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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.

Summer Vacation

Teaching with Historic Places posted on the web the following complete lesson plans that feature a number of interesting historic vacation destinations in America. Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

Bryce Canyon National Park: Hoodoos Cast Their Spell (64)
Explore the natural wonders of this once remote area in Utah and learn how it became a popular tourist destination in the early 20th century and finally a national park. (National Park/Includes Bryce Canyon Lodge, a National Historic Landmark)

Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized (81)
Learn about a famous landscape artist and his efforts to promote conservation and an appreciation for the native plant life in a park that included play areas, ball fields, and an old fashioned "swimming hole" to bring "out-of-doors to the city."

Glen Echo Park: Center for Education and Recreation (24)
Trace the evolution of this Maryland site from a chapter of the Chautauqua movement, to an amusement park, to a national park. (National Park)

Going-to-the-Sun Road: A Model of Landscape Engineering (95)
Learn about some of the practical problems of constructing roads in difficult terrain and about the added challenge of building in such a way as to enhance, rather than damage, the fragile beauty that draws people to places such as Glacier National Park. (National Park/National Historic Landmark/Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

“The Greatest Dam in the World”: Building Hoover Dam (140)
Learn why the building of Hoover Dam was a triumph for the Bureau of Reclamation and how it came to symbolize what American industry and American workers could accomplish, even in the depths of the Great Depression. (National Historic Landmark)

Mammoth Cave: Its Explorers, Miners, Archeologists, and Visitors (35)
Tour the world's longest cave, a geological wonder, and assess the ways it has been used and preserved as a historic resource. (National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Run for Your Lives! The Johnstown Flood of 1889 (5)
Determine how environmental management, technology, and a summer resort for wealthy 19th-century industrialists contributed to a disaster in Pennsylvania that shocked the nation. (National Park)

Roadside Attractions (6)
Follow the highways of the 1920s and 1930s, exploring the whimsical, extravagant architecture that came with American auto culture.


To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, visit the Lesson Plan Descriptions page.