Unit Plans

Unit Plans

Need new ideas on how to teach American history? Search our database of plans to discover plans aligned to  Common Core Standards and the Pennsylvania State Standards (SAS).    Big Ideas, Essential Question, Concepts and Competencies are outlined for you. 

Unit plans link to lesson plans that fit class periods.  Each lesson includes learning objectives, vocabulary, and background material for students and teachers as well as primary sources from our collection.

 

 

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Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".

In celebration of the United States’ one-hundredth anniversary of independence, the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine took place in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Popularly known as the “Centennial Exhibition,” this exhibition brought millions of people from across the world to Philadelphia, where they witnessed the accomplishments and advancements of the United States, and achievements of other contributing countries.

High School
8.1.9B, 8.1.12C

This unit explores the lives of Jewish immigrants that settled in Philadelphia between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

Middle School, High School
8.4.W.A , 5.3.C, 8.1.U.C
The United States was reluctant to join the “Great War,” or World War I, due in part to its belief that this was a European conflict, as well as resistance from many German immigrants in the United States. After several years of neutrality, the United States joined the war in April, 1917, on the side of the Allied Powers. However, in order to become involved, we first needed to bolster our military recruitment, war industry, and, most importantly, support from citizens.
Middle School, High School

The history of equal rights for members of the LGBT community is something often overlooked in classroom curriculum. With the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it is important to look back at the men and women who fought for equality, especially right here in Philadelphia. Events, such as Reminder Day, are examples of how we can remember the contribution of men and women in the community who fought for their rights as citizens.

High School

This unit explores the work and life of Leonard Covello and discusses themes related to the ethnic and immigrant history of the United Stated during the early twentieth century. Covello was an Italian-born American who dedicated his life to implement strategies for cultural integration.

Middle School, High School
8.1.U.A , 8.1.U.C

Emilie Davis was a free black woman living in Philadelphia during the Civil War. Her three diaries, written in 1863, 1864, and 1865, highlight her perspective on many important historical moments, such as, the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s assassination, and the Battle of Gettysburg. Comparing her diaries to other accounts and sources from the same time period will allow students to see the world in which that Emilie lived. As a woman in her early twenties, she was concerned with her personal goals, friends, and daily routines.

High School
8.1.6A, 8.1.7A-B

The American Revolution is commonly perceived as the tale of thirteen fed-up colonies banding together to defeat the tyranny of Great Britain, but is this really how it happened?  In the traditional narrative, Loyalists and women are few and far between, and there is no mention of the daily lives that continued during the conflict.

Middle School, High School
8.1.9.A-B, 8.3.9.A-B, 8.2.9B

Catholicism has a long and noteworthy history in Philadelphia, from the first recorded Mass celebrated in 1707 to the 200 parishes established between 1844 and 1924 and the founding of our nation’s first seminary. It is estimated that currently 35 percent of the population of greater Philadelphia are baptized Catholic, making Catholicism the single largest religious denomination in the area. Now, as the location of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, all eyes are on Philadelphia as it welcomes Pope Francis.

High School
8.4.4.B, 8.4.6.B, 8.4.8.B
Capitalism and the American nation have long been bedfellows; after all, they are both the children of eighteenth century Neo-Classical Liberalism.  It is worth noting that both the “Declaration of Independence” and Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” were presented to the public in the same fateful year of 1776. 
 
High School
8.1.12.A, 8.1.12.B, 8.1.12.C, 8.1.12.D, 8.3.12.B

The Bank of North America: Our Nation’s First Central Bank, is comprised of three lessons that work as an interdisciplinary unit on economic history, math, and financial literacy. The lessons in this unit take students through the history of the bank, how to use a bank, and the history of our currency. It follows the financial literacy standards for the 4th and 8th grade benchmark, although the history and economics activities can be adapted for all grade levels.

Grade School, Middle School
8.3.5.B, 8.3.9.B, M3.A.1.2.1, M4.A.1.1.1, M5.A.1.5.1

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