U.S. History

Surveying the history of the United States from the pre-revolutionary era to today, the U.S. History Series from the Choices Program features frequently untold perspectives about the nation’s significant events and turning points. Units on the American Revolution, the founding of the new nation, and westward expansion tell the stories of the country’s earliest years, while the Civil War, civil rights, and the Cuban missile crisis units address critical moments in the nation’s development. The invasion of Iraq, immigration, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and the U.S. role in the world units probe controversial topics and help students to understand the relationship between history and current issues.

Racial Slavery

Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies

This unit provides a wide-ranging overview of racial slavery in the Americas and the opportunity for students to consider how the past shapes the present.
American Revolution

The American Revolution: Experiences of Rebellion

Students consider the perspectives of various stakeholders—colonists, enslaved Africans, and native peoples—and explore the factors that led to rebellion, war, and the independence of the U.S.
New Nation

We the People:
A New Nation

Rather than taking the usual approach of learning history from only the perspective of the elite political leaders, students consider the opportunities, hardships, aspirations, and questions facing people across society in the United States in its earliest years—from 1783-1830.
Westward Expansion

Westward Expansion:
A New History

Students explore the transformation of North America in the nineteenth century and probe this complicated and violent history, considering the major events and policies that accompanied U.S. growth and the effects at a local level.
Civil War

The Civil War and the Meaning of Liberty

Students probe the history of the United States from 1830 to 1865. Using primary sources, readings, and lessons, students consider the experiences of people in the United States as well as the issues driving the political confrontation over slavery and the meaning of liberty.

Between World Wars: FDR and the Age of Isolationism

Students examine the events in the United States and overseas in the early years of World War II and then recreate the great debate that took place in the United States over the Lend-Lease Act.
Japanese American Incarceration

Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

In this FREE unit, students examine U.S.-Japanese relations before World War II, experiences of incarcerated Japanese Americans, and ways the Japanese American community and others in the U.S. have remembered incarceration.
Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering Its Place in Cold War History

Students probe the complex relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, and examine the crisis that brought the world to the brink of war. The unit incorporates groundbreaking research on the Cuban missile crisis.
Civil Rights

Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

Students trace the history of the black freedom struggle from Reconstruction through the 1960s. Readings and activities focus on the grass-roots movement to achieve civil rights for African Americans.
Fog of War

Teacher's Guide for The Fog of War

A series of lesson plans to accompany Errol Morris' Academy Award winning full-length documentary, which examines issues of war and peace in the twentieth century through the lens of one of the century’s pivotal figures, Robert McNamara.

A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Readings and activities explore the history of Iraq, help students understand events surrounding the U.S.-led invasion, and examine the effects of the war on Iraq, the United States, and the international community.

Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate

Students explore the history of immigration to the United States and current U.S. immigration policy in the Trump era as they consider the complexities of U.S. immigration policy and prepare to articulate their own views about this issue.

Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy

Students consider the changing nature of terrorism, the motivations of terrorists, and the policy challenges for the United States.
U.S. Role in the World

The U.S. Role in a Changing World

Students identify global issues, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves the role the United States should play in the world as they consider the array of economic, political, and social transformations taking place both at home and abroad.
Nuclear Weapons

The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons

Students probe the history of nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence. They examine arguments for and against nuclear weapons, and the challenges of leftover Cold War arsenals, proliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.
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