Instructional Plans

Biographies of the Nation

Teachers at the Fall 2011 Colloquium in Great Falls, MT.

Biographies of the Nations

Teachers present at the Summer 2012 Institute in Helena, MT.

Instructional Plan Assistance


The project management team and the evaluator will examine Instructional Plans created by Biographies of the Nation participants in an effort to understand the important features of teachers’ classroom practice and the extent to which this TAH program is influencing teaching methods and approaches. The Instructional Plan will capture how teaching changes over the course of the project, and it will provide participants with an opportunity to share with one another tried and true instructional plans relating to the major eras of American history.

Instructional Plan Components


Essential Question
Is the essential question (or questions) tied to defined standards? Does the essential question drive the instructional plan? Is the answer to the essential question a key historical understanding?

Historical Background
Is the historical background or content included in the instructional plan accurate, focused, and clear? Is the content and context explained and appropriate for the focus of the instructional plan? (There is no minimum or maximum on this piece. You can use a few paragraphs to a few pages.)

Guided Discovery Activity/Student Learning Activity
Is the activity interactive? Does it give students opportunities to read and interpret primary sources that are appropriately tied to the historical focus of the lesson? Do the lesson activities guide students to a clear understanding of the essential question?

Student Assessment Plan and Samples of Student Work
Does the assessment plan authentically measure student understanding of content in the Instructional Plan? Do assessments allow students to demonstrate understanding gained through the lesson/unit (pre-post)? Are examples (full class set or multiple examples at different performance levels) of student performance on the assessment(s) provided? Is a rubric, scoring guide, or answer sheet included?

Sources and Resources
Does the instructional plan cite sources or provide a thorough and extensive bibliography that will allow other teachers to use, modify, or access the instructional plan? Are the sources historically accurate, appropriate, and relevant for the focus of the lesson?

What went well? 
What would you do differently next time?
What did you learn from student pre-post assessment results?

Instructional Plans Created by Biographies of the Nation TAH Participants
Year One Instructional Plans
Year Two Instructional Plans