Teaching American History: Mendocino County Office of Education: 2010-2014

http: http://tah.mcoe.us/

The Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties Teaching American History Project (TAH MLS) is part of a nationwide Teaching American History federal grant program funded through the U.S. Department of Education. In August 2010, MCOE was awarded funding for the second Teaching American History project through the United States Department of Education.

The Teaching American History (TAH) project is designed to develop and deliver a five-year program of quality professional development for two separate cohorts in the content and teaching of traditional U.S. History targeted at 4th and 5th grade teachers.


The project goals are to provide training and opportunities for project participants to acquire understanding and expertise in effectively developing standards-based American History lessons. Other project goals: (1) to increase traditional American History content knowledge; (2) to improve the quality of curriculum and instruction of traditional American History as a separate academic subject; and (3) to improve student knowledge and understanding of American History.

Program strands:

  1. Interweaving content, pedagogy, and historical thinking.
  2. Integrating history/literacy and developing historical habits of mind.
  3. Identifying appropriate assessment tools and applicable teaching processes.
  4. Setting benchmarks and performance indicators for teachers and students.
  5. Identifying standards, texts, books, articles, and materials to be used.
  6. How to observe peers and give feedback.
  7. Advocating for increased instructional time.

Topics and Texts

Theme: Teaching Early American History: Cultures, Communities, and the Creation of the American Republic

2010-2011 American Frontiers -Colin Calloway, New Worlds for All; Fred Anderson: Crucible of War. Excerpts: Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative Life of Olaudah Equiano; Andres Resendez, A Land So Strange: The epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca.

2011-2012 Colonial Communities and Institutions: Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus; David Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown; Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War

2012-2013 Creation of the American Republic (with study trip to Boston & Philadelphia): Ray Raphael, A People’s History of the American Revolution; Christopher and James Collier, Decision in Philadelphia; Carol Berkin: Revolutionary Mothers