TEL Lesson Plan
What Am I? Significant Events in United States History

Grade Level: 9 - 12
Subject: Social Studies: United States History
Time Frame: 2 - 3 classroom sessions


In pairs, students will explore and discuss events in United States History and come up with an event of interest to them both. After the librarian reviews the TEL databases, searching, and the citing features of each, each student will locate and read four articles from a TEL database. Each will summarize and cite the articles in a standard citation format (MLA, APA). As a pair, the students will plan and make a two- to three-minute presentation describing the event without naming it; their classmates will guess what the event is.

Databases/Other Resources

Academic OneFile, Gale PowerSearch, Gale Virtual Reference Library, General OneFile, U.S. History Collection


The teacher will describe the plan ("Summary of Lesson" above). Once paired, students will be given time to discuss and agree on an event of interest to both. A librarian will review the locations and descriptions of the TEL databases, subject and keyword searchers, and the citing features of the TEL databases. On their own time, each student will read, summarize, and cite four articles related to their chosen topics. Each pair will plan and and make a two- to three-minute presentation describing the event without naming it; their classmates will guess what the event is.


Steps for Teacher

Steps for Librarian

Steps for Student

Related Activities



Content Standards

Eras 6 - 10 share parallel Standards

Standard Number 1.0: Culture

Standard Number 2.0: Economics

Standard Number 3.0: Geography

Standard Number 4.0: Governance and Civics

Standard Number 5.0: History

Standard Number 6.0: Individuals Groups and Interactions


Learning Expectations/Grade Level Expectations

United States History--Eras 6-10--Standards 1-6

Related relevant Learning Expectations include:

Era 6, Standard 1: Understand how the influx of immigrants after 1880 affected United States’ culture.

Era 6: Standard 2: Investigate how the modernization of agriculture and capitalist industrial development affected the economy of the United States.

Era 6, Standard 4: Understand the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the United States politics.

Era 7, Standard 2: Recognize how industrialization of World War I changed the United States economy.

Era 7, Standard 5: Understand the causes for WWI and the reasons for America’s entry into the war.

Era 7, Standard 6: Understand the moral, social, and cultural changes that occurred in the 1920s.

Era 8, Standard 1: Understand the effect of the Great Depression upon American society.

Era 9, Standard 1: Investigate the impact of the GI Bill of Rights on American society.

Era 9: Standard 4: Understand the causes, course, and impact of the Civil Rights Movement.

Era 9, Standard 5: Understand the causes, course, and effects of the Cold War.

Era 9, Standard 6: Understand how the "baby boom," suburbanization, desegregation, and other social movements affected American society.

Era 10, Standard 1: Recognize how the scientific and technological advances of the computer age influenced American culture.

Era 10, Standard 4: Investigate the impact of political turmoil on American attitudes toward governance since 1968.

Era 10, Standard 6: Understand the causes, the course, and the effects of the Vietnam War at home and abroad.

Performance Indicators State

United States History--Eras 6-10--Standards 1-6

Related relevant Performance Indicators include:

6.5 Distinguish the differences in assimilation of "old" vs. "new" immigration (i.e., languages, settlement patterns, education, employment, housing, Nativist reaction, religion, geographic origin).

6.7 Recognize technological and industrial advancements to the era (i.e., advancements in mining, farming or ranching).

7.4 Identify the causes of American involvement in World War I (i.e., security concerns, economic benefits, Wilsonian diplomacy, propaganda).

7.5 Recognize the new trends, ideas, and innovations of the 1920's popular culture (i.e., radio, automobile, phonograph, Prohibition, birth control, organized crime, sports).

8.4 Identify the changes in social and cultural life caused by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl (i.e., Hoovervilles, Bonus Army, migrations, worldwide economic depression, Democrat victory in 1932, widespread poverty, unemployment, religious revivalism).

8.8 Analyze how World War II affected the American economy (i.e., women in the workforce, movement to urban centers, minority employment, post war G.I.Bill, rationing, childcare).

9.8 Identify significant events in the struggle for Civil Rights (i.e. integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, the Clinton 12 and Governor Clement’s actions, Little Rock Central High, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Riders’ route, Birmingham bombings, Nashville lunch counters, Martin Luther King's March on Washington speech, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Civil Rights Act of 1968, Escobedo v. Illinois, Great Society).

9.6 Recognize domestic impact of the Cold War on American society (i.e., McCarthyism, fear, conformity, counterculture, generation gap, highway system, consumerism).

9.13 Evaluate socio-economic impact of the post World War II Baby Boomer generation (i.e., media, entertainment, sports, suburbia, education, and counterculture).

10.1 Match innovators or entrepreneurs in the "new economy" (i.e., Sam Walton, Michael Dell, Ray Kroc, Lee Iococca, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos).

10.2 Recognize the roles of the key figures of Watergate (i.e., administration, investigators, media).

10.3 Use a timeline to identify America's interest and participation in Southeast Asia since World War II.


The teacher will check the summaries for quality and plagiarism issues, review the citations for accuracy, and judge the content and delivery of the two- to three-minute presentations.

ISTE Computer Literacy and Usage Standards

1. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

3. Research and Information Fluency

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

5. Digital Citizenship


AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

1.Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.