Lightning Lessons are a new series of lesson plans from Teaching with Historic Places, an education resource and collection of teaching tools from the National Park Service. The launch of the new series was part of the National Park Service's 2016 Centennial celebration and are part of its commitment to serving the public in our "second century."
Historic places (buildings, landscapes, archeological sites, etc) offer clues for us to investigate history, social studies topics, geography, and other classroom subjects in the same way a historic document or photograph is a primary source. How and why people interact with their environment speaks volumes about their lives, motivations, and experiences.
All of the lesson plans at Teaching with Historic Places are based on a "places as primary sources" philosophy, but Lightning Lessons are different from the first series launched by Teaching with Historic Places in the 1990s in three major ways. Compared with the first 160 or so lessons published between 1994 and 2015, these lessons are shorter and focused on 21st century relevance:
1. Lightning lessons are designed for a 60-minute block or to be take-home work
2. Lightning lessons all include an essential or compelling question
3. Lightning lessons all emphasize content standards and they all connect with Common Core standards
Click here to find out how to use a Lightning Lesson.
Click here to find out how to write a Lightning Lesson plan