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October 2006

Smithsonian Source: Resources for Teaching American History
Fantastic site for US History.
GRADE LEVEL: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

The Smithsonian Source offers resources for teaching American History including primary sources and the tools for using them in the classroom.
This well-designed site is organized so that all information is easily found. The main page has tabs at the top that lead to the three main sections of the site. There is also an interactive bar at the bottom of the page for easy access to the primary sources featured in the lessons. Additionally, the site is fully searchable.

Bring history to life in your classroom through primary sources and lesson plans from the Smithsonian Source. The site is divided into three main sections: Teaching with Primary Sources, Historical Topics, and Primary Sources. Five teaching strategies for using primary sources in the classroom, such as Jigsaw and Graphic Organizers, are featured in the first section. The historical topics include: Civil Rights, Colonial America, Native American Society, Transportation, Invention, and Westward Expansion. Each topic includes several lesson plans that are organized by grade level and use primary documents to engage students in learning history. The teacher-developed, standards-based lesson plans include links to the documents, vocabulary, activities, assessments, handouts, and extension activities. Also included is a thematic video to go along with each topic and DBQs (Documents and Questions) that can be used independently of the lesson plan.



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