By Teachers, For Teachers

We understand that teachers are experts and know what works well in their classrooms with their students. Explore resources generated by teachers, for teachers; everything here is inspired by The Huntington's collections.

Lesson Plans

Ellesmere Chaucer

Illuminated Manuscripts: Textual and Visual Storytelling 
Grade range: 7–10
Time to complete lesson: 2–3 hours
Resources needed: student materials, blank paper, drawing or painting supplies (for each student)
Lesson includes: activities, vocabulary list, and student materials

Students will read and analyze an excerpt from The Canterbury Tales and look at and analyze the excerpt as it appears in an illuminated manuscript. Students will then create illuminated manuscripts for a piece of their creative writing.

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More about this lesson

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • People can use both text and visuals to tell stories
  • People often incorporate multiple modalities to convey meaning and create experiences for the story’s recipient

  • Stories are dynamic, and their meaning can change over time

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Read and interpret a pre-modern story
  • Discuss the ways in which illumination changes their interpretation of the story’s meaning

  • Identify the differences between their experience reading a story on its own and seeing the story with its visual components

Supported Standards

 

illustration titled Ferriage of the Platte

The Three Main Routes to California During the Gold Rush
Grade range: 4
Time to complete lesson: 1.5- 2 hours
Resources needed: Huntington primary source images and documents, Library of Congress source images and documents, chart paper or whiteboard, Library of Congress primary source analysis tool (provided)

Students will examine primary source documents relating to the three main routes to California. Students may write a journal entry from the perspective of a prospector or prospector's family member traveling to California during the Gold Rush era.

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More about this lesson

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • The three main routes to California and the difficulties and obstacles travelers may have faced on their journeys.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze various primary source images or written documents using an inquiry framework.
  • Work in teams to analyze and discuss a variety of images depicting the three main routes to California and discuss hardships and obstacles the travelers may have endured.
  • Write a journal entry from the perspective of a traveler making his or her way to California via one of the three routes.

Supported Standards

  • History-Social Science Content Standards 4.3.2: Compare how and why people traveled to California and the routes they traveled.

 

Waldseemuller Map 1507

A Perspective on North America
Grade range: 5 & 8 
Time to complete lesson: 40 min.
Resources needed: projector, Waldseemuller Map 1507, student copies of two Huntington maps, student copies of the Library of Congress Primary Source worksheet (two per student)

Students will collaborate with family members to identify a family heirloom that helps to tell the (hi)story of their family. Then, using photos of the object, labeled with gallery labels, a classroom museum is created.

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More about this lesson

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • That maps reveal the limits and biases of human understanding at the time.
  • The ways in which the international view of North America shifted as a result of the American Revolution.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze primary sources and use that knowledge to frame their study of events.

Supported Standards

  • History-Social Science Content Standards 5.2.4: Locate on the maps of North and South America land claimed by Spain, France, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Russia.
  • History-Social Science Content Standards 8.1.3: Analyze how the American Revolution affected other nations, especially France.

 

YC Hong holding his son Nowland

Family Story Gallery 
Grade range: K-12
Time to complete lesson: 2–3 class periods 
Resources needed: family interview questions, examples of family letters, photos and artifacts, a wall label handout

Students will read and analyze an excerpt from The Canterbury Tales and look at and analyze the excerpt as it appears in an illuminated manuscript. Students will then create illuminated manuscripts for a piece of their creative writing.

Download Lesson Plan

More about this lesson

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • How historians glean information from primary sources, as well as make interpretations based on artifacts.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Select, identify, label and explain a family heirloom that tells a story about their family history, and reflect on what information classmates gleaned from their artifact.

Supported Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, adn style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

 

 

YC Hong holding his son Nowland

What's in a Label?
Grade range: 3-5 
Time to complete lesson: 1-2 hours 
Resources needed: copies of artwork and labels, blank art labels, student artwork, chart paper

Students will inquire about and then write their own art gallery labels. This lesson is best done after a completed class art project.

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More about this lesson

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • What is included in an art gallery label and label text and what they mean.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • How to read and understand an art gallery label and label text.
  • How to write their own art gallery label and label text.

Supported Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

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