This list includes lessons created by teachers in our programs as well as in collaboration with UCBHSSP staff and graduate students. Search the database for lessons aligned to the appropriate grade level standards.

Grade Lesson Topic Focus Question/Lesson Description Lesson File Includes Primary Sources? CA Unit Content Standard

Struggles for Justice: Rigged Monopoly

Focus Questions: How can society address economic inequities created during slavery and that continued to the present following the federal abandonment of Reconstruction policies? This is an example focus question of how this variation of Monopoly can be embedded into history-social science curriculum. Link to lesson and student handouts. Download No

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Fireside Chat "On the Bank Crisis" 

In his first fireside chat speech, how did FDR describe the role of the federal government in response to the bank crisis? This lesson includes passage level analysis and practice. Download Yes

What the Spanish Brought

How was the culture and economy of the California Indians changed through the Spanish introduction of new farming and agricultural methods? This lesson includes visual art analysis, a cause and effect chart, and basic essay analysis. Download Yes


How did Islam develop? Mohammed’s life, tenets of Islam, unification of Medina and Mecca (Arabia). This lesson includes information selection strategies and writing comparisons. Download Yes

Understanding Genocide: The Khmer Rouge

How can oral history help us understand/shed light on the lived experience of broad-scale traumatic events? Download Yes 10.10

The Igbo Women’s War

How do the particular experiences of people, based on their identity or role in society, influence how they respond to events? Download Yes 10.4

Religion Unbound: Evolving Identities in India

How was British colonial rule responsible for the partition of the Indian subcontinent into the post-colonial states of India and Pakistan? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, primary source analysis, and understanding perspective and change. Download Yes 10.4

Age of Empire (Israel and Palestine History)

What led European Jews to seek a potential homeland outside of Europe in the 19th century? This lesson includes political cartoon and primary source analysis charts, in-text reading responses, and writing frames. Download Yes 10.4

Rise of Nationalism (Israel and Palestine History)

How did the post-war treaties impact claims to the land in Palestine? This lesson includes primary source analysis, sentence deconstruction, Headings and Highlights, cause and effect chart, and framed paragraphs. Download Yes 10.6

Historiography and Revolution

How have historians’ interpretations of the Russian Revolution changed over time? Download Yes 10.7
World War II: Civilians at War – Displaced Children
How did life change for children displaced by the Holocaust? Download Yes 10.8

Revolutionary Ideas: Communism in Eastern Europe

How did Eastern Europeans' thoughts about communism evolve from the end of World War II to the 1960s? Download Yes 10.9

Black Freedom Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s

How did the Black Panther Party’s survival programs, specifically the Free Breakfast Program, support the organization’s larger goals for systemic change? Download Yes

How did Enlightenment ideals lead to colonial rebellion?

How did Enlightenment ideals influence colonial rebellion? Download Yes 11.1

Causes of the Civil War (ELD)

How did slavery issues lead to the Civil War? Download Yes 11.10

Comparing and Contrasting the Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

How were the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X similar and different as they worked to achieve a better future for black people in America? Download Yes 11.10

Port Chicago Explosion

Use primary sources to analyze the experiences of Port Chicago workers during the 1940s. This lesson was presented at the "California & the Nation" workshop on November 9, 2015. More explanation can be found in the Winter 2016 edition (p. 20) of the CHSSP Source: http://chssp.ucdavis.edu/source-magazine Download Yes 11.10

Struggles for Justice: Segregation & Housing in the United States

What led to the segregation of neighborhoods in the United States? This lesson uses maps, personal histories and other primary sources, legislation, and modes of historical thinking to explore the history of housing discrimination. Learn more about redlining at KQED's The Lowdown: http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/07/13/redlining/ UC Berkeley undergrads completing a project, with videos, on redlining in the Bay Area: http://aces2016housing.weebly.com/ Download Yes 11.10

The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

How did the black civil rights movement influence other activist movements of the late 1960s and 1970s? Download Yes 11.10

Struggles for Justice: Mexican Immigration in the 20th Century. 

How have opportunities for Mexican immigrants to the U.S. changed during the 20th century? Created as part of the 2015 Struggles for Justice institute, this lesson includes a chronology activity, primary source analysis, and corroboration of multiple sources. Download Yes 11.10

Student Activism in the 1960s

How did San Francisco State University students feel about the education they were receiving? Download Yes 11.11

1980s – Reagan and the New Conservative Movement

To what extent did the conservative movement under the Reagan administration achieve its goals? Download Yes 11.11

The Economic Effects of Railroad Expansion 

What were the economic impacts of the railroad industry in the 19th century for California businesses and individuals? This lesson includes a graphic organizer, guided questions for passage analysis, and analytical paragraph writing instruction. Download Yes 11.2


How were the experiences of immigrants from China and Europe both similar and different? Download Yes 11.2

The Origins of the Progressive Era 

How did political and social conditions at the turn of the century provoke Progressive reform? This lesson includes political cartoon analysis, discussion questions for The Jungle, Cornell notes, and framed analytical paragraph instruction. Download Yes 11.2

U.S. Immigration (Designing DBQs)

What challenges did immigrants face upon arriving in the United States, from the late 19th to early 20th centuries? This is a guide to designing document based questions (DBQs) and practice on corroborating multiple sources. Download Yes 11.2

Initiating the League of Nations 

In what ways would joining the League of Nations change American foreign policy and why was it ultimately rejected by the Senate? This lesson includes primary source analysis, evidence/argument development instruction, evidence analysis and selection, and structured paragraph development. Download Yes 11.4

US Imperialism and the Panama Canal

What was the role of US expansionary policy in the Panamanian Revolution? Download Yes 11.4

Progressivism in the Age of Imperialism

What is the relationship between Imperialism and Progressivism in US activities in the Philippines? Does that relationship shed light on the failure of domestic Progressivism to benefit people of color and religious minorities to the same extend as it benefited northern European descent? Download Yes 11.4

America Claims an Empire

Why did the United States annex Hawaii? Download Yes 11.4

Harlem Renaissance: Marcus Garvey

Why were African Americans attracted to Garvey’s message? Download Yes 11.5

I’ll Gladly Pay You Tomorrow For A Higher Standard of Living Today

How did new consumer goods, the expansion of credit, and the introduction of mass marketing impact the standard of living for Americans in the 1920s? This lesson includes cause and effect analysis using primary sources, and deconstructing writing prompt instruction. Download Yes 11.5

The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s

In what ways does the Ku Klux Klan represent the American identity of the 1920s? How do the movements of the 1920’s illustrate what it meant to be an American? Download Yes 11.5

Great Depression- Exodus

How were the Dust Bowl farmers impacted by the Great Depression? This lesson includes primary source and point of view analysis, evidence/argument development instruction, thesis development, evidence selection, and working with analysis. Download Yes 11.6

Braceros Program

How and why did government policy toward migrant Mexican workers change from the Great Depression to WWII? This lesson includes a cause and effect chart, questions to check for understanding, and primary source analysis. Download Yes 11.6

Dust Bow migrants to California during the Great Depression. 

How did the experiences of migrants to California during the 1930s-40s compare with their expectations? Download Yes 11.6

Tennessee Valley Authority: Social and Environmental Effects

Did the positive long-term benefits from the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority outweigh the harmful effects it had on the environment and its affect upon the people living near the Tennessee River Valley? Download No 11.6
Reading and Writing Historical Narrative
Sample Unit Lesson: World War II
CULMINATING LESSON PLAN: Reading and Writing Historical Narrative Sample Unit Lesson: World War II Era (Grade 11) Download Yes 11.7

Origins of WWII- National Consensus 

How did the U.S. become increasingly involved economically and politically in WWII prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Powerpoint close paragraph reading and political cartoon analysis, and framed paragraph instruction. Download Yes 11.7

World War II Homefront Diary

How did the war affect the individual American at home? This lesson includes categorizing evidence instruction and analytical paragraph drafting. Download Yes 11.7

FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech

Why did President Roosevelt believe it was necessary for the U.S. to be involved in WWII? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, vocabulary, visual sources orally-guided analysis, and responses to questions for analysis. Download Yes 11.7

SS Jeremiah O'Brien - Liberty Ships and Industrial Mobilization for the War Effort

How did private industry help meet the needs of the war effort? This lesson was created for the teachers planning to bring their students to visit the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, a World War II Liberty ship docked in San Francisco, California. The SS Jeremiah O'Brien is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships of the 2,710 built and launched during World War II. Follow this link to more information about the SS Jeremiah O'Brien: http://www.ssjeremiahobrien.org/ Download Yes 11.7

Debating Problems in History: Interventionists and Isolationists in WWII

Should the United States have entered World War II before the bombing of Pearl Harbor? This lesson, developed for the Potomac Association, incorporates primary source analysis, structuring a debate, and scaffolds for essay writing. Download Yes 11.7

Paving the Way for Suburbanization

How did U.S. government policy influence suburban migration in the post- WWII era? Download Yes 11.8

The Cuban Missile Crisis

How effective was the United States in its handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Download Yes 11.9

The Vietnam War

How did the Vietnam War affect the American service members? Download Yes 11.9

The Economic Effects of the Vietnam War

How did the economic costs of the Vietnam War impact Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society? This lesson includes a cause and effect graph, guided questions, and an analytical paragraph drafting instruction. Download Yes 11.9

U.S. Foreign Policy (Israel and Palestine History)

Identify and explain how competing interests have shaped the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians in modern Israel. This lesson includes the primary source analysis chart, passage level analysis, and writing frames. Download Yes 11.9

Cold War

How did the Cold War affect U.S. domestic policy? Download No 11.9
Model Legislature Curriculum
This set of materials emerged from a collaboration between the University of California Berkeley History-Social Science Project and the YMCA of San Francisco. The strategies were developed through consultation with YMCA-SF Youth & Government lead advisors and the observation of delegation and state-wide meetings over the course of the 2013-2014 Youth & Government year. These materials, which focus on developing student questioning, speech making, and research and writing skills, could be adapted for many government classes, in particular. Download No 12.2