Social Studies & Civics Resources
America in Class offers standards-aligned history and literature lessons. Lesson topics include major events, movements, and themes from specific time periods in American history. In addition to the lessons, teachers can access other primary and secondary sources for class discussion. The materials are adaptable, but are more appropriate for GED and Adult Diploma students.
Designed and piloted by a partnership between the University of Iowa and an Iowa school district, the Bringing History Home curriculum is comprised of ten sequential units that build student skills and knowledge in history across the K-5 grade level. All units can be adapted to the ABE classroom and each one is organized by lesson/activity plans, unit resources, suggested teacher adaptations, and a unit bibliography.
Based on the "Inquiry Design Model" that emphasizes student inquiry in social studies instruction - including U.S. history. These free lessons, or “inquiries,” are K-12 leveled and also cover all other sub-disciplines of social studies (Ancient/European/World history, Civics/U.S. government, geography, economics), as well as state history, local history, and human rights. Each instructional inquiry is framed around a compelling question, and all related formative/summative performance tasks, subject matter-specific texts, and suggestions for extending the inquiry are included.
The Social Studies: Integrating Reading & Writing Curriculum Framework is a free resource that incorporates social studies content with various reading and writing skills. The curriculum is designed for HSE teachers but lessons and activities could be adapted for other levels. Units 1-3 all include lesson plans and supporting materials and cover the colonial period, the Constitution, and westward expansion. Each provides topical social studies content and then uses it to reinforce reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. For Units 4-12, while there are no lessons or materials, there is a curriculum map with guidelines. Also included is a comprehensive resource guide for HSE social studies.
Includes free downloadable K-12-level lesson plans developed by master teachers, including graduates of the George Washington Teacher Institute, as well as by Mount Vernon educators and historians. The lessons can be searched by grade level, type, and theme, and are dedicated to teaching about the life and legacy of George Washington. The educational materials explore Washington’s world and topics range from Washington’s inauguration to his views on slavery.
The Smithsonian offers a wealth of free educator resources from their museums and other facilities including the African American Museum, American Indian Museum, American History museum, and many others. Generally, each museum's educator resource section has curriculum guides and a wide range of standards-based, multi-level lessons and activities in both print and digital forms. The site also provides links to many professional development opportunities (online and in-person) to help teachers incorporate museum learning into their instructional planning and delivery.
This comprehensive website has multiple lesson plans and assessments that cover a wide range of social studies topics, including U.S. History. The "Reading Like a Historian" curriculum engages students in historical inquiry, while the "Beyond the Bubble" history assessments measure students' historical thinking skills. The "Civic Online Reasoning" activities assess students’ ability to critically evaluate online content.
This website saves time when needing an overview or a graphic representation of an event or period in American history. The outlines can serve as a scope and sequence for various topics and the charts consolidate a substantial amount of historical information that can either be projected or printed as a PDF document. The available outlines and charts cover a wide-range of time, from pre-Columbian Americans to recent American history.
Voices for Suffrage is a free, interactive resource that tells the story of women's suffrage from the Seneca Falls Convention to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. The resource is computer/tablet-based on can be projected as a whole class activity or worked on individually or in small groups. Students interact with primary documents, videos and other sources to explore the suffrage movement, nationally and by state, through time lines and guided tours. Students can also become part of the suffrage movement by determining what they would do in certain situations. Other supplemental resources are available to make this resource easy to adapt.