Congress, the President, and the War Powers (Fundamental Principles of Government)

This lesson will explore the implementation of the war-making power from the first declared war under the Constitution—the War of 1812—to the Iraq War. Using primary sources, students will investigate how the constitutional powers to initiate war have been exercised by the legislative and executive branches at several key moments in American history. They will also evaluate why and how the balance of authority in initiating war has changed over time, and the current balance of power.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

Core Documents Collection: The Cold War

This collection of documents on the Cold War continues TeachingAmericanHistory.org’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes and institutions in American history and government. The volume covers American aid to Europe in the early years of the Cold War and American intervention in subsequent years in conflicts around the world to contain the spread of Soviet power. Its documents also explore the dometic effects of the Cold War, chronicling how national security concerns affected relations between American citizens and between Americans and their government. Each volume includes:

  • Key documents on the period, theme or institution, selected by an expert and reviewed by an editorial board
  • A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various documents
  • Study questions for each document as well as questions that refer to other documents in the collection
  • Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to improve understanding of the document’s historical context
  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: History
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

A Fire Waiting To Be Lit: The Origins of World War I

This year (2014) marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. This lesson, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, examines the causes of WWI. The main article provides information on events leading up to the war and includes discussion and writing questions. Additional activities available are: The Bosnian Crisis of 1908; Did the Serbian Government meet the Austrian Demands?; What Country Was to Blame for WWI?; and two enrichment activities on cartoons and music.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Editorial Cartoons, Lesson Plans, Quizzes, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: History
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Memorial Day

Each year, on the final Monday of May, we celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a solemn day where we remember the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who died while serving our country. The Share My Lesson team has put together a collection of free lesson plans, materials and activities that honor our nation’s fallen soldiers by exploring the importance of Memorial Day and learning about the wars that caused so many casualties.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Professor Clarence Taylor reminds us of the role African American soldiers played in the conflict—and the role their military service played in shaping the racial politics that followed in peacetime. Taken together, these essays help us appreciate the complexity of mobilization for modern warfare and drive home the impact of events on the world stage upon domestic affairs.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an annual federal holiday celebrated on Nov. 11. Also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, this date marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. Unlike Memorial Day, which commemorates the men and women who have died while serving in the military, Veterans Day honors all who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Share My Lesson has lesson plans, activities and classroom resources to help educators commemorate this holiday with students.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject:
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Meaning of Veterans Day

Each November 11, our nation commemorates Veterans Day. But what does the holiday mean, and how do we properly observe it? In this ebook, we examine the evolving meaning of Veterans Day, with selections by American authors and statesmen such as Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. A model conversation is also featured.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Extending Suffrage to Women

In this activity, students will analyze documents pertaining to the women’s suffrage movement as it intensified following passage of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed the right to vote for African American males. Documents were chosen to call attention to the struggle’s length, the movement’s techniques, and the variety of arguments for and against giving women the vote.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The History of Immigration Law in the United States

This lesson provides a background on the history of immigration policy in the United States, that is the philosophical origins, legal debates, and legal history from the Founding of the nation to the late 1900s. Students will come to understand how American lawmakers viewed immigrants and the reasoning behind the evolving nature of immigration policy.

  • Resource Type: Editorial Cartoons, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12