These lessons plans were designed to help you bring The Constitution Happened Here into your classroom! Each lesson plan covers a step in the process of creating a video project about a person, event, or place in history. From an overview of the field of public history, through the research and writing phases, to the creation of a final project, these lesson plans will offer discussion ideas, handouts and helpful tips. Final video projects can be submitted for consideration to [email protected]. Accepted entries will be included on The Constitution Happened Here website for the world to see!

Course Introduction and Project Assignment Sheet

Course Introduction
Project Assignment Sheet

Lesson 1: What is Public History? 

This first lesson will introduce students to field of public history. Then, students will build their understanding through an interactive visual presentation followed by a short quiz. 

Lesson 1: What is Public History
What is Public History? (PowerPoint)

Lesson 2: Local Public History

Students will continue their investigation of the concept of public history by exploring local history. For homework, students will begin to investigate a site of public history, The President’s House, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Combined with the previous lesson, this assignment will provide the necessary background for the following lesson. 

Lesson 2: Local Public History

Lesson 3: Public History Issues and Controversies Case Study: The President’s House Site

Students will explore the construction of a public history site and how it can cause controversy. For homework, students will read about historical research.

Lesson 3: Public History Issues

Lesson 4: Doing Historical Research: Sources, Archives, and Historiography (Day 1)

This lesson highlights the differences between primary and secondary sources. Moreover, students will learn how to analyze primary sources using the Stripling Model of Inquiry. For homework, students investigate the intertextuality of primary sources in their own lives.

Lesson 4: Doing Historical Research Day 1
Source Workshop (PowerPoint)

Lesson 5: Doing Historical Research: Sources, Archives, and Research (Day 2)

Students will present their findings for the primary document research on their personal lives. Afterwards, students will practice using the Stripling Model of Inquiry and then begin the process of narrowing down their topics for the final project.

Lesson 5: Doing Historical Research Day 2

Lesson 6: Research Day 1

This lesson presents the steps needed to conduct historical research and resources that will help keep students organized. With their new research and analytical skills, students will focus on gathering and recording information on their topics.

Lesson 6: Research Day 1
Lesson 6: Annotated Biblography Rubic
Lesson 6: Organizing Your Evidence Handout

Lesson 7: Creating Historical Markers

Students will synthesize their research by creating historical markers, which will be presented to the class in the next lesson. There is a two-fold purpose for this lesson. One, creating a historical marker will help students summarize the most important information they have gathered about their topic; and two, students are illustrating their understanding of the fundamental components of public history.

Lesson 7: Creating Historical Markers

Lesson 8: Historical Marker Presentation

Students will present their historical markers to the class and receive feedback. To facilitate feedback and assesses students’ work, the class is taught a critique technique and the instructor refers to a presentation rubric. To prepare for the next lesson, students will learn to read and analyze a student-created audio script.

Lesson 8: Historical Marker Presentation

Lesson 9: Creating an Audio Script

Students will learn about the essential components of an audio script, analyze one together, and then begin writing their project scripts.

Lesson 9: Creating an Audio Script

Lesson 10: Creating a Visual Storyboard

This lesson focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to construct a visual storyboard and translate it to a full video/audio presentation. Students will begin storyboarding their topics as they continue to construct their audio scripts. 

Lesson 10: Creating a Visual Storyboard

Lesson 11: Research Day 2

Often in the scripting and storyboarding stages, students need to address gaps in their research such as gathering information and collecting primary sources. To help keep students on track and assess their work, they will  hand in an annotated bibliography before the start of the next lesson.

Lesson 11: Research Day 2

Lessons 12 and 13: Project Workshop Day 1 and Day 2

This lesson helps to facilitate a flexible workshop experience for students. At this point in the course, students have been tasked with creating an audio script, visual storyboard, and PowerPoint presentation. After each student presents their Power Point presentation and receives feedback, the class moves to workshop mode and begin working on their final projects.

Lesson 12: Project Workshop Day 1
Lesson 13: Project Workshop Day 2

Lesson 14: Final Projects Presentations

This final lesson has students presenting and evaluating their final projects.

Lesson 14: Final Project Presentation