About Foundations of U.S. History

Foundations of U.S. History: Virginia History as American History is a Teaching American History grant that provides an exciting opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school teachers of American history to expand and improve their content knowledge of Virginia history and U.S. history and their instructional skills. . The program emphasizes the use of primary sources to strengthen historical thinking skills and enrich historical understandings.

A key component of the program is a two-week summer institute each year. Content areas of the summer institutes include Native American life in the Chesapeake, George Washington’s legacy, the American Revolution and founding documents, Slavery, the antebellum period, and the Civil War. Post-Civil War topics include Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, Industrialization and Modernization, Post-World War II America, and Civil Rights.

During the school year, teachers will develop activities and lesson plans that incorporate content and resources from the summer institute. Teachers also will participate in book discussion groups, film workshops, and a keynote lecture. Film workshops and keynote lectures are also open to all LCPS teachers.

This website will serve as an essential tool to help participating teachers accomplish the goals of this project. Components of the website include:

  • A schedule of workshops, site visits, and film and book discussion groups as well as a list of reading assignments and due dates.
  • A collaboration section in which participating TAH teachers will share information, resources, and responses within cohort groups.
  • A resources section with 6 web modules focused on helping teachers and students carefully analyze important documents in Virginia and U.S. history. This section will also list all workshop materials, such as articles, bibliographies, teaching strategies, and recommended classroom materials.
  • A units section that makes available the curriculum units participating teachers create that reflect their expanded curriculum knowledge, use of primary sources, engaging teaching strategies, and incorporation of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).