Classroom Materials: Early and Colonial America

  • The Conquest of Mexico

    A once great civilization, the Mexica Empire was left in ruins when the Spaniards razed Tenochtitlan to replace it with a Spanish capital, Mexico City. Historians still cannot agree on why this impressive civilization fell so quickly. This project, created by Nancy Fitch, is an experiment in using hypermedia to construct a virtual learning environment in which students can use primary sources to come to their own conclusions about why the Mexicas fell, while learning the process by which historians produce the history they find in their textbooks.

  • Web Modules for Teaching American History

    David Huehner developed these web modules for use in a two-semester survey course of United States history. They may be used together or individually. The modules may be used as supplementary readings and materials for historical analysis that try to closely resemble the actual process of historical investigation.

  • Sample Assignment Showcasing the Importance of Local/Regional History in the Early American Survey Course

    Brittany Adams focuses on incorporating more regional history into the early survey. She also emphasizes the importance of de-centering the British colonial narrative when teaching students who identify more with western US history, as do many of her students at UC Irvine.

  • Lecture Topics for First Half of American History Survey

    Brittany Adams focuses on incorporating more regional history into the early survey. She also emphasizes the importance of de-centering the British colonial narrative when teaching students who identify more with western US history, as do many of her students at UC Irvine.

  • Honors 2111 US History Survey Course Description and Syllabus

    Shannon Bontrager not only incorporated global contexts into his survey, but he also used non-traditional and digital pedagogical tools to engage his students.

  • Ideas for Conceptualizing the Pacific World within the US Survey Course, 1400-1850

    In this guide, Allison Frickert-Murashige provides ideas of topics to include in a US history survey course incorporating the Pacific World.

  • Assignment: Social History of the Atlantic Slave Trade

    Shannon Bontrager not only incorporated global contexts into his survey, but he also used non-traditional and digital pedagogical tools to engage his students.

  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Extra Credit Assignment

    As part of her work in the Bridging Cultures program, Cheryll Cody designed a course assignment using the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. It requires students to answer a series of questions by looking at the database’s extensive collection of maps and charts.

  • Revolutions, Independence and New Nations: The Great Transformation

    As part of his work in the Bridging Cultures program, Carlos Contreras provided some classroom assignments and activities that challenge students to think "Atlantically" and "Pacifically" as they think broadly about American history. This set of discussion questions helps students consider the implications of revolution in the Atlantic world.

  • Films and Readings on the African Slave Trade and the Atlantic World

    As part of his work in the Bridging Cultures program, Carlos Contreras provided some classroom assignments and activities that challenge students to think "Atlantically" and "Pacifically" as they think broadly about American history. This set of discussion questions helps students consider the complexities of the Transatlantic slave trade and the broader Atlantic world during the colonial era.

  • Africans in the Americas: Discussion Questions from Lepore, Benjamin, Articles, and Film

    As part of his work in the Bridging Cultures program, Carlos Contreras provided some classroom assignments and activities that challenge students to think "Atlantically" and "Pacifically" as they think broadly about American history. This set of discussion questions helps students consider the complexities of the Transatlantic slave trade and the broader Atlantic world during the colonial era.

  • Ethnicity and American Cultures Topics Through the 19th Century

    A syllabus by Leslie Kawaguchi that begins with the peopling of North America and ends with the establishment of the U.S. and the 1790 immigration policy that provided naturalization to “free white persons” despite the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity of the colonial period.

  • Introduction to Ethnic Studies: Course Description and Syllabus

    A course description and syllabus for an Intro to Ethnic Studies course taught by Kelli Nakamura at Kapi'olani Community Coll. that explores basic concepts and theories for analyzing dynamics of ethnic group experiences, particularly those represented in Hawai‘i, and their relation to colonization, immigration, gender, problems of identity, racism, and social class.

  • Introduction to Ethnic Studies: Lecture and Assignment Schedule

    Details about the readings and lectures included in an Introduction to Ethnic Studies class taught by Kelli Nakamura at Kapi'olani Community College. The course revises traditional understandings of American history and examines issues of race, gender, and class in understanding the histories and contemporary experiences of Native Hawaiians, Asians, and Pacific Islanders to foster greater multi-cultural respect and understanding.

  • Online Course in American Indian History

    A set of links to valuable public domain sites about American Indian History for undergraduate students, compiled by James W. Oberly as part of the 2004 project Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age.

  • Foundations of American History Syllabus

    Sarah Grunder offers a detailed syllabus and two sample assignments, in which students use primary and secondary sources to connect American history with the Atlantic and Pacific worlds and write a paper that focuses on the circulation of commodities, peoples, and ideas throughout those worlds.

  • Paper Assignment: Localizing Global Encounters, Case Study: New Netherland/New York (Suffolk County Community College)

    This sample assignment requires students to use primary and secondary sources to connect American history with the Atlantic and Pacific worlds and write a paper that focuses on encounters between different groups of Europeans in New Netherland/New York. This paper assignment has three major parts: a list of sources for students to read and study along with guiding questions on each reading; a mapping exercise; and the five page paper.

  • Infusing the Pacific World into the US History Survey Courses: Recommended Reading

    In this guide, Allison Frickert-Murashige provides reading recommendations for faculty looking to learn more themselves about the Pacific World before teaching it in their US history courses. She provides readings Bridging Cultures participants used to begin thinking about bringing the Pacific World into their courses, as well as recommended topics where this approach is useful.

  • Teaching Environmental History in the US and World History Surveys: Overview of Topics and Resources

    This guide provides an overview of topics that faculty can consider in their US history survey courses in taking an environmental view of US and world history. It also provides a thorough list of recent scholarship on environmental history.