Century of Progress: Thinking Historically Through the 1800s
Century of Progress is a teacher education program funded by a 2010 TAH grant. The purpose of the project is to increase central Kansas middle school teachers' knowledge of and ability to present 19th-century U.S. history. Additional goals included increasing teacher ability to locate primary sources for the classroom and, the ultimate goal, improving student levels of achievement.
Exemplary grant practices include teaching technology for educators, such as how to make the most of an iPad and which apps are most useful for K-12 U.S. history education, and use of a variety of social media sites—for example, Flickr— to link participants to one another even when not physically present for a presentation.
Just because this grant is ongoing in Kansas doesn't mean that you can't benefit from its existence. A wide variety of resources are available for you to peruse for your own inspiration.
Try Classroom Videos for examples of lessons taught by grant participants, including an opportunity to physically try "railroad building" and a game of Civil War Survivor in which students argue for and "vote off" Civil War figures to determine which man or woman the class feels was the most important figure of the day.
There are also currently six lesson plans available, covering the first half of the 19th century. Most of the lesson plan pages include the plan itself as well as a variety of supplemental downloads—presentations, worksheets, book pages, teacher guides, and more. A lesson plan template also helps provide organization for you to develop your own plans.
Presentations offers access to videos of all of the main grant program speakers. These presentations include content on the Three-Fifths Compromise, political party formation, the Great Compromise, interpretation of the Constitution, technology, the War of 1812, the Market Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Mexican-American War, westward expansion, exploration, the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, sectionalism, slavery, Native Americans, and the West; an iPad how-to; introductions to file- and website-sharing online tools, web history content, and social media; and an overview of historical thinking. Session pages include a variety of auxiliary information ranging from further reading to noteworthy links to handouts. Note that there is also a list of generally helpful links which are not necessarily related to a specific content area.