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Teaching with Historic Places

Heritage Education Services Program

Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Teaching with Historic Places has posted on the web the following lesson plans featuring United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites. World Heritage designation is for places on earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must meet certain criteria. The resulting prestige of being listed often helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation. For more information about the criteria and UNESCO, please visit UNESCO World Heritage website. The sites featured in these lessons are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

Forts of Old San Juan: Guardians of the Caribbean (60)
Discover how Spanish fortifications on the island of Puerto Rico helped protect Spain's expanding interests in the New World. The forts represent a fine display of European military architecture adapted to harbour sites on the American continent. (Puerto Rico-National Park/National Historic Landmark/UNESCO World Heritage Site)
La versión en español Los Castillos del Viejo San Juan: Guardianes del Caribe

Going-to-the-Sun Road: A Model of Landscape Engineering (95)
Learn about some of the practical problems of constructing roads in difficult terrain, with the added challenge of building in such a way as to enhance, rather than damage, the beautiful and fragile natural landscape of Glacier National Park. In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada) was combined with the Glacier National Park (Montana, United States) to form the world's first International Peace Park. Situated on the border between the two countries and offering outstanding scenery, the park is exceptionally rich in plant and mammal species as well as prairie, forest, and alpine and glacial features. (Montana-National Park/National Historic Landmark/Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Independence Hall: International Symbol of Freedom (132)
Learn about Independence Hall and about how the international influence of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution led to the designation of the building in which they were adopted as a World Heritage Site. (Pennsylvania-National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Mammoth Cave: Its Explorers, Miners, Archeologists, and Visitors (35)
Tour the world's largest network of natural caves and underground passageways. This geological wonder is home to a varied flora and fauna, including a number of endangered species. (Kentucky-National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Thomas Jefferson's Plan for the University of Virginia: Lessons from the Lawn (92)
Learn about the multifaceted intellect of Thomas Jefferson and how he fused his abilities as an architect, educational and political theorist, and politician to create a revolutionary new setting for higher education in the new American republic. Jefferson's use of an architectural vocabulary based upon classical antiquity symbolizes both the aspirations of the new American republic as the inheritor of European tradition and the cultural experimentation that could be expected as the country matured. (Virginia-National Historic Landmark/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

For more information about World Heritage Sites in the United States, please visit the NPS Office of International Affairs webpage on the World Heritage Convention.

To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, visit the Lesson Plan Descriptions page.