From colonial history to modern art, there are so many things we can learn about the U.S. from our own homes—and our partner organizations in Washington, D.C. and New York are with us on this. We’re sharing some of their online resources to make learning (and dreaming about future travel plans) from home a little bit easier. Because even when you aren’t on the road with us, we want to help you teach your students about the world.
The U.S. Capitol offers online lesson plans for educators, covering topics such as The Clean Water Act, Congressional Biography, and The Frieze of American History that will hold your students over until they’re able to get that must-have Instagram selfie in front of the building. Learn more at visitthecapitol.gov
Explore the leadership and legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War with online lesson plans designed to engage and inform your students. Other resources include an oratory program to help students improve their public-speaking skills. (Worth noting: The Petersen House, the boarding house across the street where Lincoln died, also offers a VR app that students can explore from home or in person on their next visit.)
U.S. Institute of Peace
Developed by teachers for teachers, this curriculum guide supports learning about international conflict management and peacebuilding. For additional lessons, simulations, and activities, visit usip.org
Discover nearly three million digital items from the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, and archives with Smithsonian Open Access. The museums are some of the most anticipated stops in D.C. for our middle school class trips.
Whether you borrow from the National Archives’ ever-expanding collection of educational activities or create your own, you’ll have access to thousands of primary sources—such as letters, photographs, maps, and videos—spanning the course of American history.
Inspire your students to think critically about the past as they explore the history of the Holocaust and its lasting impact. (The museum’s Daniel’s Story exhibition always gives our middle school travelers pause, with its personal perspective.) For teaching guidelines, learning objectives, and lesson materials, visit ushmm.org/teach
From lesson plans to primary source materials, Mount Vernon’s online resources are designed to help teachers and students explore the life and legacies of George Washington. Think: a channel-your-inner-archaeologist exercise that’s centered around Washington-era trash excavated from the property. That’ll teach your favorite seventh-grader to consider tossing that water bottle during their next visit.
Our partnership with Destination DC helps bring the best moments on tour to life for students. As a premier tourism organization, Destination DC highlights some of the most cultural and historical experiences in the D.C. area. But you don’t have to be in Washington, D.C. to enjoy all that it offers. Check out the virtual itineraries created by Destination DC including a class trip itinerary and a black history itinerary.
The United Nations
The UN is on a mission to create a brighter future for the world. Encourage students to join this global conversation and have their voices heard by filling out the UN’s 75th anniversary survey at un75.online
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Looking for ways to integrate art into your classroom? Visit metmuseum.org for high-resolution images, multimedia content, lesson plans, and curriculum guides. With its collection of over two million works of art that span more than 5,000 years of world history, even students who’ve visited on past trips will still have plenty to explore.
Museum of Modern Art
MoMA’s online courses are designed for K–12 classroom teachers to help students look closely and think critically while engaging with modern and contemporary art.
Whether you’re on the road, at home, or in the classroom, we’ll continue working with our partners to help you and your students learn some new (and inspiring) things about the world ❤️