Pivotal U.S. Elections is a high school-level curriculum from Humanities Texas that examines the political forces, issues, and consequences of critical presidential elections in U.S. history and their relevance to current conditions of our national life. Activities and lessons included in the curriculum emphasize reading, writing, and historical thinking skills.
This curriculum is developed from the content of Pivotal U.S. Elections: Then and Now, a series of public forums made possible by a Humanities in the Public Square grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The curriculum guide introduces teachers to the Pivotal U.S. Elections curriculum and related instructional materials.
Each of the eleven lesson plans focuses on one U.S. presidential election cycle and utilizes primary source analysis with a set of five primary sources for each election. Lessons address one essential historical question and are designed to be completed in a single 45– to 60–minute class period.
Lessons are designed to support the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) but are also widely relevant to Common Core standards. The correlation document ties each lesson to TEKS standards.
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This curriculum is possible with funding from the State of Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities.