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Published Date

May 20, 2021

Resource Type

For the Classroom, Vetted Resource

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning


United States

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Remote Teaching Resources initiative.


15 Minute History

University of Texas at Austin

This podcast series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in world history, United States history, and Texas history with the award winning faculty and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, and distinguished visitors to our campus. They are meant to be a resource for both teachers and students, and can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in history.

American Battlefield Trust

American Battlefield Trust

Focusing on the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, the American Battlefield Trust educates the public about what happened and why it matters. Topics include the causes, events, and consequences of war, as well as women, African Americans, monuments and burials. The site features extensive lesson plans, videos, and other K-12 teacher resources.

American Beginnings: the European Presence in North America, 1492–1690

National Humanities Council

American Beginnings: the European Presence in North America, 1492-1690 offers primary sources thematically organized with notes and discussion questions. The “toolbox” is divided into topics that include linked texts with explanatory notes. Framing questions can help drive in-class discussion; they may also be assigned for independent reading and assessment in a remote or flipped class.

America in Class: Lesson Plans for History and Literature Teachers

National Humanities Center

America in Class: Lesson Plans for History and Literature Teachers offers collections of primary resources compatible with the Common Core State Standards. These include historical documents, literary texts, and works of art — thematically organized with notes and discussion questions. The purpose of this site is to help students identify and evaluate textual evidence, determine central ideas, understand the meanings of words, comprehend the structure of a text, recognize an author’s point of view, and interpret content presented in diverse media, including visual images. Lesson plans include contextual readings, primary sources, guided discussion questions and answers for teachers, and a section that defines “vocabulary pop-ups.”

American Panorama

Robert K. Nelson and Edward L. Ayers, Editors, Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond 

American Panorama’s interactive mapping techniques enable students and teachers to investigate change over time related to key aspects of US history. Students can use the maps to research and discuss topics such as redlining, urban renewal, forced migration of enslaved people, Congressional elections, transportation routes, foreign-born citizens, and more. Some maps feature embedded primary sources journal entries and reflections.

Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month website offers educational resources that delve into the history and contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Exhibits, lectures, select documents, and embedded, open-access videos. Topics covered range from Chinese experiences before, after, and during the Transcontinental railroad’s construction, to Japanese internment camps during WWII and Fred Korematsu’s challenge to this order, to cultural expressions, including Taiko drumming.

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

The Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States is a digital reproduction of 700 newly enhanced and animated maps from the 1930s which show change over time. Ideal for student research or for sparking class discussion, these political, economic, and social maps are also also clickable so that the user can view the underlying data on the topic. This site is a digital reproduction of Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932.

BackStory with the American History Guys

Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, Joanne Freeman, Peter Onuf, and Virginia Humanities

BackStory explores various facets of American History through podcasts and blogs that provide deep historical context for the episodes’ topics. Teachers can use the entirety of each episode or a shorter, individual segment. The episodes are searchable by date, topic, and educator resources. Educator resources include in-depth, downloadable lesson sets with primary documents, activities, and questions.

Ben Franklin’s World

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast for people who love history and want to know more about the early American past. A continuation of the Doing History podcast, Ben Franklin’s World has more than 25 podcast episodes that focus on colonial US history. Topics include politics, slavery, women, the environment, and Native American history.


David Trowbridge, Marshall University

Clio is an educational website and mobile application built by scholars for public benefit, as well as a collaborative research, interpretation, and map-building project.  Each entry includes a concise summary and useful information about a historical site, museum, monument, landmark, or other site of cultural or historical significance. Classes can build virtual tours of museums or walking tours, as well as create individual entries for monuments and other landmarks.

Colonial Williamsburg

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest outdoor living museum in the country. The website provides lesson plans, biographies of historical figures, and insights into colonial life and culture. Highly suited for elementary and high school audiences.

Commonplace: The Journal of Early American Life

The American Antiquarian Society and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Commonplace is a destination for exchanging ideas about American history and culture before 1900. It is a bit less formal than a scholarly journal and a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine. Content is organized under the headings of Teach, Learn, and Object. The relatively short readings are punctuated by images and supplemented with additional reading lists.

Consolation Prize: A Podcast About Consuls

Abby Mullen, Host and Executive Producer

Consolation Prize is a narrative-style podcast which contextualizes nineteenth-century US diplomatic history through consular roles, responsibilities, and actions. The responsibility for the United States’ regional reputation often fell squarely on the shoulders of consuls, who facilitated trade and protected the person and property of US citizens. This podcast examines, for example, the challenges of consuls who dealt with how to prove citizenship, as in the case of British impressment of American sailors, or the lure of cold cash when on a tight diplomatic budget. Episodes feature primary source visuals or StoryMaps which allow listeners to track story locations. This site also features a Zotero library and the Early American Foreign Service database, both of which afford students the opportunity to begin independent investigation and research, and offers ways to incorporate this podcast into a wide range of courses.  Each episode includes a full transcript.

Dig: A History Podcast

Averill Earls, Mercyhurst University; Sarah Handley-Cousins, University at Buffalo; Marissa C. Rhodes, Niagara University; Elizabeth Garner Masarik, SUNY Brockport

Dig: A History Podcast is a narrative-driven, open access, and accessible digital history project bridging the worlds of popular and academic history with an explicitly feminist perspective. Topics include motherhood, childhood, health, medicine, slavery, empire, and war. Educator resource topics include creating a podcast, discussion, debate, source assessment, and writing an episode.

Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery

Thomas Jefferson Foundation 

The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery expands understanding of enslaved Africans and their descendants living in the Chesapeake, Carolinas, and Caribbean during the colonial and antebellum eras. Teachers and students can analyze and compare archaeological data from twelve Caribbean sites, including Jamaica’s Mona Estate, and 21 American sites, including Virginia’s Monticello, Montpelier, and Mount Vernon. Instructors will find particular use in the background information, object galleries, maps, and images of various excavation sites.

The Daily Bellringer

Jared Bruening

The Daily Bellringer, designed by an 8th grader teacher and instructional coach, is intended for middle and high school US history teachers to use as a short prompt and/or activity for remote learning. Each clip has questions in the video description for students to answer. These videos can be used as a warm-up activity, homework assignment, distance learning resource, class review, or as a resource to flip your classroom.

EDSITEment! Lesson Plans

National Endowment for the Humanities

EDSITEment! Lesson Plans offer synchronous lesson plans that may be adapted to remote teaching. Many lesson plans take an interdisciplinary approach, and all either feature on-site or linked resources. Available lesson plans are aligned with AP World: Modern and AP Comparative Government and are suitable for college surveys. Interactive activities and assessments feature primary source analysis, seminars, debates, simulations, and other suggestions designed to promote student engagement.

Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, Directors/Producers/Writers; Ed Ayers, Host

The Future of America’s Past is a “history-on-location” series hosted by historian Ed Ayers. He travels to places that define the most misunderstood parts of America’s past. At these sites, students learn from National Park Service interpreters, museum educators, artists, and activists how they engage a diverse public with U.S. history. Select episodes offer student activities for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: History Resources

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers a vast array of primary and secondary sources as well as an extensive catalog of teaching resources, including videos, curricula, lesson plans, and activities.

Influenza Encyclopedia: The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919

University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library 

The Influenza Encyclopedia is an open access archive and encyclopedia includes stories of the places, the people, and the organizations that battled the American influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.

Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Virginia’s Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are two living-history museums that tell the stories of the people and events of America’s first permanent English colony in 1607 to the Revolution and establishment of a new nation almost two centuries later. The site features extensive teacher lesson plans and activities, historical chronologies, quizzes, video reenactments, and museum artifacts.

Mapping American Social Movements

University of Washington

This project produces and displays free interactive maps showing the historical geography of dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics since the late 19th century, including radical movements, civil rights movements, labor movements, women’s movements, and more.

The Miseducation of Indigenous People

The Miseducation of Indigenous People offers readings, lesson plans, and student activities on the US government’s policies designed to “educate,” “Christianize,” and “civilize” Indigenous children. Students will interpret historical facts, photographs, reports, quotes, video clips, and more to analyze forced assimilation or “miseducation” of Indigenous children, and how they and their cultures have survived despite such adversity. Designed for high school students, the materials can be easily adapted for a college survey course.

National Women’s History Museum

National Women’s History Museum

This site is dedicated to preserving and telling the history of women as agents who transformed the United States. The site includes online exhibits, oral histories, curriculum studies, activities, and digital classroom resources. Suitable for elementary through college-level course work.

Native Northeast Portal

Yale University

The Native Northeast Portal is a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials. The items are digitized, transcribed, annotated, and edited for the purposes of teaching, scholarly analysis, and research. Topics include religion, education, environment, labor, society, migration, and art.

New American History

Edward Ayers, Executive Director, University of Richmond

New American History explores America’s past, harnessing the power of digital media, curiosity and inquiry. Its core projects are Bunk, a curated remix of contemporary online content, and American Panorama, an interactive digital atlas. New American History also partners with others who share a commitment to innovative public history. These allies include the podcast BackStory and the video documentary series, The Future of America’s Past, as well as a growing network of educators working to adapt resources for younger learners.

New York Historical Society Curricula

New York Historical Society

New York Historical Society Curricula, created by the education department of the New York Historical Society, cover many different periods and areas of focus within American history. Each curriculum contains lessons plans, background information, and primary sources relating to its topic. These curricula are designed primarily for K-12 students, offering sources and lessons at different levels of difficulty for different age groups. They can be adapted for college level courses.

Process: A Blog for American History

Organization of American Historians (OAH)

Process is dedicated to exploring the process of doing history and the multifaceted ways of engaging with the US past. Blogs cover all aspects and time periods of American history.

Retro Report in the Classroom

Retro Report

Retro Report offers a free, user-friendly education site primarily for US History high school teachers and college professors based on its archive of 200+ short documentaries. Each lesson plan includes questions for discussion and essay prompts and a 5-15 minute video connecting a chapter from history to students’ current world. Lesson plans designated as world history offer US-global connections and are annotated with CCSS and AP History standards.

Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Library of Congress

Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote encourages students to explore the primary visual and textual sources, as well as secondary readings of the history of the US suffragist movement. Instructors might incorporate this site into a discussion of the US or global women’s suffrage movements, as the foundation for further student investigation of women’s fight to vote, and more. This Library of Congress exhibit site features short videos with contemporary moving images, suffragette music, and images of broadsides.

Slave Biographies: The Atlantic Database Network

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Walter Hawthorne, Dean Rehberger, Ethan Watrall, principal investigators; Michigan State University

Slave Biographies: The Atlantic Database Network is a data repository of information on the identities of enslaved people in the Atlantic World. A good starting place for student research projects, it includes the names, ethnicities, skills, occupations, and illnesses of individual enslaved people. Users can access three data sets: one about enslaved people in Maranhão, Brazil, one about enslaved people in colonial Louisiana, and another about formerly enslaved people in Antebellum Louisiana. The resources section features extensive database links to a burial database, trial records, the Texas Slavery Database project, and more.

Southern Spaces: Educational Resources

Emory Center for Digital Scholarship

Southern Spaces features articles, videos, reviews, interviews, and digital projects that are useful for creating study guides and course syllabi, and for advancing research projects. Developed for teachers, students, and researchers, these educational resources gather Southern Spaces’ open-access online journal publications into several fields of knowledge around race, place, history, and culture.  Southern Spaces’ educational resources are especially suited for discussions of the history of the shifting idea of the American South as well as the emergence of distinct southern regions with their political, social, economic, and cultural expressions.

Teaching American History

Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

Teaching American History supports teachers of American history, government and civics by bringing the documents and debates of the United States’ past into the present through document-based seminars, document collections, and other multimedia resources. Teachers can create free accounts to save documents to their dashboard and create custom document collections. Teacher resources include toolkits, lesson plans, online exhibits, an interactive timeline, and 50 Core Documents, with additional access to external podcasts and videos.

Virtual Tours of Monticello

Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Virtual Tours of Monticello offers teachers and students different tour options, including 360-degree unguided tours, Google street view unguided tours, and virtual field trips (by arrangement). Unguided tours feature video supplements to help viewers understand what they are seeing on screen. Site users can also access past livestreams and Q&A sessions.

Voting America

Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

Voting America examines US political history through animated maps. These maps allow for comparisons across time. Users can also explore a single election by looking at patterns across a number of variables, including the percentage of votes won by parties or the distribution of votes across the United States. This site is appropriate for US history surveys and advanced high school classes such as AP US. History and AP US Government and Politics. Voting America also features short videos of map interpretations by scholars. The data spans 1840 to 2008.

Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters During WWII

Library of Congress

Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers and Broadcasters of World War II spotlights eight US women who succeeded in “coming to the front” during the war. By examining private papers and photographs drawn primarily from the Library of Congress collections, students may better understand how women secured a place for themselves in the workplace, in the newsroom, and on the battlefield. This site is most readily applicable to US history courses, but may be put to comparative use in world history surveys, as students investigate global roles and rights of women during WWII.

Worlds of Change Materials from 17th and 18th century North America

Harvard Library, Harvard University

Worlds of Change is a collection of more than 700,000 digitized pages of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th- and 18th-century North America. Users can browse primary source materials by themes, including: Women, The Sea, Maps, Families, Science, and Law. They can and can also explore topics like enslavement, food, politics, Canada, medicine, and material culture. Materials are searchable by keyword, and new documents are added regularly.

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Content Warning

This page contains words or ideas that might be offensive to modern readers. To maintain the accuracy of historical documentation, the content is reprinted in its entirety as it was originally published. This accurate reproduction of original historical texts therefore contains words and ideas that do not reflect the editorial decisions or views of the American Historical Association.