A More Perfect Union

Teaching the American Revolution and Beyond

National History Day is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities to commemorate the semiquincentennial of the United States. Together, NEH and NHD will create classroom materials that highlight different perspectives on the American Revolution, early American republic, and the continued efforts to create a more perfect union throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These classroom resources will help teachers engage students with unique primary sources and themes of democracy and citizenship throughout United States history.

The programs on this landing page are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lesson Plans
Professional Development Series
Lesson Plans
Building a More Perfect Union Lesson Plans
A Voter’s Guide to Post-French and Indian War Policy
Created by Kyle Johnson, Seaman Middle School

Quelling the Whiskey Rebellion: Taking a Stand for Our Future
Created by Josh Elders, Peters Township Middle School

The Monroe Doctrine: Debating America’s Defense of Independence Abroad
Created by Katherine Corrado, Woodgrove High School

A More Perfect Union: Women and the Abolition Movement
Created by Erik M. Peterson, Santiago Elementary School

African American Suffragists and the Nineteenth Amendment
Created by Jeffrey Allen Hinton, Advanced Technologies Academy

Challenging School Segregation: The Fight of Chinese Americans
Created by Amie Dryer, Calvert High School

The Seattle General Strike of 1919: Labor Unions Uniting for Change
Created by Kristin Rentschler, Columbia City High School

The NAACP’s Mission to Forge a More Perfect Union
Created by Marian Cronin-Connolly, St. Peter’s School

The Indian Citizenship Act and the Meaning of American Citizenship
Created by Westley Green, Gautier High School

Exclusion or Inclusion? The Japanese Struggle to Own Land in California
Created by Robbie See, William Mendenhall Middle School

You’re Invited! A Dinner Party with Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement
Created by Emily Lewellen, Brown County High School

The 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act: From Termination to Self-Determination
Created by Chris Stewart, North Lakes Academy Charter School

Rising Tides of U.S. Immigration during the Cold War
Created by Sharon Gillette, Asia American International Academy

The Equal Rights Amendment: Debating A More Perfect Union
Created by Deanna McDaniel, Genoa Middle School

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Taking Action for Access
Created by Suzan Turner, Nashua-Plainfield High School

Toward a More Perfect Union Article
Serena Zabin, Professor of History, Carleton College

The American Revolution in Four Questions: Digging Deeper for Unfamiliar Stories Article
Adrienne G. Whaley, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Museum of the American Revolution

Click here to download a complete copy of the lesson plan book!


All lesson plan activities have been made into fillable PDFs. For students to save their work, they must complete and save in a PDF reader app (not the web browser). Please instruct students to download a copy of the activity from the web browser and open in their PDF reader. For those working with "The NAACP’s Mission to Forge a More Perfect Union" lesson plan, please note that the student worksheet's page orientation needs to be flipped from portrait to landscape in a PDF reader. Please note that some lessons contain answer keys.

Professional Development Series

Visit NHD's Complete up to 8 hours of summer professional development with NHD and our partners! Watch the videos below and complete the form here.
A Historian's Perspective: Serena Zabin
American Revolution and a More Perfect Union Through Debate and Diplomacy

Museum of the American Revolution
Objects, Centered: A Museum Educator's Look at Debate and Diplomacy in America

National Endowment for the Humanities
Building a More Perfect Union

The Papers of the War Department

Debate and Diplomacy During the Early Republic
National Museum of African American History & Culture
Debate & Diplomacy in History: A Professional Development Experience for NHD with NMAAHC

National Museum of American Diplomacy
What is Diplomacy?

What is Diplomacy? Slides (PDF)
What is Diplomacy? Transcript (PDF)
Teacher Coffee Break
Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences

Ask an NEH Expert!

National History Day and the National Endowment for the Humanities have developed the Ask an NEH Expert series, which explores skills crucial to all NHD students.