Published Lessons

Lessons in this area of the site have been vetted and approved as model lessons. These lessons have been subjected to intense review, editing, revision and discussion. If you have an idea on how to improve, expand, or adapt a Published Lesson, you can still join the lesson group to share your ideas.

Carnegie & Rockefeller: Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?


In this lesson, students will analyze primary and secondary sources to determine if wealthy industrialists Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were “robber barons”—ruthless, cutthroat businessmen—
or “captains of industry”—men who helped the nation through building thriving industry and philanthropy. After comparing their evidence, students will discuss modern examples of “robber barons” and “captains of industry” and debate the responsibilities of the wealthy to society at large. The lesson concludes with students writing an obituary for Andrew Carnegie or John D. Rockefeller in which they argue that their chosen subject was a “captain of industry” or a “robber baron.”

Age of Absolutism


In this lesson, students will explore the concept of absolute monarchy and conduct research on an assigned absolute monarch. After presenting their findings to their classmates, students will vote to determine which monarch was the “most absolute.” Students will then examine a current example of absolute monarchy—Mswati III of Swaziland—before participating in a Four Corners discussion addressing the infamous adage “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The Grieved Lands (Pt. 1): The Causes and Effects of African Colonialism


In this C3-aligned lesson, students will analyze primary and secondary source documents to understand the core reasons European countries engaged in the colonizing of Africa (The Scramble for Africa), as well as the short term effects of colonization on both Africa and Europe. The lesson concludes with students writing an op-ed piece for a European newspaper, either supporting or condemning the colonization of Africa.

What’s in the Soup?


In this lesson, students will examine the role of the U.S. government in alleviating the problems of the Great Depression. These problems—bank closures, business failures, farm and home foreclosures, homelessness, and massive unemployment and poverty—were numerous, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration’s response—a variety of programs collectively known as the New Deal—was so large that it was often called the “Alphabet Soup.” Roosevelt argued that the New Deal programs focused on the three R’s of “relief, recovery, and reform.” Using this “Three R” framework, students will investigate some of the major New Deal programs and how they helped American citizens and the economy, before completing a short writing activity and some EOI-style assessment questions.

War Is Life Itself: The Causes of World War One


In this lesson, students will move through a series of primary source documents, maps, and graphs to explore the underlying causes of World War One. After analyzing the documents and answering some guided questions, students will organize the documents under the framework M.A.I.N. (militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism) and connect the underlying causes to the spark—the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Students will then analyze an Emile Zola quote on war and participate in a “Four Corners” activity framed around the inevitability of war between prosperous and powerful nations. Finally, students will write a document-based essay responding to the essential question—“Was World War One an inevitable result of European nations’ prosperity or European nations competing for prosperity?”

Dust Bowl Chat


This C3 aligned OK/US history lesson provides students with engaging audio, visual and textural sources to examine the environmental conditions of the Dust Bowl alongside FDR’s response in his Dust Bowl Fireside chat. Students engage in the intellectual work of the historian as they evaluate primary source documents and examine paired-texts to uncover the causes of and Federal responses to the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma.

Civil War: To Secede Or Not To Secede?


Students will look at two accounts from opposing sides of the Civil War in order to analyze how Abraham Lincoln’s election fueled the decision to join the war effort. To demonstrate their understanding of the readings, students will use the writing strategy, RAFT (Role Audience Format Topic), where they will take on the role of the two individuals text messaging each other their reasons for being supporters of one side or the other.

The Roaring ’20s: Modernism vs. Traditionalism


In this lesson, students will move through a series of primary source document sets on cultural expression in the 1920s (gender, religion, popular culture [music & movies], and race) to explore the tension between modern and traditional values throughout the decade. After analyzing the documents, students will engage in a 4-Corners class discussion on modernism and traditionalism in the 1920s. Finally, students will determine for themselves whether the “Roaring ‘20s” were ultimately a decade of modernism or traditionalism and write an essay using primary source evidence.

The Daily Lives of Slaves


This lesson utilizes the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) strategy of Opening Up the Textbook (OUT). In an OUT lesson, students complicate, expand, and bring to life the historical content in their textbook using primary source documents. This lesson focuses on the daily experience of slaves in the antebellum South—their living and working conditions, family life, and treatment by their masters and overseers—and how this experience is represented in the student textbook versus slave narratives. This lesson concludes with students writing a letter to the editors of their textbook critiquing/praising the textbook’s treatment of the slave experience and offering suggestions for future editions.

Understanding Loyalists & Patriots in the American Revolution


In this C3-aligned lesson, students will analyze primary source documents to understand the motives of those who supported and opposed the American Revolution before engaging in a “Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral” game. The lesson concludes with (1) students working in pairs to write a two-voice poem representing a patriot and a loyalist or (2) students working individually to write letters/diary entries from the perspective of a patriot, loyalist, or someone who chose to remain neutral.

Bill of Rights – “Do I Have a Right?”


In this C3 aligned lesson, students will spend time exploring the Bill of Rights from the US Constitution. They will determine what each right guarantees, the reason behind the right being included in the Constitution, and examples of how the right has been protected since the amendment was written. They will demonstrate their learning through playing the game, “Do I Have a Right? Bill of Rights edition,” as well as through group presentations.

Abolitionists in Antebellum America


In this lesson, students will take on the role of abolitionists in antebellum America. After developing their own characters, students will work in small groups to read and analyze a variety of primary sources that pose challenges for abolitionists. As abolitionists at an organizational meeting, students will debate these issues before developing a majority consensus and creating a platform that outlines their group’s core beliefs on these issues. Finally, students will individually demonstrate their knowledge by staying in character to respond in writing to the issues raised by the documents.

“Why Build An Empire?”: U.S. Imperialism

imperialist cartoon

In this C3-aligned U.S. history lesson, students will analyze primary sources to construct an understanding of why the U.S. decided to pursue a policy of imperialism at the turn of the 20th century, i.e. (1) to “civilize” and “Christianize” the “inferior” races of the world; (2) to become a military and political world power that could compete with the European nations; and (3) for economic gain through trade and natural resources). Students will also interrogate the beliefs of the outspoken anti-imperialists of the time before deciding for themselves whose arguments they find more persuasive. Students will demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge by using the primary sources to write a two-voice poem comparing and contrasting the beliefs of imperialists and anti-imperialists.

The Philippines: To Annex or not to Annex?


In this C3-aligned lesson, students will explore arguments for and against U.S. control of the Philippines post-Spanish-American War through analysis of political cartoons and four speeches from leading political figures and groups of the era. Students will then use the cartoons and speeches to debate U.S. control of the Philippines through a “Philosophical Chairs” activity. The lesson concludes when students assume the role of Senators during the debate over the annexation of the Philippines and write a one-two page speech stating their position on the issue.

Testify-The Trial of Susan B. Anthony


Students will engage in the skills of the historian in this C3 aligned U.S. history lesson about the trial of Susan B. Anthony. In 1873, Susan B. Anthony voted in a federal election in her state although she did not have the legal authority to do so. Anthony was subsequently tried and convicted under federal law for voting without the right to vote. By comparing the sources and contexts of multiple accounts of her testimony at sentencing, students will gain a fuller understanding of the women’s’ suffrage movement and the resistance they faced. Additionally, they will practice the academic work of historians as they source, context and corroborate multiple texts.

The Melting Pot?: Immigration in the 1880s-1920s


In this C3-aligned lesson, students will analyze primary and secondary sources to determine the push and pull factors that led immigrants to come to the U.S. by the millions in the 1880s-1920s, and the immigrant experience upon arriving in the United States, including the impact of Nativism and settlement house assimilation programs.
After analyzing and discussing the sources, students will choose between the following—A) assume the role of a federally-commissioned immigration reporter and write a account OR B) create a comic strip that summarizes the (1) reasons for immigration, (2) immigrant arrival and settlement patterns, and (3) treatment/attitudes toward immigrants.

Should the U.S. Have Joined the League of Nations?


In this C3-aligned lesson, students will interpret political cartoons to uncover reasons why Americans supported and opposed U.S. membership in the League of Nations through ratification of the Treaty of Versailles [note: the U.S. ultimately failed to ratify the Treaty and join the League]. Students will then critically engage with speeches supporting and opposing the League, including a speech from the Prime Minister of Poland. Finally, students will have an opportunity to state their own opinions when they assume the role of U.S. Senator and write a speech supporting or opposing the League.

From Neutrality to War: U.S. Entry into WWI


Students will engage in historical thinking skills in this C3 aligned U.S. history lesson about the reasons for U.S. entry into World War I. When war in Europe began in 1914, the U.S. immediately pledged neutrality; however, by 1917, the United States’ economic and cultural ties to Great Britain, actions such as Germany’s continued unrestricted submarine warfare, and the Zimmerman Note led to U.S. engagement in the conflict. In this lesson, students will practice the skills of historians as they (1) source, contextualize, and corroborate multiple primary and secondary sources and (2) evaluate these sources to construct their own argument about U.S. entry into WWI.

Three Perspectives on Civil Rights (Gilded Age & Progressive Era)


In this C3-aligned U.S. History lesson, students will investigate and interrogate the viewpoints of three major civil rights leaders in the late 19th and early 20th century—Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. After reading background information on the three men and selected excerpts of the activists’ own words, students will compare and contrast the three civil rights activists using a modified “Two Voice Poem” and draw connections to 1960s civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Finally, to demonstrate their understanding of the three leaders, students will assume the role of the president of the United States and compose a speech to Congress, outlining the challenges to civil rights in the early 20th century and making a case for one of the three men as the “Civil Rights Secretary” for the president’s cabinet.

Civil Rights – “The Bank of Justice”


The C3 aligned lesson examines the topic of segregation and liberty from the Civil War to the present through the study of paired texts: The Gettysburg Address and a lesser known excerpt from Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech. In their analysis of these texts, students will create a ‘third text’ of new meanings and understandings about segregation and deepen this knowledge by considering current events related to racial segregation and integration.

China’s One Child Policy – “China’s Children”

magic chinese baby

Students will develop an understanding of China’s one-child policy through investigating primary and secondary sources. Students identify pros and cons of the policy based on textual evidence and peer conversations. Students will develop an argument for or against the policy and defend their position with evidence.

Analyze, Compare, Construct – “Expired Check”

1Interdisciplinary Lesson

Students will discuss segregation over 150 years in America through the reading of excerpts from the Gettysburg Address, I Have a Dream, and some 21st Century segregation texts/ charts.

Oklahoma C3/CCSS Recommended Resources

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 9.10.53 AMInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this download you will find links to resources for information regarding OK C3 standards and CCSS. These resources include detailed information about CCSS as well as practical resources for Authentic Implementation of OK C3 standards and CCSS.



This CCSS/C3 aligned lesson on the American Civil Rights movement utilizes the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) strategy of Opening Up the Textbook (OUT). In an OUT lesson, students contest, complicate, expand or vivify historical content in their textbook with primary source documents. This lesson focuses on the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement and their representation in textbook narratives. It utilizes a speech by Fannie Lou Hamer, vice-chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (1964) and asks students to survey textbook coverage of the Civil Rights movement in order to critique the textbook narrative. The lesson concludes with students rewriting and redesigning textbook pages to include the voices of prominent women activists.

All Shook Up

SampleSeismogramInterdisciplinary Lesson

Students will examine various forms of earthquake data ranging from intensity, magnitude, and first person accounts to explore what factors contribute to the damage caused by earthquakes and how geologists use this information to pinpoint epicenters and focus of an earthquake. Students will analyze first person accounts and damage reports to determine earthquake intensity as well as looking at USGS data.

A Modest Proposal

a-modest-proposalInterdisciplinary Lesson

Students will discover history in new context. By reading “A Modest Proposal” students will think about the unthinkable as they discover some of the truths behind the Irish potato famine. At the same time they will explore figurative language and connotation and culminate with using these literary devices in their own writing. Students will read “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift and analyze/ break down words and phrases to determine true meaning. Students will use an analytical reading tool to monitor themselves while reading and work in pairs to analyze/ break down the literature. Students will then share out their “true meaning” of the text. The unit will end with the students incorporating figurative language and connotation in their own satirical writing.

Hush Hush

Hush HushInterdisciplinary Lesson

This CCSS/C3 aligned lesson examines the delicate balance between government secrecy and government transparency and is intended to serve as a supplement to textbook/classroom instruction on the Vietnam & Watergate Era. This lesson focuses on student evaluation of primary source documents related to the Pentagon Papers and utilizes the reading practices of the historian: Sourcing, Contextualizing, Corroboration, and Close Reading.

Berlin: A Tale Of Two Speeches

Political_Cartoon-177_FULLInterdisciplinary Lesson

The Berlin Wall was an enduring symbol of the political and philosophical divides between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Begun in 1961 by Soviet forces in East Berlin, the Wall stood for decades, only to suddenly fall during the reforms of perestroika and glasnost of Premier Gorbachev in 1989. President Kennedy and President Reagan both gave historic speeches at the Berlin Wall and these speeches provide insight into US foreign policy during this time. In this ELA/Social Studies lesson, students analyze related Cold War political cartoons, the speeches in both video and textural formats and assess each speech for rhetorical style and effectiveness. To extend the learning, students complete a Finding a Sequence Activity to better understand the context and sequence of Cold War history between the 1960s and 1980s. A variety of assessment options are provided for students to demonstrate their understanding.

In Search of Answers

jacob-lawrenceInterdisciplinary Lesson

The arts reflect the beliefs, feelings and ideas of those who create them. Studying the arts allows one to experience a time, place and/or personality of individuals or groups of people.   This lesson examines the art of Jacob Lawrence along with other documents before and after that time and asks the students to discover and […]


U-S-Slavery-MuseumMini Lesson

Through cooperative learning students explore and analyze documents containing information about the lives of Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman.

Deconstructing Reconstruction

reconstructionMini Lesson

In this lesson, students will identify the components of Reconstruction after the Civil War and determine whether Reconstruction was a success or a failure. In order to do so, students will analyze primary sources from opposing perspectives on Reconstruction before forming their own opinion, based on textual evidence.

Love is in the Air PSA

love_is_in_the_airInterdisciplinary LessonMini Lesson

This lesson is designed to be used as a school-wide thematic unit or by individual content areas. Students engage in a specific topic related to love and create a poster or other Public Service Announcement (PSA) to tell the story of love within that topic

Water Rights and Fights


“Where does the water in the rivers come from?” “Where does it go?” “Who owns the water in rivers, reservoirs and aquifers?” As students investigate the science and geography of rivers, they will learn how people need and use rivers to sustain life. Students will also learn how the human/environmental interactions affect our water supply in both positive and negative ways. Finally, students will analyze water rights issues in some parts of the country.

The Trade Game


Through the “Trade Game,” students experience the strategic methods associated with the global trade of oil. Students participate in the simulation without knowing its connections to oil consumption and trade until the conclusion of the game. Experiences and data collected during the “Trade Game” allow students to further explore the impact of oil on regions around the world.

Tomato, Tomato


How do cultures evolve over time to be different from other cultures? This is a question students will analyze in this lesson as they explore how different cultures utilize objects and food in a variety of ways. Students will compare and contrast the practices in one culture with their own.

Feeding Frenzy


How does a population change over time and what are the factors that impact a population? These are the questions students examine as they explore limiting factors such as food, water, and shelter and their impacts on population dynamics.

Impact of a Crash

Impact of a Crash

Students will be asked to “speculate” in several of the activities helping them to better understand this term which is essential to the lesson. The focus of this lesson is for students to analyze the causes and effects of the “Crash of 1929” and predict one of its major outcomes, an economic depression known in history as the Great Depression.

To Dream or Not


This lesson discusses the essential question: “How is the current debate on immigration affecting me, my friends and family?”

Developing a Nation: Graphical Analysis

city landscape

In this lesson students practice graphing skills as they explore the significant economic and developmental growth of China and India in recent years. Students will make a series of line graphs to better analyze changes in the demographic strategies and transitions made by both countries. This is lesson will assist any science class in practicing the process skill of graphical analysis.

Vietnam: The First Living Room War


The war in Vietnam happened more than 50 years ago and impacted the social and political views of several generations in part due to images captured on film. Media coverage of the events in Vietnam brought the reality of war to living rooms across the nation every evening, including images of jungle villages burning, children […]

Raising the Bar

raising-the-barInterdisciplinary Lesson

Science, mathematics, and geography are just a few subjects that require students to analyze data on standardized tests yet graphical analysis is a process skill that students continue to struggle with. In, “Raising the Bar”, students practice graphing and graphical analysis for the purpose of discovering the characteristics of developed and developing countries. Exploration of […]

Oklahoma Perspectives


What is one way to gain a deep perspective and understanding of the history of Oklahoma? One suggestion is by reading, viewing, and listening to the works of its famous Oklahomans.

Power to the People


The project will allow students to apply the art elements of textures and overlap along with the art principle of emphasis. Students will study and critique the art of Juane Quick-to-see Smith and then construct their own protest poster on

Is It a Power or a Check on the Power?


How is the concept of “checks and balance” vital to the working of a democratic government? How is the concept of “separation of powers” connected to “checks and balances?”

So You Want to Know About Elections?


What can students learn about elections and the electoral process by using the past presidential election of 2008? In what special way was this election historical?

Too Little or Too Much Government?


Do you think you can name all of the ways in which the government (city, state, or federal) impacts your life on a daily basis? Students will be surprised to learn of the incredible control that governments have over their daily lives.

A Walk Through The Constitution


Using a non-threatening activity with numbers, students have to “walk” or search through the Constitution for answers, familiarizing themselves with the articles, amendments, branches of government and the Bill of Rights.

Transformers: Now and Then (1865-1920)


Is it possible for the events in the recent movies “Transformers” to actually happen?” How can this question lead into a discussion and study on the Industrial Revolution that occurred after the Civil War?

The Many Faces of Theodore Roosevelt (1865-1920)


Analyzing cartoons is a fun way to learn about historical events and figures. How can Theodore Roosevelt’s expressive face be used to study events in history from the Civil War to the end of World War I?

Coming to America (1800s-1900s)


How did the contributions made by German, Italian, Chinese, and Irish immigrants enrich the culture and traditions of the United States?

As Long as the Rivers Flow: (1850s-1900s)


What misconceptions about Native American have been held by many Americans until recent years, because of the long-held belief in Manifest Destiny that God intended for United States to spread from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean?

Reconstruction: Civil War to Katrina (1865-1870)


What is the connection between the treatments of the freedman (former slaves) during Reconstruction after the Civil War to what happened to many African Americans after Hurricane Katrina?

The Nation Breaks Apart (1850-1865)


How did the geography of the North and South impact how each section developed differently in their respective cultures, economies, and views on slavery? How did the failure of compromises on these issues lead to Civil War?

What Made the Twenties Roar?


By studying and analyzing key events and inventions of the 1920s, students will determine how that era got its name, “The Roaring Twenties.”

Oil: Boom or Bust


The story of oil in Oklahoma has been one of “boom or bust.” How has this cycle of want and plenty, impacted the lives of Oklahomans in both positive and negative ways?

Why They Cried


Looking at the “Trail of Tears” from a geographic and historic perspective, students will answer one essential question: Why did they cry?

Mesas to Tall Grass Prairies


The geography of Oklahoma is diverse with mesas, prairies, mountains, plateaus, forests and floodplains. How has this physical geography helped shape its pre-history, history and economy?

To Promote the General Welfare


How did the economic role of government change from a “laissez-faire” theory, which means allowing industry to be free from government intervention to the “government bailouts” of today’s economy?

Hot Mama

blue.oceanInterdisciplinary Lesson

Through this lesson, students have the opportunity to explore a property of water, known as thermal expansion, which is a significant factor contributing to sea levels rising.

Who Needs Government Anyway?


This lesson will encourage students to think about the basic questions about government. Students will begin to understand the philosophy of politics and of government.

A Heated Debate

A Heated DebateInterdisciplinary Lesson

Explore what is behind the environmental change and what creative solutions are being sought. Students have a unique opportunity to combine statistical analysis and persuasive writing skills as they survey their class and their community, attempting to understand their opinions about global warming.

Sweeping Down the Plains

windInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students explore earth’s changing landscape as global warming becomes more noticeable every year. Explore what is behind the environmental change and what creative solutions are being sought. Design and build a wind turbine, detailing the process, the advantages and disadvantages, refining the efficiency, and present findings. Explore barriers that slow the effort to change.

Oil: Abundant, Dependable, Ready

oilrigInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will consider previous knowledge of the environment and the effects of the combustion of fossil fuels. Utilizing media from the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, students will explore the effects of fossil fuels in the national and statewide economy.

Sifting Through the Sand

dustbowlInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this cross-curricular Social Studies/English lesson, students will examine the causes and effects of the Dust Bowl and the environmental and economic impact it had on the region. This lesson will equip students with enough information to engage in an informed conversation with leading experts around the state as a concluding assessment piece.

What’s Shakin’?

Earthquake Globe

The goal of this lesson is to engage students in exploring devastating earthquakes from around the world. Students draw connections between the data and the Ring of Fire. Students hypothesize about why and how these great earthquakes occur.

Community Groups

Here you have the opportunity to download lessons and resources that are still "works in progress". Teachers have the opportunity to use the lesson as it exists, or they can choose to join the lesson group to collaborate on how to improve, expand, and adapt the lesson plan.

EOI Jeopardy


Can competition really be a good way for students to review for the EOI. We think so! Check out EOI Jeopardy.

K20alt QuickTutor


How do we reinforce important content without “reteaching” the entire semester’s curriculum? QuickTutor will provide great reinforcement ideas in Algebra 1, Biology 1, English, and Social Studies.