Lessons from History

Grade Levels: 6 - 8

  • Students will use vocabulary related to American history.
  • Students will summarize the facts related to a historical event.
  • Students will evaluate the importance of studying and learning from history.



  1. Introduce key vocabulary: Bill of Rights, Great Depression, history, stock market, suffrage.
  2. Have students go to Today in History and complete the Lessons from History worksheet as directed.
  3. Invite each student to write a paragraph summarizing an event they read about at the website.
  4. Have students gather in groups to share their worksheet responses and paragraphs.
  5. Encourage them to discuss and evaluate the relevance of studying history.


Use the rubric to assess students' understanding of the importance of studying historical events.

Extension Activities

  • Have pairs of students go to Smithsonian: American History Timeline (http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/timeline.htm) to learn more about selected events in American history. Each pair can make a card that uses words and pictures to tell about an event. The class can then work together to organize the cards in sequential order.
  • Choose from a large collection of cross-curricular activities for all grade levels.

Standards Correlations

Standards for the English Language Arts

  • read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions of human experience.
  • use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information, and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

National Educational Technology Standards

  • are proficient in the use of technology.
  • use and develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.

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