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Writing in U.S. History

Writing in US History
An interactive lesson from the Writing in U.S. History collection on PBS LearningMedia

Target Audience: PreK
Subjects/Skills: Science, Engineering

A key element of the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards is the Inquiry Arc, in which students make and support a claim about an essential question in a social studies discipline. The Writing in U.S. History collection on PBS LearningMedia offers six interactive lessons that cover commonly taught topics in U.S. History, including: the Bill of Rights, the Louisiana Purchase, the Emancipation Proclamation, Imperialism and the Spanish-American War, Shaping the Postwar WWII World, and 1968.

Each lesson is structured around an essential question and three supporting questions, to guide students as they build their argument relevant to the topic area. The lessons weave together engaging illustrated video lectures from a young historian, Ben Weber, with primary source images and documents. Activities such as note taking, close reading, concept mapping, and outlining help students record and structure evidence as they plan for a final written assignment where they state and support their claim.

Teachers can assign the interactive lessons as self-paced, independent work that students complete and submit through PBS LearningMedia or Google Classroom. Each lesson is accompanied by a detailed set of teaching tips.


The collection was awarded a Gold Omni award in Education. A teacher attending a webinar soon after launch stated,

Great stuff to reenergize the way I will teach!

The Interactive Lessons have been viewed over 1.3M times.

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