About AIC Lessons

America in Class® Lessons introduce teachers to fresh primary resources plus background information and discussion strategies to integrate them into classroom teaching.

America in Class® Lessons and the Common Core State Standards

America in Class® Lessons have been developed in accordance with the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history and social studies. The standards focus on the close reading of texts and aim at teaching specific analytical skills such as:

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  • identifying and evaluating textual evidence,
  • determining central ideas,
  • understanding the meanings of words,
  • comprehending the structure of a text,
  • recognizing an author’s point of view, and
  • interpreting content presented in diverse media, including visual images.

The National Humanities Center and the scholars who have created these Lessons have carefully chosen texts and images that will stand up to and repay close analysis. Moreover, they have crafted discussion questions aimed at giving students practice in the analytical skills called for in the Standards.

Each AIC Lesson is built around a framing question, an essential understanding, and a single primary resource or a small manageable set of resources. A background note illuminates and contextualizes the material, and another note offers teaching ideas. Each Lesson culminates with key passages and analytical questions through which teachers can lead students to the essential understanding. Some Lessons provide an optional follow-up assessment. Lessons with the icon include interactive student exercises. AIC Lessons are web-based and optimized for mobile devices.

For permission requests, please contact Andy Mink, Vice President for Education Programs.