Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Educational Materials

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission is completing a National Memorial to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower and his legacy. RRCHNM developed content for an interactive timeline and seven curriculum units for middle and high school classrooms based on significant events in Eisenhower’s life.

Mt. Vernon Professional Development Toolkit

Collaboration between RRCHNM and Mount Vernon has resulted in materials and resources to help teachers plan and conduct professional development for their colleagues. RRCHNM worked with Mount Vernon’s education staff to develop user personas, create professional development workshop guidelines, and tips on writing proposals. Educators can find a wide range of resources grouped by teaching methodology, themes, and grade level to aid in the planning and execution of successful professional development workshops.

While these materials are designed for Mount Vernon, many of the strategies and checklists for planning successful professional development can be adapted for other professional development scenarios as well.

Teaching Hidden History

Teaching Hidden History, a hybrid graduate history course co-taught across multiple universities, was taught in the summer of 2015 and 2017. In the course, students created online learning modules similar to those in Hidden in Plain Sight and Virginia Studies, based on the idea that hidden behind any artifact is a larger historical narrative.

Course objectives and activities encouraged students to think about how this narrative might take shape and, more broadly, how history can be presented online to multiple audiences. Students described the historical context surrounding their artifacts and modeled how historians consider historical significance, interpret evidence, and employed contextual elements and supporting resources to craft historical narratives.

Teaching Hidden History was made possible with funding from 4-VA, “a statewide initiative dedicated to fostering collaboration among Virginia universities with the goal of improving all Virginians’ access to higher education.”

Ford’s Theatre Videos

How can digital tools help capture your impact on the audiences you serve? Ford’s Theatre Society asked RRCHNM to produce a short video highlighting its signature teacher professional development programs — Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows and The National Oratory Fellows.

RRCHNM reviewed teacher survey data and user-generated video, conducted video interviews of participants, and filmed on-site workshops and performances at Ford’s Theatre. Working with the Ford’s Theatre team, RRCHNM crafted the script and storyboarded the video to highlight the power of bringing theatre, leadership, history, and language arts together in the classroom.

Ford’s Theatre shows the video to show current and potential funders, as well as educators and policy makers to demonstrate the impact their programs are having on educators and the students they teach.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight: Exploring American History is an online course for K–12 teachers that emphasizes iterative learning, primary source analysis, and an active approach to studying history.

More than 400 K-12 teachers from a wide geographic area have taken this online course with a 95% completion rate.

Through a contract with the Virginia Department of Education, RRCHNM researched and developed the course content, designed the visual interface, and built the site in Drupal, using CHNM-developed custom modules to enable instructors to interact with students, and students with each other, in near real-time.

Unveiling History

Unveiling History: Exploring America’s Past provided intensive professional development focused on history, historical thinking, and practical classroom activities for K-12 teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland.

RRCHNM collaborated to design the program content and structure; designed and built the website in WordPress; developed classroom activities; produced videos of historians and educators discussing and teaching with primary sources; and collated related resources from other RRCHNM sites and across the web.

During the grant period, teachers participated in summer institutes led by RRCHNM-affiliated faculty, and engaged in school-year activities focusing on American history, historical thinking skills, and practical applications. Themes included: History through Biography, History through Images, History through Objects, History through Drama, and History through Place.

The website served as a platform for teachers to share experiences and ideas with peers.

This Teaching American History (TAH) grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Everyday Americans, Exceptional Americans

Everyday Americans, Exceptional Americans provided intensive professional development focused on history, historical thinking, and practical classroom activities for K–12 teachers in Loudoun County, Virginia.

RRCHNM collaborated to design the program content and structure; designed and built the site in WordPress; developed classroom activities; produced videos of historians and educators discussing and teaching with primary sources; and collated related resources from other RRCHNM sites and across the web. During the grant period, teachers participated in workshops and graduate-level institutes on topics such as the American frontier, war and society, forging a nation, and America on the world stage. Some programs integrated language arts, ELL, and special education teachers.

This Teaching American History (TAH) grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Sea of Liberty

Sea of Liberty is an interactive online tool for teaching, exploring, and sharing the power of Thomas Jefferson’s ideas. Visitors can explore documents, letters, artwork, photographs, and videos related to the ideas of liberty, freedom, and self-governance. The core of the collection includes images and quotes from the Monticello exhibit, The Boisterous Sea of Liberty that traces the development and ongoing influence of Jefferson’s transformational ideas about liberty, particularly those expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Sea of Liberty expands on the exhibit, providing new relevant content and tools to explore it.

Registered users can build their own collections and then use the items to create activities and projects. A special teacher dashboard allows educators to create and assign activities, or “challenges,” that focus students on specific themes or objects in the collection. Students and the public respond to challenges by using items from their collection to create digital posters, word clouds, timelines, and digital stories. The projects can be shared to inspire others and promote dialogue. In addition, educators have access to resources related to teaching with primary sources, teaching historical thinking, and encouraging digital literacy.

For Virginians: Government Matters

For Virginians: Government Matters is a free online teaching and learning resource highlighting active citizen involvement, the impact of state and local government on daily life, and how individuals shape their communities in the Commonwealth.

There are four key features:

  • a Teaching Source Database with introductions and essential questions to offer guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources;
  • Website Reviews that focus on valuable online resources for teaching and learning Virginia state and local government;
  • Teaching Activities focused on state and local government that provide context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching primary sources drawn from the Teaching Source Database; and
  • Teaching Case Studies by experienced scholars and teachers that model strategies for using primary sources to teach state and local government in the Commonwealth.

Children and Youth in History

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Children and Youth in History website was designed to help teachers and students learn about young people throughout history by providing access to information about the lived experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations. The materials on this website address such questions as: What was it like to be a child or adolescent throughout history? How is childhood defined? How has it changed and how has it remained the same? What factors have shaped childhood and how did children shape history, society, and culture?

Children and Youth in History is a free website with four key features:

  • a Primary Source Database with 200 resources along with guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources;
  • 50 Website Reviews that focus on valuable online resources for studying and teaching the history of childhood and youth in world history;
  • 10 Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources drawn from the Primary Source Database; and
  • 20 Teaching Case Studies by experienced scholars and teachers that model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth.