Heritage Education Services (HES) administers two education and outreach programs: Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) and the Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itinerary series. The office also works to develop, better coordinate, and extend the reach of NPS education, training, and public awareness related to the nation’s cultural resources, both in parks and in communities nationwide.
Teaching with HIstoric Places
TwHP offers a series of on-line lesson plans on topics throughout American history, professional development on place-based education, and other products and activities. Many TwHP classroom lesson plans focus on aspects of American Indian history. These lessons also are grouped in an American Indian History Feature on the TwHP Features page; this feature is highlighted on the TwHP homepage in November in honor of American Indian Heritage Month.
Discover Our Shared Heritage produces travel itineraries based on national parks, National Historic Landmarks, and places listed in the National Register of Historic Places; itineraries may be organized either geographically or thematically. More than a dozen of these travel itineraries include places associated with American Indians, including Places Reflecting America’s Diverse Cultures, American Southwest, Pipestone, Minnesota, and Indian Mounds of Mississippi. The Discover Our Shared Heritage homepage also recognizes American Indian Heritage Month in November.
TwHP provides an extensive professional development section (see Teaching Teachers the Power of Places). There are step-by-step instructions for writing a lesson plan using our format and methodology, articles on education topics, PowerPoints, video clips, workshop agendas, classroom case studies, service learning ideas, and much more. HES hopes that those interested in history and heritage education and/or travel will use the travel itineraries and TwHP materials and methodologies to meet their own needs, to educate young people, and to promote an appreciation for the ways in which historic places contribute to our understanding of history and culture.