Washington, DC History
Teaching with Historic Places has posted on the Web the following lesson plans based on sites in and around Washington, D.C. These lessons, based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, explore local landmarks that illustrate Washington's diverse history. The lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.
• Building of the C & O Canal (10)
Explore the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland, and decide why canal building was important during the National Period of the 1820s and 1830s. (National Park)
• Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross (27)
Follow Barton as a leader of charitable causes, from caring for the wounded on Civil War battlefields to founding the American Red Cross. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)
• Decatur House: A Home of the Rich and Powerful (19)
Inspect Commodore Stephen Decatur's home near the White House, a gathering place for the politically ambitious, and learn why the naval hero felt compelled to fight a fateful duel. (National Historic Landmark)
• Glen Echo Park: Center for Education and Recreation (24)
Trace the evolution of this Maryland site from a chapter of the Chautauqua movement, to an amusement park, to a national park. (National Park)
• "The Honor of Your Company is Requested": Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball at the Patent Office (143)
Attend President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural ball and explore how American citizens celebrate their leaders taking office. (National Historic Landmark)
• Lafayette Park: First Amendment Rights on the President’s Doorstep (139)
Learn how a group of determined women selected Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to demonstrate for their right to vote, providing a First Amendment model for many others. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)
• The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House: African American Women Unite for Change (135)
Learn about Mary McLeod Bethune and how she and the organization she founded promoted political and social change for African American Women. (National Park)
• President Lincoln's Cottage: A Retreat (138)
Explore President Abraham Lincoln’s life at a country retreat during summer months and examine the work he completed there on the Emancipation Proclamation.
(National Historic Landmark)
• The Washington Monument: Tribute in Stone (62)
Understand why George Washington was so revered during his lifetime and beyond, and learn why it took 100 years to complete this famous monument in his honor.
• Woodrow Wilson: Prophet of Peace (14)
Examine Wilson's struggle to achieve lasting world peace following World War I.
(National Historic Landmark)
To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, visit the Lesson Plan Descriptions page.