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Teaching with Historic Places

Heritage Education Services

Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.


Field Studies
Lucy the Margate Elephant, New Jersey
Since its founding in 1991, thousands of educators and preservation professionals have learned about Teaching with Historic Places. Their responses describe the program's strengths and help explain why the program keeps winning awards! Please write us with your questions, comments, and suggestions for Teaching with Historic Places.


Comments from Participants
Hear What People Are Saying (short video clips)
Your Ideas




Thank you so much for this web site. I have been struggling all summer trying to find a way I could make U.S. History come alive students. I believe your web site has done this....
--Teacher, Alafia Elementary


This is a wonderful program and an excellent model for incorporating local historical resources into the classroom curriculum. Keep up the good work.
--Historian, Tucson, AZ


Teachers will find the "Teaching with Historic Places" lesson plans of great value.
--The Washington Post, April 29, 2001


It [TwHP Curriculum Framework] is a wonderful resource for helping teachers learn methods to help students maximize their learning experiences using historic sites.... Knowing how to access and create lessons using historic places will definitely enhance their interest in embedding the use of historic places in the curriculum.
--Education Department, Minnesota Historical Society
Please allow me to tell you how impressive the lesson plans are on this site. ...I find it exciting to...combine my two passions: teaching and National Park exploration.... Thank you for an incredible web site.
English Teacher, Indianapolis, IN


As a...writer of standards for the state I know the value of primary resources. I've attended sessions at NCSS by TwHP and found them excellent.
--Supervisor, Social Studies, Mt. Lebanon School District, PA


I am VERY impressed with the lesson plans posted on your web site. ...My students will enjoy doing them, and I look forward to any future lessons. I can't wait to get back to school!
--Denise Cheramie


I just found your site on Teaching with Historical [sic] Places. It's great! I am a homeschooler, and love for my kids to learn about these extraordinary places and events.
--Union, KY



The TwHP Program...

Educator, Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Park Ranger, Andersonville NHS, Andersonville, GA

• High School Teacher, Springfield, VA      
      Meeting Curriculum Standards
      To Visit or Not to Visit
      Making History Real

• Professor of Education, Boston Univeristy, Boston, MA
      Places as Primary Sources
      Active Learning

Community Leader, Washington, D.C.    

Historic Places...

• West Springfield High School Students, Springfield, VA
      Family History
      Historical Importance

Lincoln Middle School, Seventh Grade Students, Washington, DC

Educator, Hartford, CT

Historian, Heritage Education Services, NPS


We welcome your comments and suggestions on how you've used the program, what's good about it, and how it could be improved.


The George Wright Society awarded the Teaching with Historic Places program for outstanding contributions to public education in and about parks and other protected areas. The award announcement cited the program's posting of its 100th lesson plan online in February 2003 noting the lessons, and the other assistance provided by the National Register of Historic Places and its network of partners, as being appreciated and respected by educators across the nation who see their value every day with students in the classroom.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) honored the National Register of Historic Places as a winner of one of its prestigious "Award of Merit" for the Teaching with Historic Places program. In presenting this prize, AASLH recognized the contributions Teaching with Historic Places has made to preservation, education, and the interpretation of local, state and regional history. AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. Annual Awards Program encourages excellence in the practice of history throughout North America.

Teaching with Historic Places won a National Park Partnership Leadership Award for the National Register of Historic Places, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The award announcement cited the program's encouragement to students "not only to become aware of their community's past, but to help preserve it for the future." The Partnership Awards, sponsored by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, recognize work between the Park Service and outside organizations that further public understanding of the mission of the National Park Service.

The Teaching with Historic Places staff received Federal Design Achievement Awards for having set "a high standard of excellence," and for the "vision, creativity, and commitment [that] makes government better able to fulfill its responsibilities to the people it serves." Recognizing that effective combinations of art and science in design serve both government and society, the White House and the National Endowment for the Arts bestow Presidential Design Awards to agencies who have shown leadership in design excellence, in either products or activities. Awarded only every four years, these awards honor Federal agencies and individuals who have developed, fostered, or sustained excellence in design.


The U.S. Department of Education regularly features TwHP lesson plans on the homepage of its Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) Web site. FREE includes all online TwHP lesson plans in its index and provides direct links to each lesson plan, as well as to TwHP’s homepage.

The National Institute for Literacy recognized the TwHP Web site as an “outstanding adult education and literacy-related site on the World Wide Web.”

TeacherNet selected the TwHP Web site as a “Site of the Week.” TeacherNet is an online network of educational publishers and teaching professionals sponsored by Highlights for Children, Inc. The site provides ideas for the classroom, professional development resources, and a networking forum for educators.

The Washington Post’s “The Mini Page”, written “especially for kids and their families,”stated that “teachers will find the ‘Teaching with Historic Places’ [online] lesson plans of great value.”

Lightspan’s StudyWebR, which describes itself as “online learning for school and home,” selected the TwHP Web site “as one of the best educational resources on the Web.”

Education World awarded the Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) Web site an A+ for content, aesthetics, and organization. Education World is the Educator's Complete Resource Guide to the Internet and acts as a combination online magazine and search engine for educational Web sites only. TwHP received the following review from Education World: "This is a must-see site for any teacher of history, social studies, geography, or civics or anyone with an interest in historical places."

The University of Maryland College-Bell Atlantic Virtual Resources Site for Teaching of Technology includes TwHP as a recommended Web site because "examples in the site represent the best of reflective practice in on-line teaching and learning available on the Web."

The University of Wisconsin's Internet Scout Project (National Science Foundation-sponsored organization, Department of Computer Science) links to the TwHP Web site, recognizing it as one of "only the most useful resources, considering the depth of content, the authority of the source, and how well the information is maintained and presented."

Pacific Bell awarded TwHP a "Blue Web'n" and includes TwHP in an on-line database of "1,000 outstanding learning sites."


* Above Photo Courtesy of Beth Boland