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Lesson plan Levels:
Elementary
Middle
High

View a SAMPLE Elem/Mid LESSON and PRESENTATION by a Teacher Using AHEF Resource:

"I am sending only one example of the Framers our students portrayed.  However, our choices were George Washington, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Franklin, Edmund Randolph, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Mason, and William Patterson."
Beth M.,
Elem. Teacher

"Meet the Framers" Lesson on the American Founders plus some American Heritage Recipes
(PDF)


"Meet the Framers" Slide Presentation
Powerpoint (PPT)

Declarationcommittee15%

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America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty
K-12 Teacher Lesson Plan Resource
$150.00 value!
Order Lesson Plan CD (FREE) (Includes all 3 volumes)
Order Printed Binders ($24.50 per volume)

America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty is a tested lesson plan resource and supplement for Kindergarten-12th grade teachers of social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, political science, economics, geography, speech, and/or related subjects.  Written by fellow teachers, the resource consists of age-appropriate and modifiable lesson plans grouped into three separate books according to level:  elementary, middle, and high school.  Each elementary school lesson plan correlates practically with the nationally applicable Core Knowledge Skills (grades K-6) (national edition).  Each middle and high school lesson plan correlates with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) standards (national edition).  All lessons emphasize one or more themes of freedom, unity, progress, and responsibility.  The resource aims not simply to present historical facts but to provide opportunities for students to

"The art project on the Declaration of Independence was so popular with my classes that I modified and repeated it with the Constitution.  The cut-up strips along the wall in the picture are the Constitution."
Photo by Beth M., Teacher, Elem/Mid School

explore and understand the factual and philosophical significance and meaning behind events, causes, and effects—the whys—relating to and influencing the early history of the United States.

Each resource book includes an introductory essay regarding the curriculum rationale, lesson plans to specifically consider the American heritage themes, and activities in which students assess and analyze their own identities as Americans.  The elementary school lesson plans include lessons about the colonists' experience under monarchy; the context for the writing of the Declaration of Independence; the creation of important American symbols, songs, and holidays; and the character traits modeled by great national leaders and presidents.  The middle school lesson plans include lessons focusing on concepts within the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and other important texts and American symbols as well as the ideals for which many fought and sacrificed their lives.  The high school lesson plans include lessons for in-depth analysis and understanding of the ideas, intentions, arguments, rights, and meanings addressed in significant texts from the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence to Federalist 47, the First Amendment, and a government letter on religious expression in public schools.  A brief summary of each lesson plan can be found at the appropriate grade-level links.

America's Heritage has been evaluated in a study for performance results of students of eighth-grade social studies as indicated by the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), a test measuring American history objectives taught by schools around the nation.  Consistent with the goals of AHEF, the study showed a positive learning difference based on TAAS results with regard to historical concepts and information in students whose teachers used America's Heritage.  These findings demonstrate the value for teachers in using the resource to increase student performance as measured on the TAAS.

2nd Assessment (2003)
Student Performance Results of Teachers Trained In and Using
America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty

An evaluation of student performance was made with data from the Spring 2003 administration of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) comparing performance of students of teachers trained in and using America's Heritage with students of teachers who have not had training in or used this resource.  There was a statistically significant difference for the experimental subgroup of Hispanics on the objective Economic and Social Influences in U. S. History on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS).  The study indicates that Hispanic students whose teachers were trained in and used the resource increased in performance in the objective Economic and Social Influences in U. S. History on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS).  This finding is important for schools and teachers seeking to reduce the achievement gap between Hispanics and other ethnic groups, with Hispanics being the fastest growing sub-population in the United States.
See 2nd Resource Evaluation Study

1st Assessment (2002)
Student Performance Results of Teachers Using
America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty

America's Heritage was evaluated for 2002 performance results of students of 8th-grade social studies as indicated by the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), a test measuring American history objectives taught by schools around the nation.  Consistent with the goals of AHEF, the study shows that students whose teachers use America's Heritage increase in performance in social studies historical concepts and information as measured on the TAAS. These findings demonstrate the value for teachers in using the resource to increase student performance.
See 1st Resource Evaluation Study.

In 1995, the Texas Legislature directed the State Board of Education to implement the following law:

    The State Board of Education and each school district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas History and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter and in the reading courses and in the adoption of textbooks. A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.
    Texas Education Code 28.002(h)

In support of the Texas Education Code, America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty was developed by the American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. (AHEF) in cooperation with the Houston Independent School District and the McNair Foundation.  It was first published in the spring of 1996 as a lesson plan resource for middle school teachers. In 1998, work began on K-12 lesson plan material which was published in 1999.  A revised edition was published in 2001 and 2003 and is updated regularly.  It is distributed and currently used in school districts nationwide.  It can be freely downloaded at the links below and/or ordered in CD or binder format.  An updated 2007 edition as well as an elementary Spanish edition are currently available.

The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. (AHEF) is a non-profit (501.c.3) corporation dedicated to the understanding and teaching of our nation's factual and philosophical heritage to promote freedom, unity, progress, and responsibility among our students and citizens. AHEF has provided these materials to help students become thoughtful, active, and productive citizens.
 

(All files are in .pdf format.  Adobe Acrobat is needed to view these files.)



What Teachers Say About AHEF Resources

Feedback about the materials, presentations, and presenter was obtained from classroom teachers and other education professionals who attended American Heritage workshops and conference sessions. Comments are taken from actual feedback forms. Email or mail us your feedback.

About our MATERIAL

  • "This topic (American Heritage) is conspicuously lacking in so much of public education today. Keep up your efforts."
  • "I plan to incorporate more citizenship into my American History class. These methods were interesting and enjoyable. The lessons were about things that are interesting, left out of textbooks, and important. The methods were concise and appealing."
  • "The American Heritage Education Foundation has provided materials to help students become thoughtful, active and productive citizens."
  • "Provided wonderful classroom materials to help give students a sense of what it means to be an American and to understand our history and our heritage.  Great presentation; very practical."

    "Your lesson helped to educate not just the 8th grade but the entire Elementary/Middle School.  'Independence Hall' is the path by which students enter the building every morning.  The little ones stood daily and admired the art work.  The older students read the biographies.  Thanks so much."
    Photo by Beth M., Teacher, Elem/Middle School

  • "We came away with some good teacher tested materials for introducing American liberty and democracy into American history classes with the use of symbols and documents not many times found in the textbooks."
  • "We came away with some good teacher tested materials for introducing American liberty and democracy into American history classes with the use of symbols and documents not many times found in the textbooks."
  • " . . . workbook has a much needed emphasis on traditional American philosophy in classroom-ready format."
  • "The materials given out are both helpful and necessary since we do not receive this info in textbooks. Very practical."
  • "Fantastic! Actual materials and ideas I ca n use in my classroom!"
  • "...Wonderful handouts....  The best...in the entire seminar."
  • The notebook contains practical activities which can be modified for various subjects.
  • "Sensational seminar-to-classroom material!"
  • "Good information for teachers! We need this!"
  • "The resources will be helpful.  I didn't know we had a creed.  My students will benefit from some of the details about our heritage. Thanks."
  • "Very easy to follow, step by step - very creative ideas."
  • "This was an easy-to-follow set of lesson plans that was age-appropriate."
  • "The art project on the Declaration of Independence was so popular with my classes that I modified it and repeated it with the Constitution."
    "Your lesson helped to educate not just the 8th grade but the entire Elementary/Middle School.  'Independence Hall' is the path by which students enter the building every morning.  The little ones stood daily and admired the art work.  The older students read the biographies. 
    Thanks so much."

About the VERSATILITY of our material

  • "Even though I teach fourth grade, I see a lot of material I can revise and use. . . Thank You!"
  • "I will use lesson plans in 5th grade American History classes."
  • "Materials are useful across a broad spectrum of grades."
  • "Materials readily adaptable to all levels."
  • "Not limited."
  • "We look forward to using your lesson in our 8th-grade American History class beginning in the fall."
  • "Excellent materials - introduced ways to adapt the lessons - adaptability for all ages."
  • "We are a family of 9 and our 3 oldest are currently in college....  The next children are young men ages 16, 14, and 9.  I greatly appreciate the opportunity to give the kids the truth about America and believe it is the only way we can preserve her future."

About the PRESENTATIONS and the PRESENTER

  • "Most organized and well presented workshop in a long time!"
  • "Enjoyable presentation, a very relaxed atmosphere"
  • "Great presentation, lots of enthusiasm..."
  • "Excellent presentation of materials and lesson plans with detailed explanations. Very useful."
  • "The material is exciting and presented well."
  • "Steve is very articulate and enthusiastic . . ."
  • "One of the most helpful presentations. His workbook is terrific. What a tremendous educator."
  • "Outstanding material, devoted a tremendous amount of individual effort to produce outstanding classroom materials. A very committed public educator, whose dedication shows!"
  • "Excellent presentation – dynamic speaker - something concrete to offer teachers"
  • "This workshop was very worthwhile because it presented different teaching strategies."
  • "Very informative!  ...I am so glad that I attended this session. He understands the classroom because he is a middle school teacher himself."
  • "Well organized - much info to share"
  • "Excellent in all respects! Great presenter; great material and topic"
  • "My battery needed recharging! Great job – Thanks!"

    See Partnerships for awards and more responses on AHEF projects.

 

America's Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty
Lesson Plan Resource Response

Please write or e-mail AHEF a letter!

AHEF wants to learn about your experiences using America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty!  Your feedback is crucially important.  It helps us support and assess our work as well as continue to make resources available to teachers at no cost.  Please submit responses via mail, online response form below, printed response form (MS Word), or email at ahef@americanheritage.org.  Thank you for your support!

Mail letters or forms to:
AHEF
3501 W. Alabama, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77027-6035


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