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Teaching with Historic Places

Heritage Education Services

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.


To better understand the role of archeology in learning history, Teaching with Historic Places posted on the web the following complete lesson plans. Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

Enduring Awatovi: Uncovering Hopi Life and Work on the Mesa (156)
Learn about traditional Hopi culture and farming at Awatovi, a historic pueblo where enduring Hopi traditions and American archeological research reveal much about this important place.

At a Crossroads: The King of Prussia Inn (119)
Learn how transportation routes affected a local inn, how archeology revealed the inn's use over time, and how preservation efforts saved the historic site from suburban sprawl.

"Comfortable Camps?" Archeology of the Confederate Guard Camp at the Florence Stockade (142)
Learn about the life of the Confederate guards at the Florence Stockade Civil War prison camp and discover how archeology revealed much of this information.

Digging into the Colonial Past: Archeology and the 16th-Century Spanish Settlements at Charlesfort-Santa Elena (155)
Discover the site of a 16th-century Spanish town that was founded before Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth, and learn how archeology uncovered the story of Santa Elena. (National Historic Landmark)

Frederica: An 18th-Century Planned Community (31)
Discover why this British settlement was built and how it functioned as Great Britain and Spain each struggled to control land from Charleston to St. Augustine. (National Park)

Gran Quivira: A Blending of Cultures in a Pueblo Indian Village (66)
Examine the changing lifeways of the inhabitants of this village from the 7th century to the arrival of the Spanish in the early 17th century. (National Park)

Johnson Lake Mine: Mining for Tungsten in Nevada’s Snake Range (110)
Explore both how tungsten was mined and used at the turn of the 20th century and also how archeologists piece the past together from artifacts and other archeological evidence. (National Park)

Knife River: Early Village Life on the Plains (1)
Discover the complex culture and trading economy of the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes in North Dakota during the 18th century, as seen by anthropologists and artists. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Mammoth Cave: Its Explorers, Miners, Archeologists, and Visitors (35)
Tour the world's longest cave, a geological wonder, and assess the ways it has been used and preserved as a historic resource. (National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

New Philadelphia: A Multiracial Town on the Illinois Frontier (130)
Learn about Free Frank McWorter and how archeology can help tell the story of the interracial town he founded in the years before the Civil War.

Saugus Iron Works: Life and Work at an Early American Industrial Site (30)
Unearth the remains of colonial America's first fully integrated ironworks, and consider what reconstruction of the site reveals about daily life for some early European settlers. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Spanish Treasure Fleets of 1715 and 1733: Disasters Strike at Sea (129)
Learn how Spain established a New World empire based on collecting precious metals and goods from the Americas.
La versión en español Las flotas españolas de 1715 y 1733: Desastres en el mar

Tonto National Monument: Saving a National Treasure (125)
Learn about one of the nation’s most important conservation laws--the Antiquities Act of 1906--and how its passage preserved important cultural sites such as Tonto National Monument, which preserves remnants of the Salado culture prior to European contact. (National Park)

Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant at White Haven Farm: The Missouri Compromise in American Life (154)
Discover the personal experiences of Americans in a nation divided politically on the issue of slavery through the early life of Ulysses S. Grant, who lived on a Missouri farm with his wife Julia Dent Grant and her slave-holding family in the 1850s. (National Park)

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