National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

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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.

News & Events

[Graphic] Links to the Teaching with Historic Places Civics in America Feature page.

Featured this month: Civics in America

Happy 2016! At the start of this election year, Teaching with Historic Places is highlighting its lessons about Civics in America.

These lessons teach government topics and the histories of American citizens taking individual or collective action: from serving in elected office to engaging in philanthropic efforts; from volunteering in a citizens' militia to fighting for basic rights.

Many of the featured lessons also feature service learning activities to engage students in their communities and government.

[Graphic] The Electric Project, The Minidoka Dam and Powerplant.

NEW! "The Electric Project": The Minidoka Dam and Powerplant
It's electric! This new lesson plan is about the science and history of hydroelectric power in the United States. Introduce your students to the US Bureau of Reclamation and they'll discover how its Minidoka Dam and Powerplant transformed American settlers' lives on the harsh Idaho frontier. The engineering marvel offered homesteading families irrigation water for farming and electricity for a new technological era.

[Graphic] Civil Rights and Racial Healing Feature. Photo depicts students at the historic New Kent School in 1970, after integration.
(Photo depicts students at the historic New Kent School in 1970, after integration)

Lessons featuring Civil Rights & Racial Healing
In the wake of violence and racist terrorism, students need ways to explore and talk about the roots of both injustice and heroic struggle against it. Education is one of our most promising paths to justice and classroom work in Civil Rights struggles at historic places can help. The National Park Service features select Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans to honor the American pursuit of justice and to encourage racial healing.

State Standards

Meet 21st Century State Standards with TwHP
Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans, based on the inquiry method, provide teachers with materials and question sets that encourage analytical thinking. This makes them a great choice for classrooms where students need to meet Common Core state standards and social studies standards based on the College, Career & Civic Life Framework.

Teaching Teachers the Power of Place

Teaching Teachers Power of Place
Professional development materials include articles, media presentations, how-to guides, classroom case studies and other helpful resources.



Service Learning

Service Learning
To promote the benefits of combining classroom instruction, experiential learning, and civic engagement, TwHP suggests activities, highlights case studies, and provides other resources on the topic of service learning.

Youth Summits

Youth Summits
Youth Summits benefit middle school and high school aged students, educators, and community leaders by providing opportunities to participate in activities, discussions, and projects related to history, historic preservation, and heritage tourism in their communities.



Children's Corner
Visit the Children's Corner for background information on the National Park Service, lots of fun activities, and information on getting involved in your national parks.

[Graphic] Preserve America initiative logo.

Preserve America
Find TwHP lessons featuring historic sites in Preserve America Communities.

Curriculum Standards
Meet the National U.S. History Standards for Grades 5-12 and the Curriculum Standards for Social Studies using Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans.

American Landmarks Series - Published by Oxford University Press