Teaching Resources

African American History

Over the past fifteen years, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has worked closely with master educators across the country. Many of them have developed unique lesson plans and activities related to this historical era. These resources are included here along with pedagogical videos and other general teaching tools that can be adapted for a variety of time periods and themes in American history.

A bond for the manumission of a slave, 1757

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

A Founding Father on the Missouri Compromise, 1819

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

A Ku Klux Klan threat, 1868

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

A Look at Slavery through Posters and Broadsides

Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8

A northerner’s view of southern slavery, 1821

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

A View of Savannah, Georgia, 1734

Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Abraham Lincoln on Slavery and Race

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Agriculture in America

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

American Slavery and Abolition through Hollywood

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

An African American protests the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850

Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Barack Obama’s First Inaugural Address, 2009

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Baseball and Race in the United States

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Birth of a Nation

Curriculum Subjects: Art, Geography, Government and Civics, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Birth of a Nation, 1915

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Blacks in Blue

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Buying Frederick Douglass’s freedom, 1846

Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels:

Civil rights posters, 1968

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Declaration of Independence, 1776

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Don’t Buy a Ford Ever Again, ca. 1960

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

FDR on racial discrimination, 1942

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9

FDR urges NAACP support before WWII, 1940

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Frederick Douglass on Jim Crow, 1887

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Frederick Douglass: What to the Negro Is the Fourth of July?

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10

George Wallace on segregation, 1964

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Jackie Robinson, WWII, and the Integration of Baseball

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Jefferson and Slavery

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8

John Adams on the abolition of slavery, 1801

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

John Brown’s final speech, 1859

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Legislation

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Lincoln on the execution of a slave trader, 1862

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Lynching in America, ca. 1926

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Lyndon Johnson’s Commencement Address at Howard University

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9

Militancy and the Abolitionist Movement

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Montgomery to the Supreme Court

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

National Expansion

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Nonviolent Direct Action at Southern Lunch Counters

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Olaudah Equiano

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre, 1770

Curriculum Subjects: Art, World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Plessy v. Ferguson

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Reconstruction

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Religion and Social Reform - Abolitionism

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Robert Kennedy on civil rights, 1963

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Runaway slave ad, 1852

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Runaway slave ad, 1860

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Secession and the Civil War

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Sectional Conflict

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Sharecropper contract, 1867

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Singing for Freedom

Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Slave auction catalog from Louisiana, 1855

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Slave Children of New Orleans, 1863

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Slavery

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels:

Slaves and Slaveholdings

Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8

Sports and Politics: Making Statements

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 3, 4, 5

Study Aid: Great Society Legislation

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Teaching the Revolution

Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Constitution and Slavery

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The death of slaves on a voyage, 1725

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Economics of Slavery

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Fifteenth Amendment, 1870

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

The First Emancipation

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

The horrors of slavery, 1805

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

The Promise of Democracy

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Scottsboro Trial

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8

Was slavery the engine of American economic growth?

Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

What Does Liberty Look Like?

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

What were the origins of slavery?

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Who Was John Brown?

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8

Woman Abolitionists

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

“Men of Color, To Arms! To Arms,” 1863

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

“Men of Color: To Arms! To Arms!”

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8

“The whole land is full of blood,” 1851

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: