week
Geography lessons can make a "world" of difference in students' knowledge of the world and in their test scores. That's because geography is multidisciplinary by nature. This week's lessons teach geography -- and math, language, and cultural literacy.

Take Note: Five Lessons for Note Taking Fun
If recent surveys are any indicator, cheating and plagiarism are on the rise. As teachers, however, we might be able to reverse that trend by teaching our students to take good notes. Included: Five fun lessons that teach needed note-taking skills.

Looking for Wright Brothers Lessons? You've Come to the "Wright" Place!
It was 100 years ago at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, that man first flew in an engine-powered aircraft. Before that time, such an event was thought to be centuries away! Included: Five lessons to celebrate the Wright brothers' achievement plus links to 20 more lessons.

Remembering Those Who Gave Their Lives: Lessons for Memorial Day
What does Memorial Day mean to your students? Do they grasp the significance of the sacrifice that American men and women have made to preserve our freedom? Included: Five lessons help students understand the meaning of Memorial Day.

Lessons for War
As the war in Iraq heads into its third week, teachers at every grade level are struggling for ways to help students deal with the war and with issues related to the war. To aid you in that effort, Education World has collected some age-appropriate online lesson plans.

Reviving Reviews: Refreshing Ideas Students Can't Resist
Is review time a deadly bore for you and your students? Add a little fun to review time and you might be surprised. Games will spice up reviews, revive interest, and ensure retention! Included: Five activities for use in all subjects, all grades!

Its Up for Debate!
Debates are a staple of middle and high school social studies classes. But have you ever thought about using debates at the lower grades -- or in math class? Education World offers five debate strategies and extra lessons for students of all ages.

Five Lessons in Black History
Primary source materials teach about Rosa Parks, school integration, and the growth of the African-American population throughout history. Plus: Students create a database/timeline and write a rap about a famous figure in Black History. More!

Lewis and Clark: The Journey West
In 1803, Meriwether Lewis was selected to lead an expedition that would map a water route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Included: Classroom lessons to help you celebrate the 200th anniversary of this historic journey.

Teaching @ Tolerance
Martin Luther King dreamed of a world more tolerant that the one he lived in. This weeks lessons are designed to teach kids about Kings dream of tolerance. Included: Lessons on stereotyping, appreciating differences, recognizing how words can hurt (or heal), and more!

Thinking About Thanksgiving: Lessons Across the Curriculum
Are you teaching about the "First Thanksgiving as it is written in many childrens books, or are you teaching about it as it really happened? This week, Education World helps put Thanksgiving in perspective and challenges students to "think about Thanksgiving. Included: Lessons that teach science, math, geography, foreign languages, more!

Remembering September 11
Education World offers five new lessons to help teachers commemorate the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States. Those lessons will keep alive the spirit of patriotism and tolerance stimulated by the events of 9/11.

Lesson Planning Resources
Lesson Plan of the Day
A new lesson every day of the school year.

Learning Games
A new game each week for fun and learning.  

Fact Monster
Printable activity builds students research, literacy skills.  

News for KIDS
Printable activity spurs discussion, critical thinking.  

Writing Bugs
Printable student work sheets motivate student writing.
Show-Biz Science
Vicki Cobb's hands-on science showstoppers.
Teacher Lessons
Dozens of lessons. Submit yours, earn cash.
5-Minute Fillers
Use these fun quick-tivities!
Tech Lesson of the Week
Integrate technology with step-by-step lessons. 
Build skills with these printables.

Book Report Makeover
Ideas for spicing up boring book reports.  

Reader's Theater Scripts
And teachers' guides too.  

Holidays and
Special Days

Hundreds of great themed teaching ideas.
Every-Day Edits
Printable sheets for daily language practice.
Math Puzzles: Choose from two printable puzzles:
It All Adds Up
Basic addition, a fun format.

Math Cross
Try a challenging weekly puzzle.

Lesson Plans
By Subject

View lesson themes of special interest.

Work Sheet Library
100s of work sheets for all subjects, grades.

More Printables
Internet Scavenger Hunts
Timely computer center activities.
Coloring Calendars
Use them to reinforce skills. 

Month of Fun
Games and puzzles for each month's special days.
Contests & Competitions
Special opportunities for student learning.
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Bring Ancient History to Life!
The civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome are among the most engaging of teaching themes. This week, Education World presents five lessons for teaching about those ancient cultures. The lessons challenge students to use and translate hieroglyphics, solve math problems using Roman numerals, learn about gods and goddesses, explore the society of ancient Egypt, and draw like an Egyptian.


Honoring the American Woman
March is Women's History Month. Although the annual event traces its beginnings to the first International Women's Day in 1911, it owes its current popularity to the Sonoma (California) school district. In 1978, that district participated in Women's History Week, an event designed to promote the teaching of women's history. Today, schools across the country expand their curriculums during the month of March to honor the American woman and her place in history. The theme for National Women's History Month 2002 is Women Sustaining the American Spirit. The lessons below will help your students recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of American women throughout history.

Women of Accomplishment: An Internet Scavenger Hunt
March is National Women's History Month, a time to honor the achievements of American women and to recognize the historical impact of those achievements. This month, expand your students' knowledge about the many ways in which women sustain the American spirit by posing a question a day about women's history!

Celebrating African American History Month: Is Racism Dead?
February is African American History Month, a time set aside to promote public awareness of the history and achievements of African Americans. In recognition of that event, Education World offers activities and resources to help you encourage students to explore the history of African Americans, to learn about their struggles, to celebrate their successes, and to participate in their ongoing efforts.

'Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision'
March is National Women's History Month. The theme of the 2001 event, "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision," encourages you to remember the women whose vision conjured images of a better world and whose courage made it happen. Introduce those women to your students with the activities below!

Presidents' Day Activities!
The third Monday in February is the annual observance of Presidents' Day. This week, Education World offers five excellent activities to teach students about the presidents of the United States!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1990s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps that commemorate the people, places, events, and trends of the 1990s. Explore Web sites related to the explosion of the World Wide Web and the preservation of the endangered peregrine falcon, as well as John Glenn's landmark second trip into space and Mark McGwire's amazing home run record! Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1980s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps that commemorate the people, places, events, and trends of the 1980s. Explore Web sites related to Brian Boitano, the Iran hostage crisis, the Columbia space shuttle, the rise of video games, and more! Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

A World at War
Education World presents "The World Wars," the latest article in our yearlong Millennium Series.

The Holocaust
This week, Education World provides 12 lesson plans for teaching about the Holocaust. Included: Activities that involve students in creating time lines and ABC books, writing poetry and letters, and learning about Anne Frank and Holocaust rescuers!

Civil War Lesson Plans and Activities
This week, Education World presents more than a dozen lessons for teaching about the Civil War. Teachers can use these lessons to teach what caused the war, what it was like to live in a nation divided, and much more.

From Sea to Shining Sea: A Nation Moves Westward!
On May 14, 1804, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and a small team of explorers left St. Louis, Missouri, in search of a route to the Pacific coast. On May 10, 1869, Governor Leland Stanford of California drove the final spike into the country's first transcontinental railroad. This week, Education World introduces you and your students to 65 years of history. Included: More than 20 activities to help students take part in America's westward expansion.

Join the Revolution!
Invite your students to follow the progress of the American Revolution -- from the first battle to the final surrender -- by participating in these Revolutionary War lessons and activities.

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1970s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps that commemorate the people, places, events, and trends of the 1970s. Explore Web sites related to disco, womens rights, jumbo jets, and more! Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

Back in the Day: Lessons from Colonial Classrooms
Encourage your students to experience the lives of colonial children by participating in some of the same activities children enjoyed -- or endured -- more than 200 years ago. Then invite them to explore similar lessons -- updated for the technological age.

Women of the Century: An Education World WebQuest
Just in time for Women's History Month! This week, Education World offers a Women's History WebQuest. Challenge students to make use of bookshelf and online resources to create an Encyclopedia of the Century's Notable Women. Included: Ideas for adapting the WebQuest across the grades plus a simple rubric for grading students' efforts and a database of online resources.

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1960s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the 1960s. Explore Web sites related to Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech as well as the introduction of the Ford Mustang and Roger Maris's 61st home run! Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

What kinds of people choose a life of exploration, adventure, and danger --- and where would we be without them? Your students will answer those questions as they investigate explorers and determine their impact on our world. Included: Twelve simple and successful classroom activities --- and two activities for families to share.

Ten Activities Celebrate Achievements of African Americans!
February is Black History Month, a time to commemorate the efforts of African Americans who have crossed boundaries, broken down barriers, and contributed to their fields. It seems appropriate that the achievements of African Americans receive attention annually during this month, after being poorly recognized for so long. With the assistance of the Web, you too can incorporate activities that reflect the positive impact black Americans have had on our nation's history. Included: Ten Internet-based activities to celebrate Black History Month.

The Middle Ages: Twelve Activities Take Students Back in Time!
Learn how a unit on the Middle Ages inspired great writing among fourth and fifth graders in Chandler, Arizona. Included: 12 great activities for teaching about the Middle Ages.

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1950s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the 1950s. Explore Web sites related to the polio vaccine, rock and roll, Brown v. the Board of Education, and I Love Lucy! Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

Twelve Great Lessons for Teaching the Great Depression
October 29, 1999. The 70th anniversary of Black Thursday is the perfect opportunity to teach your students about the causes and the effects of the Great Depression. This week, Education World offers a dozen great Internet-based activities. Included: Twelve activities for use across the curriculum and across the grades!

Ahoy, Mates! Here Lie a Dozen Pirate Treasures!
Aye, ye landlubbers! Take to the high seas for some fun and adventure with the theme of piracy! Meet Captain Dave, find out how he created his on-line search for lost treasure, and read about 12 other ways to bring privateers and mariners into your classroom activities. Hoist the Jolly Roger and set sail on an Internet voyage for educational loot! Arghhh!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1940s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the fifth decade of this century. Explore Web sites related to the advent of television and antibiotics, to the big-band sound and the baby boom, and to Rosie the Riveter and Harry the president. Included: An Internet scavenger hunt for students!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1900s
In this Internet scavenger hunt, students learn about the stories behind the stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the first decade of this century. Explore Web sites related to the Wright brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright, Ellis Island and the St. Louis World's Fair, and more!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1910s
In this Internet scavenger hunt, students surf specially-selected, safe Web sites to learn more about the stories behind the stamps commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the 1920s. Explore Web sites related to the Girls Scouts and the Grand Canyon, Charlie Chaplin and child labor, and more!

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1920s
This Internet scavenger hunt will challenge students of all ages to learn more about the stories behind the stamps commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the 1930s. Explore Web sites related to the talent of Babe Ruth and the growing popularity of radio, Lindbergh's flight and the stock market crash, and more!

'Every Day' Activities: Today in History
Many sites offer "This Day in History" resources that are a great way to teach current events, history, and cultural literacy. Imagine a classroom timeline that highlights current events or events connected to historic periods. Add pictures collected from Web resources such as the Library of Congress and LIFE magazine. A great opportunity for learning!

Crisis in Kosovo: Web Resources for Classroom Lessons
Looking for background information, maps, timelines, and cultural resources to help your students understand what's going on in Kosovo? EducationWorld has tracked down some of the best Internet resources for teaching about Kosovo at all grades! Included: Simple activities to help clear up the confusion about Kosovo.

Women of Accomplishment: An Internet Scavenger Hunt
Neglected for years, the historical contributions of women are celebrated during March, the official National Women's History Month. Supplement your textbooks with the other half of history -- the achievements of women -- by posing a question about women's history during every school day of the month!

The Road to Freedom: Using the WWW to Teach About Slavery
For black slaves in America, the road to freedom was a long and difficult one. This week, Education World observes Black History Month by providing activities to help your students trace that journey and to learn about some of the heroes who paved the way to freedom. Included: Activities for teaching about slavery across the grades and the curriculum.

Links to Lincoln on the Web!
Not surprisingly, there's a wealth of information about Abraham Lincoln on the Web. Students of all ages will learn from six great sites; among them are sites created by a high school history teacher, the White House, and a class of first graders. Included: Activities to engage students for each site!

Explore the Explorers Online!
Columbus and the other early explorers provide your students with the opportunity to explore new worlds -- as well as worlds of knowledge and discovery! This week, Education World delivers a shipload of sites and activities guaranteed to keep your lessons afloat -- and your curriculum current.

Great Chicago Fire Web Site Rich in Language Arts
The Web Site "The Great Chicago Fire and The Web of Memory" explores the historic fire in ways that engender rich Language Arts activities.

Celebrate the Century: Search the Web for U.S. History of the 1930s
Search the Web to learn more about the stories behind the recent issue of 15 stamps commemorating the people, places, events, and trends of the 1930s. Explore Web sites related to the Empire State Building, Superman, the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Monopoly board game, and more!

George Washington Lives! -- On the Internet!
George Washington: Farmer, Soldier, and First President of the United States of America. Students can learn all about him on the Internet -- by George!

Timelines: Timeless Teaching Tools
Across the grades and across the curriculum, teachers treasure the value of timelines. And all the timeline resources you'll need are right at your fingertips! Included: Activity ideas for teachers across the grades!

Bring Women's History to Life in the Classroom!
Educate and inspire tomorrow's men and women with activities relating to important women of the past and present!
Included: Cross-curriculum activities for all grades!

A Black History Treasure Hunt!
Send students on a Black History scavenger hunt! Students can learn about famous black Americans while polishing their Internet surfing skills. Four different "hunts" -- for students of all ages!

The Amistad Comes to Life!
Activities across the grades and across the curriculum bring to life the story of the revolt on the Amistad.

Kids Helping Kids: UNICEF Kit Teaches Kids About Child Labor
A free teaching kit from UNICEF builds student awareness about the worldwide problem of child labor. Included: Information about UNICEF's Kids Speak Up for Kids Essay Contest. Additional activities included.

The Titanic
Including Teaching Tips for All Grades