America in Class® Lessons are tailored to meet Common Core and state curriculum standards. The Lessons present challenging primary resources in a classroom-ready format, with background information and strategies that enable teachers and students to subject texts and images to analysis through close reading. Read more »
How can we read “To Build a Fire” as a cautionary tale about the exploitation of nature?
What does the scarlet A do for Hester Prynne?
Why did the United States believe it had a responsibility to engage the Soviet Union in a cold war, and why was that war a global conflict?
Why did President Thomas Jefferson negotiate the Louisiana Purchase?
As the Underground Railroad helped guide fugitive slaves to freedom, what dangers and challenges confronted the fugitives and supportive agents?
How did Thomas Jefferson use his first inaugural address to bridge the political divide generated by his election and redirect presidential policy?
What challenges faced the United States in 1789 as it sought to negotiate with the Creeks and other Native American nations of the Southeast?
What arguments, appeals, and rhetorical strategies did Patrick Henry use in 1775 to persuade reluctant members of the Second Virginia Convention to develop a military response to British aggression?
What arguments did Bartolome de Las Casas make in favor of more humane treatment of Native Americans as he exposed the atrocities of the Spanish conquistadors in Hispaniola?
Through his 1790 speech, how does Seneca Chief Cornplanter reflect the shifting political landscape Native Americans faced following the American Revolution?
What did John Winthrop mean when, in his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity,” he told his Puritan followers that their colony would be “as a city upon a hill”?
How did the aftermath of Shays’ Rebellion reflect the republican nature of the American government, especially the right to vote?
In To Kill a Mockingbird what does Atticus Finch’s relationship with the minor but important character Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose suggest about the quality of his moral vision?
In what ways did the arrival of Europeans to America bring about unforeseen and unintended consequences for the people and environments of both the New World and the Old?
How does Abigail Adams’s famous appeal to “Remember the Ladies” reflect the status of women in eighteenth-century America?
What doubts, concerns, and misgivings arose during the development of the Bill of Rights?
How did the Chinese in California confront anti-Chinese discrimination in the late 1800s?
What criticisms of representative democracy does Thoreau raise in “Civil Disobedience”?
In “The Birthmark” how does Nathaniel Hawthorne use symbolism to reveal the motivation of Aylmer, the story’s protagonist?
In his essay “Self-Reliance,” how does Ralph Waldo Emerson define individualism, and how, in his view, can it affect society?
How did Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense convince reluctant Americans to abandon the goal of reconciliation with Britain and accept that separation from Britain — independence — was the only option for preserving their liberty?
What qualities of citizen leadership did John Adams consider essential to sustain and nurture the new republic?
How does Benjamin Franklin’s satire of a witch trial argue that human affairs should be guided by reason?
What challenges, both rhetorical and diplomatic, did Secretary of State George Marshall face when, on June 5, 1947, he delivered his speech, calling for a massive aid program to restore the economies of Europe that had been ravaged by World War II?
What arguments and rhetorical strategies did Frederick Douglass use to persuade a northern, white audience to oppose slavery and favor abolition?
How did the debate over commercial radio reflect American attitudes toward technological change in the 1920s?
How did the airplane — with its marvel and mystery — symbolize modernism in the Twenties?
How did Americans define progress during the Progressive Era?
How did Progressive reforms affect the domestic lives of Americans?
How did the instant celebrity of Charles Lindbergh after his 1927 transatlantic flight reflect Americans’ values in the Twenties?
How did African Americans enslaved in the Confederacy undermine the Southern cause during the Civil War?
How did proponents of slavery in antebellum America defend it as a positive good?
REVISED AND UPDATED
How does women’s role in the campaign against alcohol consumption in antebellum America reflect the strengths and limitations of the cult of domesticity?
How did American Christians in the nineteenth century come to see slavery as something that needed to be abolished?
How did the character of American politics change between the 1820s and the 1850s as a result of growing popular participation?
How did the cult of domesticity oppress and empower women in the nineteenth century?
Why did some European attempts to establish colonies in the New World succeed while most failed?
How did the Battles of Lexington and Concord change the character of American resistance to British rule?
Why did some European attempts to establish colonies in the New World fail?
How did Europeans interpret the New World through some of their earliest visual depictions?
How did slavery shape the family life of the enslaved in the American South?
How did the American Revolution manifest itself as a civil war, turning neighbors into enemies?