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Classroom Activities

These classroom activities were developed in collaboration between primary and secondary teachers, OSU faculty and Ohio Historical Society public historians. The lessons integrate a variety of primary sources that can be used in classrooms with various degrees of available technology.

There are a variety of activities here. Some will take an entire class period or more. Others are short exercises that can be easily integrated into existing lessons and provide teachers with the opportunity to illustrate history through the use of primary material.

All the activities promote historical inquiry and analysis and they are flexible so as to be helpful to a range of age and developmental groups. They can be used immediately by downloading or printing the material provided.

Click on the titles below to access various lesson plans.

Adena & Hopewell Cultures: Artifact Analysis

Cahokia & Mississippian Native Culture

Native American Cultures

An Exchange of Cultures: Interactions between Native Americans and Others in the Ohio Country

Trade Silver: Analyzing Trade Goods Desired by Native Americans

Christopher Columbus: Friend or Foe?

Cold Case: The Lost Colony

John Winthrop and the Puritans

From Seed to Shirt and Beyond: The Linen Industry from Colonial Times to the Industrial Revolution

The American Revolution  (multiple lessons arranged by grade level)

Shay's Rebellion

Debating the Constitution

The Constitution: A Second Grade Lesson

Students and the Supreme Court

Diarists on the Ohio Frontier

The Lewis and Clark Expedition (multiple lessons arranged by grade level)

Transportation: The Progression of Transportation in Ohio and the West

Western Expansion (multiple lessons arranged by grade level)

The African Slave Trade (multiple lessons arranged by grade level)

The Daily Life of Slaves

American Immigration in the 1800s

Irish Immigration to the United States

The Ohio and Erie Canal

Canals: Getting Goods to Market

Transporting Goods to Market: The Old Port Washington Road

Canal Versus National Road

The Underground Railroad in Ohio

The Underground Railroad and the Fugitive Slave Act

Child Labor:  Through their Eyes


Spiral Questions Format

Document Analysis Worksheet

Document Analysis Worksheet for Primary Grades

Photograph Analysis Worksheet

Image Analysis Worksheet

Editorial Cartoon Analysis Worksheet

Artifact Analysis Worksheet

Artifact Analysis Worksheet 2

Venn Diagram


Latest News!

The Connecting to the Past Quilt

Remember making a history-themed quilt square at the Orientation? Molly has put them all together and taken a picture.

Following the links: