Below is our growing database of lesson plans that are rooted in JHI Blog articles.

Want to contribute? We are looking for history lesson plans and curricula from teachers at all levels. Use this JHI Blog Lesson Plan Template to simplify the process and send in your plan to

Agneta’s Pineapple & History through Art by Cynthia Kok, based off of JHIBlog article: “Agneta Block’s Pineapple: Colonial Botany and the Europeanization of Knowledge”

How can a painting be used as a historical primary source? Who tells history and how? 


Questions about Questions about The Scarlet Letter by Andrew Newman, based off of JHIBlog article: “Balcony and Scaffold: Literary Theory and High School English, in the 1960s”

What are the purposes of literary study? How have approaches changed over time? How do historians and literary scholars approach primary sources differently?


The Technology of Writing from Mesopotamia to Now by Sara Mohr, based off of JHIBlog article: “What the Digital Dark Age Can Teach Us About Ancient Technologies of Writing”

Why are people afraid of the coming of the Digital Dark Age? What do you think are the most effective methods for preserving information?


The Purpose and Power of Paratexts by Anna Speyart, based off of JHIBlog article: “Report: Paratexts and Print in Renaissance Humanism – The 2019 Panizzi Lectures”

What is a paratext? Why do texts have paratexts? What are the advantages and pitfalls of using paratexts as historical sources?

Huizinga Preface (referenced in lesson plan) can be found here.


Thinking Monumentally: Making sense of Memorial Sites through Experiential Learning by Derek O’Leary, based off of JHIBlog article: “Norse fantasies and American foundings”

Take your students to a local monument or memorial site. What is the relationship between the monument’s aesthetic features and the impact it has (or may intend to have) on the viewer? What argument about history is the monument making or contributing to?


Divi Filius: Augustus, Authority, and Legitimation through the Stars by Evan Dutmer, based off of JHIBlog article: “Divi filius: The Comet of 44 BCE and the Politics of Late Republican Rome”

How did Augustus’s rise to power rely on the use of natural phenomena? How can we ‘read’ Augustan coinage for political messages, iconography of empire, and legitimation of power? Create your own political campaign, complete with natural phenomena and a Victory Coin!


Saturnalia: “Libertas Decembri” by Evan Dutmer, based off of JHIBlog article: “Teaching Culture in High School Latin: How New Social History Can Enhance the Curriculum”

What values are expressed by Roman celebration of Saturnalia, a holiday which reversed the roles of master and enslaved person? How can studying a holiday give students access to the domestic lives of its practitioners? This lesson plan emphasizes the importance of teaching “deep” culture and how contemporary social history can and should complicate teaching Classical Studies.

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