Teaching With Our National Parks Feature

A National Park Service ranger shows visiting children the Liberty Bell. Students on field trips visit the park in large numbers, especially in the spring and fall.
Independence National Historical Park is featured in two lesson plans.

NPS Photo

Parks teach! Find Your Park with Teaching with Historic Places

To honor our national parks system this Centennial, Teaching with Historic Places offers this expansive list of lesson plans that feature historic places administered by NPS. Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use.

Teaching with Historic Places features many private and state historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but the National Park Service system oversees thousands of historic places that can be used to teach history, social studies, geography, STEM subjects, and more.

Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead Act: A Colorado Success Story (67)
Discover how Adeline Hornbek, single mother of four, defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a successful ranch under the Homestead Act. (National Park)

Allegheny Portage Railroad: Developing Transportation Technology (23)
Follow 19th-century travelers as they cross the treacherous Allegheny Mountains using an innovative inclined railway. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Andersonville: Prisoner of War Camp (11)
Examine conditions of the Civil War's most notorious prison, and learn how inmates were able to cope. (National Park) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

The Battle of Bunker Hill: Now We Are at War (42)
Learn how this American Revolution battle spurred colonial unity and sparked the formation of the Continental Army. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Glorieta Pass: A Shattered Dream (91)
Discover how the Battle of Glorieta Pass ended the Confederacy's dream of expanding westward to the Pacific Ocean. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend: Collision of Cultures (54)
Consider the complex political and cultural differences that existed between European Americans and American Indians during the early 19th century and learn how these conflicting views ultimately affected the Creeks. (National Park)

The Battle of Oriskany: "Blood Shed a Stream Running Down" (79)
Learn how New York's Mohawk Valley became the setting for a fierce Revolutionary War battle that pitted residents of the area, including the nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, against each other. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Stones River: The Soldiers' Story (40)
Recall one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles, which raged through the rocky cedar glades of Tennessee, as told in eyewitness and personal accounts. (National Park)

Birthplace of John F. Kennedy: Home of the Boy Who Would Be President (33)
Visit JFK's birthplace and consider the effects of culture and community in shaping character and personality. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Brown v. Board: Five Communities That Changed America (121)
Learn about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.(Monroe Elementary School [now Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site] is a unit of the National Park Service/Robert Russa Moton High School, Sumner and Monroe Elementary Schools, Howard High School, and John Philip Sousa Middle School are National Historic Landmarks.)

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)

Building America's Industrial Revolution: The Boott Cotton Mills of Lowell, MA (21)
Learn how technology applied to textile mills revolutionized industry, in turn affecting mill architecture, city planning, and transportation. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Building of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (10)
Assess the importance of America's early canal system and its economic and social effects. (National Park)

Camp Misty Mount: A Place for Regrowth (47)
Inspect a recreational demonstration area (RDA) in western Maryland, created as part of a Great Depression government relief program. (National Park)

Castolon: A Meeting Place of Two Cultures (17)
Compare the Spanish and Anglo influences on settlements along the Texas-Mexico border region of the Rio Grande. (National Park)

Chatham Plantation: Witness to the Civil War (45)
Learn why this home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was a center of military activity, and consider the impact the war had on those whose property became part of the battlefield. (National Park)

Choices and Commitments: The Soldiers at Gettysburg (44)
Trace the course of this Civil War battle and consider the wrenching personal choices that were made by soldiers on each side. (National Park) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross (27)
Follow Barton's remarkable career as a leader of charitable causes, from caring for the wounded on Civil War battlefields to founding the American Red Cross. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Where the Wright Brothers Conquered the Air (111)
Discover the early influences that inspired the Wright brothers as inventors and the importance of the Wright Cycle Company Complex where they developed the key mechanical skills that profoundly impacted their invention of the airplane. (National Park/The Wright Cycle Company building is a National Historic Landmark)

Embattled Farmers and the Shot Heard Round The World: The Battles of Lexington and Concord (150)
Walk the road where the “shot heard ‘round the world” sparked the American Revolution, and investigate how works of art both depicted and shaped our memory of these dramatic battles. (National Park)

First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence (12)
Study personal accounts of soldiers who fought in the first battle of the Civil War, and discover how the day set the tone for the many bloody battles to come. (National Park) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt at Val-Kill (26)
Examine how Roosevelt's activities at home reflected her interest in humanitarianism, as epitomized by her leadership in the creation of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights. (National Park)

Floyd Bennett Field: Naval Aviation's Home in Brooklyn (120)
Learn about the vital role played by naval aviators delivering aircraft to combat-bound units in the Pacific during WWII, and the women workers on the home front who helped in one of U.S. history's greatest industrial feats. (National Park)

Fort Hancock: A Bastion of America's Eastern Seaboard (37)
Examine how changing military technology and U.S. budget debates influenced the development of Fort Hancock and the U.S. coastal defense system. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Fort Pickens and the Outbreak of the Civil War (38)
Discover why Fort Pickens was so valuable to both the Union and Confederacy, and follow the actions of the military commanders faced with crucial decisions. (National Park)

Forts of Old San Juan: Guardians of the Caribbean (60)
Discover how Spanish fortifications on the island of Puerto Rico helped protect Spain's expanding interests in the New World. (National Park/National Historic Landmark/UNESCO World Heritage Site) La versión en español Los Castillos del Viejo San Juan: Guardianes del Caribe.

Frederica: An 18th-Century Planned Community (31)
Discover why this British settlement was built and how it functioned as Great Britain and Spain each struggled to control land from Charleston to St. Augustine. (National Park)

The Freeman School: Building Prairie Communities (80)
Examine this one-room school in Nebraska and consider the important role it played in the community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (National Park)

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)

Glorieta and Raton Passes: Gateways to the Southwest (117)
Learn how these remote passes in the mountains influenced the course of the westward expansion of the United States. (National Park/Raton Pass is a National Historic Landmark)

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, fragile and beautiful places such as Glacier National Park. (National Park/National Historic Landmark/Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Gold Fever! Seattle Outfits the Klondike Gold Rush (55)
Examine how the discovery of gold in the Canada's remote Klondike region touched off the last great gold rush, creating an economic boom that changed the city of Seattle forever. (National Park/Includes Pioneer Building, a National Historic Landmark)

Gran Quivira: A Blending of Cultures in a Pueblo Indian Village (66)
Examine the changing lifeways of the inhabitants of this village from the 7th century to the arrival of the Spanish in the early 17th century. (National Park)

Growing into Public Service: William Howard Taft's Boyhood Home (15)
Visit the home of the only man to serve the country both as president and chief justice, and meet the rest of his public service-oriented family. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Guilford Courthouse: A Pivotal Battle in the War for Independence (32)
Learn how the deceptive results of this battle in the backwoods of North Carolina helped set the stage for American victory. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Harry Truman and Independence, Missouri: "This is Where I Belong" (103)
Learn why the life of the 33rd U.S. President serves as an example of civic duty and explore the town that helped form his character. (National Park/Includes Harry S Truman Historic District, a National Historic Landmark)

Herbert Hoover: Iowa Farm Boy and World Humanitarian (34)
Follow President Hoover from his boyhood days to his role as administrator of the Belgian Relief Commission during World War I. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Hopewell Furnace: A Pennsylvania Iron-making Plantation (97)
Explore how Hopewell functioned as a productive work unit and how work defined social relationships in this early National period community. (National Park)

Independence Hall: International Symbol of Freedom (132)
Learn about Independence Hall and about how international influence of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has led to the designation of the building in which they were adopted as a World Heritage Site. (National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The Invention Factory: Thomas Edison's Laboratories (25)
Tour Edison's West Orange complex where his creative combination of research, production, and marketing revolutionized the business of invention. (National Park)

Johnson Lake Mine: Mining for Tungsten in Nevada's Snake Range (110)
Explore both how tungsten was mined and used at the turn of the 20th century and also how archeologists piece the past together from artifacts and other archeological evidence. (National Park)

"Journey from Slavery to Statesman": The Homes of Frederick Douglass (147)
Follow Frederick Douglass on his journey from life as a slave to that of a respected statesman and investigate how three homes reflect the different phases of his life. (Wye House, the Nathan and Polly Johnson House, and Cedar Hill are National Historic Landmarks. Cedar Hill and the Nathan and Polly Johnson House are each a resource of a National Park.)

Keys Ranch: Where Time Stood Still (65)
Meet Bill Keys, a self-reliant 20th-century homesteader whose ingenuity allowed him to thrive in the inhospitable California desert. (National Park)

Knife River: Early Village Life on the Plains (1)
Discover the complex culture and trading economy of the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes in North Dakota during the 18th century, as seen by anthropologists and artists. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Lafayette Park: First Amendment Rights on the President's Doorstep (139)
Learn how a group of determined women selected Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to demonstrate for their right to vote, providing a First Amendment model for many others. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Documenting the Uncharted Northwest (108)
Learn how the 1804-1806 expedition effectively opened the Northwest to the influence of the United States, established relations with numerous American Indian nations, and gathered useful scientific documentation about the West. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Liberty Bell: From Obscurity to Icon (36)
Analyze the influences that shaped the symbolic meaning of the bell, and evaluate the various claims as to how and when it was cracked. (National Park)

Liberty Ships and Victory Ships, America's Lifeline in War (116)
Learn how the United States mobilized a massive construction effort to build a large merchant fleet to serve in war and peace. (The SS Red Oak Victory is part of a National Park. The SS Jeremiah O'Brien and the SS Lane Victory are National Historic Landmarks.)

Life on an Island: Early Settlers Off the Rock-Bound Coast of Maine (16)
Discover how early settlers survived on Maine's coastal islands despite harsh living conditions. (National Park)

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: Forging Greatness during Lincoln's Youth (126)
Meet the people and learn of events that influenced the development of Abraham Lincoln's character and personality as a youth on the Indiana frontier. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Lincoln Home National Historic Site: A Place of Growth and Memory (127)
Learn how Abraham Lincoln's belief in freedom and democracy, his eloquence, and the support of family and community propelled him to the White House and uplifted him through the turbulent Civil War. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station: Home to Unsung Heroes (57)
Learn about the United States Lifesaving Service daring rescues to save imperiled lives from the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." (National Park)

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)

Martin Van Buren's "Return to the Soil" (39)
Follow this president to the White House and Lindenwald in the rough-and-tumble world of early 19th century politics. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House: African American Women Unite for Change (135)
Learn about Mary McLeod Bethune and how she and the organization she founded promoted political and social change for African American women. (National Park)

The M'Clintock House: A Home to the Women's Rights Movement (76)
Learn why a family home in upstate New York became the site for the creation of one of the most important documents in the history of American women. (National Park)

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site: Protecting a Legacy of the Cold War (128)
Examine how the escalation of the Cold War led to the development and deployment of the Minuteman Missile system and investigate the role of missileers as America's "peacekeepers." (National Park)

The No. 2 Quincy Shaft-Rockhouse: 9,240 Feet into the Earth (152)
Enter a historic company town and descend deep into the copper mines of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, where labor unrest upset an industry and changed a community in the early 20th century. (National Park)

The Ohio and Erie Canal: Catalyst of Economic Development for Ohio (41)
Assess the importance of America's early canal system and its economic and social effects. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Old Court House in St. Louis: Yesterday & Today (9)
Compare two images of St. Louis's handsome Courthouse--as a gathering place for pioneers heading west and as a dramatic focus for Dred Scott's heroic efforts to free his family from slavery. (National Park)

Paterson, New Jersey: America's Silk City (102)
Learn about the causes and effects of a famous silk industry strike and how it affected those who were involved. (The Pietro Botto House is a National Historic Landmark. Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park is a National Park.)

The Penniman House: A Whaling Story (112)
Meet Captain Edward Penniman, and learn about 19th-century whaling in southeastern Massachusetts and how the whaling industry impacted Penniman's family and life. (National Park)

Remembering Pearl Harbor: The USS Arizona Memorial (18)
Trace the course of the Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and consider the significance of the sunken USS Arizona as a war memorial. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

"The Rockets' Red Glare": Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry (137)
Learn how the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore led to the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and how Key’s song became a powerful symbol for Americans. (National Park) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

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

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site: Home of a Gilded Age Icon (48)
Meet one of America's premier artists, a creator of public monuments, and evaluate the importance of art and sculpture in society. (National Park/National Historic Landmark) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence in Texas (2)
Explore a group of 18th-century missions in modern San Antonio to learn about Spanish influence on native peoples and the patterns of Texas culture. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Saratoga: The Tide Turns on the Frontier (93)
Learn about 18th-century warfare and the battle that was a turning point of the American Revolution. (National Park)

Saugus Iron Works: Life and Work at an Early American Industrial Site (30)
Unearth the remains of colonial America's first fully integrated ironworks, and consider what reconstruction of the site reveals about daily life for some early European settlers. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Skagway: Gateway to the Klondike (75)
Join the stampede for gold when over 100,000 prospectors set out for the Klondike. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Siege and Battle of Corinth: A New Kind of War (113)
Understand how newly developed technologies affected two military engagements and one tiny town in Mississippi during the Civil War. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Springwood: Birthplace and Home to Franklin D. Roosevelt (82)
Understand how Springwood was the keystone in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's public as well as private life by playing host to some very dramatic events in American history. (National Park)

Thaw in the Cold War: Eisenhower and Khrushchev at Gettysburg (29)
Delve into a superpower meeting and discover how President Eisenhower's brand of diplomacy at this Pennsylvania farm temporarily eased the tensions of the Cold War. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site: Birthplace of the Modern Presidency (77)
Examine the circumstances under which Theodore Roosevelt first became President of the United States and how his policies and actions modernized the presidency. (National Park)

Thurmond: A Town Born from Coal Mines and Railroads (28)
Examine the complex and often dangerous daily routines at the Thurmond train depot, and learn how rail workers were immortalized by some of the people they served. (National Park)

Tonto National Monument: Saving a National Treasure (125)
Learn about one of the nation's most important conservation laws--the Antiquities Act of 1906--and how its passage preserved important cultural sites such as Tonto National Monument, which preserves remnants of the Salado culture prior to European contact. (National Park)

Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant at White Haven Farm: The Missouri Compromise in American Life (154)
Discover the personal experiences of Americans in a nation divided politically on the issue of slavery through the early life of Ulysses S. Grant, who lived on a Missouri farm with his wife Julia Dent Grant and her slave-holding family in the 1850s. (National Park)

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site: Monument to the Gilded Age (78)
Discover how the Vanderbilts became one of the wealthiest families in America and how their lifestyle influenced business, culture, architecture, and society in ways that still affect us today. (National Park)

The Vieux Carré: A Creole Neighborhood in New Orleans (20)
Examine New Orleans's distinctive French Quarter, a vibrant reflection of its Creole heritage, and recall the city's role in American westward expansion. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear Was Stronger than Justice (89)
Learn what led the U.S. government to confine nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry to relocation centers in remote areas of the country during World War II. (Manzanar is a National Park and National Historic Landmark. Rohwer is a National Historic Landmark)

The Washington Monument: Tribute in Stone (62)
Understand why George Washington was so revered during his lifetime and beyond, and learn why it took 100 years to complete this famous monument in his honor. (National Park)

Weir Farm: Home of an American Impressionist (22)
View the world through an artist's eye and learn how an important art movement was established in America. (National Park)

Wheat Farms, Flour Mills, and Railroads: A Web of Interdependence (106)
Examine the inextricable connections binding railroads, North Dakota wheat fields, and Minnesota flour mills during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (National Park/Includes Pillsbury A Mill, a National Historic Landmark)

Wright Brothers National Memorial: Site of the First Controlled Powered Flight (109)
Discover why the Wright Brothers chose the Outer Banks of North Carolina to conduct their flight experiments, how they achieved controlled powered flight in 1903, and how their accomplishments have been commemorated. (National Park)

To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, including the many other lessons featuring our nation's National Parks, please visit the Lesson Plan Index page.

Last updated: April 26, 2016