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.

 

 

What arguments did abolitionists make against slavery?

 

This is a question that may appear deceptively simple to your students at first glance. The obvious answer would seem to be something along the lines of “slavery is wrong.” This is, of course, the argument that many abolitionists did make -- but history is more complicated than that!

Middle School, High School, College

In the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania are the records of a novel effort to rescue Philadelphia’s poor and orphaned children, the Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania (CAS).

Middle School, High School
8.2.9D, 8.2.9A

Camp William Penn is a significant site in the history of the Civil War due to the fact that more African American soldiers trained there than any other training camp. Unfortunately, not much of the site remains. Situated in Cheltenham PA, what was formerly the largest training camp for black troops, is now about half a dozen urban blocks in north Philadelphia. Currently, the Camp William Penn Museum, in conjunction with Historic LaMott, is working to stimulate interest in the former site of the camp.

High School
8.2.9-12 B, 8.2.9-12 D

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

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