America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty
America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty is a performance-tested teacher lesson plan resource developed by the McNair Foundation, Houston ISD, and AHEF to strengthen K-12 education in the founding documents, institutions, history, and principles of the United States of America. The resource aims to provide teachers and students with opportunities to explore and understand the meaning and significance of events, causes, and effects–the whys–relating to and influencing early American history and its founding, governing principles. All lessons emphasize one or more AHEF themes of Free, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility (FUPR) and provide students with opportunities to assess and examine their identities as Americans.
Written by and for teachers of social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, political science, civics, geography, economics, and related subjects, this supplemental resource consists of ready-to-use, modifiable lessons and learning activities in three volumes–elementary, middle, and high school level. Elementary (K-5) lessons correlate with the national Core Knowledge Skills. Middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) lessons correlate with the standards and objectives of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). As a supplemental program and resource, Adventure in Liberty may be used within any curriculum, school, or district to help teachers and homeschooling parents improve student learning, performance, and enrichment in these subjects. It requires no teacher training.
Adventure in Liberty has been tested and shown to improve student performance in history and social studies. (1) In 2002, the resource was evaluated for student performance results in a study of 8th-grade social studies students based on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), a test measuring American History objectives taught by schools across the nation. The study showed that students whose teachers use Adventure in Liberty increase in performance in Social Studies Historical Concepts and Information. These findings demonstrate the value of this resource to increase student performance in related social studies subjects. (See 1st Resource Evaluation Study.) (2) In 2003, a second study was conducted to compare student performance on the TAAS between students whose teachers did use Adventure in Liberty and students whose teachers did not use the resource. Among students whose teachers used the resource, Hispanic students, in particular, improved in performance on the TAAS in U. S. History Economic and Social Influences. These findings demonstrate the value of the resource to reduce the achievement gap between Hispanics and other ethnic groups. Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States. (See 2nd Resource Evaluation Study.)
K-12 teachers, administrators, and homeschoolers as well as AHEF partners offer high praises and endorsements for Adventure in Liberty . See AHEF Endorsements (PDF). See also What Teachers & Homeschoolers Say About AHEF Resources (PDF).
AHEF, in partnership with other community service organizations including the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), have distributedover 105,000 copies of Adventure in Liberty to teachers and homeschoolers in public, private, and home schools nationwide as well as to individuals, churches, civic groups, and other organizations. AHEF and teachers have reached over 1.6 millon students in the nation and world with Adventure in Liberty ! A national leader! Resource use and distribution continues to increase. Yet this number is only about 6% of all students in the United States studying American history. Currently, AHEF is working to expand its programs and to develop resources to include college-level students.
A $150.00 value, Adventure in Liberty is available free of charge as a download on the AHEF website to teachers/homeschoolers for educational purposes. Interested persons can go to www.americanheritage.org, sign up, and log on to activate the “Resources” tab. Click on the “Resources” tab to access Adventure in Liberty lesson plans and other resources. Adventure in Liberty may also be purchased by volume in a printed binder format (see “Bookstore”).