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United States History
January is a month of many historical anniversaries, from the discovery of gold in California at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 to Prohibition starting in 1920. Find resources to share with your students on a variety of U.S. history topics.
Join the lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! The American history poems include: "The California Gold Rush," "The Statue of Liberty," "The Moon Landing," "The Voyage of the Mayflower," and more. Find interviews, facts, and jokes!
Dive into this PBS documentary program featuring stories about important and interesting aspects of American history, including films, videos, and feature articles to support and provide additional information to the series' presentations.
Explore this resource offering a summary of prohibition, including web resources, information about the Women's crusade against alcohol and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and contemporary opinion pieces about prohibition.
Geography Dates to Remember
The National Geographic Society was founded in January, 1883—more than a hundred years ago. Another geographic feat happened in 1908 when the Grand Canyon became a national monument. Peruse the resources in this section to teach your students about these two historical accomplishments.
Discover the teaching resources available on this site to find ideas, activities, lessons, and units all searchable by grade and topic. Be sure also to visit the mapping section to find printable maps, mapmaking kits, and interactive maps.
Use this resource to teach your students about the history of the Grand Canyon. Click the Natural Wonders link to learn about the national parks in the state, such as the Grand Canyon, the town of Tombstone, and the Apache Trail.
Share this engaging tool that offers a collection of aerial, panoramic, 360-degree images of famous locations around the world, many in the U.S. As you teach about the history of these locations, take video tours of New York City and the Grand Canyon.
This site shares photos of people and cultures that can be used to promote human understanding more effectively than written words. Discuss the founding of the National Geographic Society in 1888 and its many accomplishments.
History of Immigration at Ellis Island
Ellis Island opened in January of 1892. The resources in this section can be used during your class discussions about immigration and the immigrant experience. Discover resources for elementary, middle, and high school students.
View this 30-minute video that guides you through the history of Ellis Island and the process immigrants faced after reaching the island. Hear interviews with park rangers sharing stories of their families along with personal stories of immigrants.
Take your students around the world with this curated list of resources (each including lesson ideas) offering free virtual field trips, many to locations within the U.S.: Mount Vernon, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, Ellis Island, and more.
As you share the history of Ellis Island with your students, introduce them to this unique web resource (and research tool) that offers an online database that allows you to search for immigrants who passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924.
This Week at TeachersFirst
The winter season of our free OK2Ask® virtual workshops starts next week—so register now to save your spot! We're also sharing a related blog post to help you find more teaching ideas related to American history. And finally, we kindly ask for your input in our weekly poll.
Our winter workshops will begin next Tuesday (1/19)! Join us on Tuesdays during January and February to learn about classroom management, Jamboard, station rotation, Nearpod, and other educational technology topics.
Register to save your spot in our upcoming sessions »
Infusing Technology Blog
Continuing with our theme of American history, this blog post offers a wealth of information about ways to add more African American history in your lessons related to national parks, the Great Depression, math, music, and many other topics/subjects.
Learn about additional resources to add to your teaching toolbox »
Share your thoughts with our community
This week our poll asks: "Which American history topic do you teach the most about in your lessons? Do you teach the most about Ellis Island/immigration, Grand Canyon/national parks, or the California Gold Rush?"
View the replies of others when you submit your answer »
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TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of more than 15,000 web resources. Built-in guidance from seasoned professionals makes effective classroom technology use trouble-free. TeachersFirst is made available free to K12 teachers by The Source for Learning, Inc., a nonprofit that has been providing educational resources for more than 40 years.