Washington, D.C. History Feature

Teaching with Historic Places features the following lesson plans based on sites in and around Washington, D.C. These lessons, based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, explore local landmarks that illustrate Washington's diverse history. The lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

Building of the C & O Canal (10)
Explore the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland, and decide why canal building was important during the National Period of the 1820s and 1830s. (National Park)

Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross (27)
Follow Barton 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)

Decatur House: A Home of the Rich and Powerful (19)
Inspect Commodore Stephen Decatur's home near the White House, a gathering place for the politically ambitious, and learn why the naval hero felt compelled to fight a fateful duel. (National Historic Landmark)

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)

"The Honor of Your Company is Requested": Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball at the Patent Office (143)
Attend President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural ball and explore how American citizens celebrate their leaders taking office. (National Historic Landmark)

"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.)

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)

Discover the Mary Ann Shadd Cary House (Lightning Lesson 1)
Follow the footsteps a free African American woman who defied an oppressive culture and broke barriers in education, newspaper publishing, and law before and after the Civil War.

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)

President Lincoln's Cottage: A Retreat (138)Explore President Abraham Lincoln’s life at a country retreat during summer months and examine the work he completed there on the Emancipation Proclamation. (National Historic Landmark)

The Octagon of Washington, D.C.: The House that Helped Build a Capital (151)
Enter The Octagon of Washington, DC, to discover how a historic brick house offered grandeur and stability to the new capital of the United States in the early 19th century.

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)

A Woman's Place Is In the Sewall-Belmont House: Alice Paul and Women's Rights (148)
Meet activist Alice Paul and visit the headquarters of her National Woman's Party in Washington, DC, to learn about how American women organized to increase their political rights in the 20th century. (National Historic Landmark)

Woodrow Wilson: Prophet of Peace (14)
Examine Wilson's struggle to achieve lasting world peace following World War I. (National Historic Landmark)

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

Last updated: October 4, 2017

Experience More