Resource of the Week: Investigating U.S. History

Resource:       Investigating U.S. History

Provider:        The City University of New York


Review by:      Amanda Gutierrez

Investigating U.S. History was a project funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the Chancellor’s Office of the City University of New York (CUNY). This website began as a collaborative project among faculty members from all across City University of New York campuses. Faculty members from CUNY made a joint effort in developing and testing interactive multimedia learning modules for introductory college U.S. history survey courses. Investigating U.S. History features a wide variety of material for the educators to access lesson modules, instructional guidelines, archival resources, as well as, primary and secondary sources. In addition, this teaching resource website includes twelve multimedia modules, which were effectively tested and put into practice in over thirty history classrooms throughout the City University of New York. The content of these twelve multimedia modules features interesting lesson plans ranging from the 18th century colonies of Virginia and Chesapeake to the political climate and issues surrounding the 1960s.

Each lesson module is broken down for the educator to access by providing a general overview of the lesson, followed by the background information, and a detailed and structured outline of the lesson plan. Multimedia modules in this website feature different interactive media, writing exercises, historical resources and archives, and access to a variety of primary and secondary for both students and teachers. Many of the activities featured in each of the modules gives students tools to interrogate evidence from a variety of sources, find historical evidence to support an argument, and how critically examine different historical perspectives.

The classroom exercises and instructional activities also offer helpful instructor’s annotations to guide the educator on the main objectives for the classroom reading exercises, classroom discussions and debates, and overall organization of the lesson plan. This is a great feature because it helps the teacher with an organized methodology to help students develop their historical thinking skills, reading, and writing. This website also develops scaffolding for student learning that allows student to deconstruct provisional questions for historical inquiry and analysis, to challenge new sources with evidence, and learn the process of historical reasoning.

See our Archive of Past Resources of the Week.

Reviews of teaching resources are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement by the Center for History Teaching & Learning, the UTEP History Department, or the University of Texas at El Paso. Reviews are published during the academic year.

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