Resources for Educators

Published on January 7, 2021

We know teaching the events of January 6, 2021—which are not a “moment,” but the product of a long history—presents a familiar, yet unusually urgent, challenge: how can students use historical knowledge and thinking to understand current crises? Here are some resources that might help.

Please note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. View the original Twitter thread listing these resources.

The AHA issued a statement condemning “the actions of those who, on January 6, stormed the United States Capitol, the seat of the nation’s legislature, the heart of its democratic form of governance.” The AHA deplores the “inflammatory rhetoric of all the political leaders who have refused to accept the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 election and thereby incited the mob.”

Contextualizing Violence

“Violence in Political History: The Challenges of Teaching About the Politics of Power and Resistance”

by Kellie Carter Jackson (Perspectives on History, 2011)

“‘Far Worse Than Nixon’"

by Colleen Flaherty (Inside Higher Ed, 2020)

“The Violence at the Heart of Our Politics”

by Joanne B. Freeman (The New York Times, 2017)

“Yes, Political Rhetoric Can Incite Violence”

by Nathan Kalmoe (Politico, 2018)

“On the Peaceful Transfer of Power: Lessons from 1800”

by Sara Georgini (Perspectives on History, 2020)

“’If Anybody Says Election to Me, I Want to Fight’: The Messy Election of 1876”

by Jon Grinspan (Perspectives on History, 2020)

“The Senators Who Were Expelled After Refusing to Accept Lincoln’s Election”

by Gillian Brockell (The Washington Post, 2020)

“So Far Away from 1965: Voting Rights in the United States”

by Julian Zelizer (Perspectives on History, 2020)

General US History

New American History

explores America's past.

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.

Retro Report

offers lesson plans that include questions for discussion, essay prompts, and a 5-15 minute video.

U.S. History Scene

is a multimedia history education website dedicated to providing students and teachers with easy access to digital resources, live digital curriculum, and cutting-edge history scholarship.

International Context and Comparisons

Asia For Educators

includes resources on Tiananmen Square.

Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

examines intersecting developments that led to the collapse of Communist regimes in 1989.

Teaching Chile's Road to Socialism: Topics, Questions, and Assignments

offers an engaging, interactive approach to teaching about Chile's peaceful transition to socialism and the powerful domestic and international challenge to President Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity.

EuroDocs' Germany: National Socialism and World War II

includes textual, visual, and material sources on German history.