Illinois College -> New website provides lesson plans for teachers
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New website provides lesson plans for teachers


Teachers in grades four through 12 can now access American history lesson plans through the Illinois College website at

These lesson plans were developed by participants in a 2011 Summer Seminar entitled “The Frontier Experience in the American Midwest” which was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at Illinois College.

Fifteen educators from across the U.S. participated in the seminar which culminated in their development of history lesson plans. The units developed by these educators include: “The Local History of Scott County and Morgan County up to the Civil War,” “Dear Levi – Letters from the Overland Trail,” “Moving Panoramas in the Mid-1800s,” “Transportation on the Illinois Frontier,” “Homestead Dakota,” “Frontier Towns along the Mississippi River,” “Applying Newton's First Law of Motion to the Social Sciences (Movement),” “Evaluation of Sources,” “Indians of the Far Midwest,” “Some Key Figures on the Illinois Frontier,” “The Great American Frontier,” “Reading Primary Sources Utilizing Fur Trapper's Journals,” “Children of the Frontier,” “Frontier Homes” and “Environmental Attitudes in Literature Among Native and Euro-Americans of the Early 19th Century: A Unit on Early American Literature and Nonfiction.”

James Davis, emeritus professor of history and geography at Illinois College, led the seminar which was specially designated as a “We the People” project of the NEH. The seminar’s purpose was to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture, according to Davis.

Davis, who previously led NEH Summer Seminars in 2003 and 2009, said “This is the second group of lesson plans being disseminated online. This page links to the 2009 NEH Summer Seminar Web page where 15 additional lesson plans are available.”

For more information about this NEH Summer Seminar, visit

Summer Seminar participants are selected through a competitive process. They receive a substantial stipend to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Although the deadline for participation in the 2012 seminars has now passed, K-12 educators can soon find out about opportunities to apply for 2013 seminars at

NEH Summer Seminars are designed for full time educators including home-schooling parents. Applications from teachers in public, private, charter and religiously affiliated schools receive equal consideration. Other educators such as librarians, administrators and graduate students may also be eligible to apply, depending on the specific seminar or institute.
About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217-245-3467 for more information.

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