Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans can be done as a whole class, in small groups, or by individuals. Questions that accompany the materials may be answered by students verbally or written on paper. Lessons may also be provided to students as make-up work, homework, or extra credit.
All Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans contain teacher materials and student materials, organized in the following sections: Introduction, About This Lesson, Getting Started, Locating the Site, Determining the Facts, Visual Evidence, Putting It All Together, and References.
Lightning Lesson sections with teacher materials include an Introduction to describe the lesson's content and themes; an About This Lesson section with details about the historical eras and topics the lesson covers, how it connects to national standards, learning objectives that students can achieve and teachers can evaluate, and contact information for the historic site. It also includes a Putting It All Together section with optional activities, which provides instructions for post-lesson, project-centered work students can do to further their investigations. Finally, References provide citations for the lesson and possible resources to look for more information about the topic.
Sections with student materials are Getting Started (compelling or essential question + a question to explore how place may help answer the question), Locating the Site (maps), Determining the Facts (readings, documents, charts), and Visual Evidence (photographs and other graphic documents).
The lesson plan format was designed to allow flexibility but works best if the material in each lesson plan is presented to students as described below. For example, a photo investigation pulled from a lesson can stand alone, but the same investigation done after a reading exercise will offer greater insights into what evidence the photo offers.