Any readers interested in American history — but especially teachers looking for sources, images, maps, timelines, activities, and even curricula and lesson preps — should check out these websites, each either new or newly updated in recent weeks.
• The website of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History got a facelift earlier this month. For now it’s offering a free preview; educators and students will continue to have free access when the preview ends in July. (Others will have to pay $25.) Two especially cool features: Essential Questions in American History, a series of short videos featuring leading U.S. historians answering questions like “How did slavery begin in North America?”, “What caused the Civil War?”, and “How did the Great Migration change America?; and History by Era is organized around a timeline, with each segment featuring essays by scholars, primary sources, and classroom resources.
• The National Park Service launched its new Civil War site earlier this month. In addition to a detailed timeline, essays on everything from the origins of slavery to the experiences of the 20,000 Hispanics who fought in the war, and a tool to help you plan visits to Civil War battlefields, it includes access to the NPS database of Civil War records, including over six million soldiers and sailors, plus monuments, medal winners, and cemeteries.
• History Blueprint is produced by the teachers and professors who collaborate on the California History-Social Science Project at the University of California-Davis. Proclaiming a desire “to revolutionize history instruction,” it’s just getting off the ground with a small set of prototypes for instructional tools and a full-fledged U.S. Civil War unit that includes webinars, lesson plans, handouts, assessments, and visual resources.