Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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America's History in the Making

How to Use This Site

This Web site contains all the materials necessary to complete the America’s History in the Making professional development course. Each content unit covers an era of American history from pre-Columbian America through the present day, as outlined by the National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS). Additional units review and extend content and introduce assessment concepts to deepen teachers' knowledge of American history.

Unit Content

Unit are organized thematically, with the exception of the classroom application units. On the unit home page, teachers can find in-depth information on the unit's themes and content. Teachers can also download the text chapter or the facilitator guide, stream the video online, and find a list of additional resources.

Text Chapter

Each content unit contains a text chapter. The text contains an introduction to the unit’s themes; and then explores the themes in-depth, through rich primary sources, textbook excerpts, maps, Magazine of History articles, and a thematic timeline. The chapters are also downloadable PDFs.

Facilitator Guide

Each unit of the facilitator guide includes contextual materials and activities ready for classroom use. Each guide includes discussion questions and activities designed to extend and deepen teachers' understanding of the thematic-based content.

Resource Archive

The resource archive includes all the primary sources from the series, in a searchable format.

Each item in the archive is accompanied by an item description, which explains the item's creator, context, audience, purpose, and historical significance. All items are available in a small format for quick viewing or full screen format for printing or projection and arecleared for download, printing and use in educational settings.

(user agreement)

The Video Series

The video series features sixteen 30-minute documentaries rich with artifacts illustrating the contextual settings of American history. The format is divided into three segments:

• “Historical Perspectives” provides the big ideas and key concepts of each historical era, such as the Columbian Exchange, or historical contingency.

• “Faces of America” uses biographies of well- and lesser-known Americans to humanize and provide context for the period.

• “Hands on History” concludes the video segments and provides a compelling look at how history is being created and studied today. Each episode features interviews with leading scholars, as well as compelling recreations of historical events. The programs can be viewed as "stand-alone" units or can be used as part of a series. Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting, each episode is a rich and compelling review of the historical era. Videos can be ordered through the Annenberg Learner catalog.


The online timeline provides a contextual framework for the historical events of each era. Teachers can see when key events from each era occurred in relation to other events of that era, as well as in relation to the events of other units.

State Standards Chart

The state standards chart shows how the content of  America's History in the Making aligns, and supports individual state standards.


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