Every classroom is different. Women & the American Story (WAMS) is designed with that in mind. The primary resources and secondary texts within this curriculum come with supporting materials that enable you to flexibly incorporate WAMS into your existing lessons and curriculum map. WAMS materials are written for middle- and high-school students. Many are adaptable for elementary school students.
Instead of fully scripted lesson plans, this curriculum provides suggestions for how educators can use and combine WAMS materials to teach about a number of topics. You may wish to teach a lesson or unit about women’s experiences using only WAMS materials. Or you may wish to incorporate a WAMS resource into an existing lesson that lacks women’s perspectives. The curriculum is designed to support you in whatever approach is most conducive to your teaching.
Learn more about what you will find in the curriculum and how to use these materials in your classroom below .
WAMS is divided into ten chronological and thematic units that span U.S. history.
Visit the Curriculum page for an at-a-glance look at the ten units:
- Early Encounters, 1492-1734
- Settler Colonialism and the American Revolution, 1692-1783
- Building a New Nation, 1776-1831
- Expansions and Inequalities, 1828-1869 (Coming 2022!)
- A Nation Divided, 1832-1877
- Industry and Empire, 1866-1904
- Modernizing America, 1889-1920
- Confidence and Crises, 1920-1948
- Growth and Turmoil, 1948-1973
- The Information Age, 1974-2018 (Coming 2022!)
If you are looking for resources related to a particular era in U.S. history, start at the unit level. Units are subdivided into 2-4 sections, each containing about 10-20 Resources and 5-10 Life Stories. Sections are organized around topics and eras within the unit’s time span.
The heart of each WAMS unit is a collection of Resources and Life Stories. Resources are the “stuff” of history—images, documents, artifacts, maps, and more. They are accompanied by background information providing historical context, information about the primary source(s), discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and suggested activities. Wherever possible, resources include a high-resolution image of the source. For primary documents, we also include a transcription and paragraph-by-paragraph summary of the text to help students at all levels access the content.
Life Stories are brief biographies of individuals, both well-known and unfamiliar, whose experiences illuminate important topics, themes, or ideas in a given era. Life Stories contain biographical text, discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and suggested activities.
Each unit also contains key ideas, an introduction, and essential questions. These hone in on important takeaways about women’s experiences of the era and can serve as a starting point for exploring unit materials.
A series of themes span across the units to help track big ideas over time.
- Activism and Social Change
- American Culture
- American Identity and Citizenship
- America in the World
- Domesticity and Family
- Geography and the Environment
- Immigration, Migration, and Settlement
- Power and Politics
- Science, Technology, and Medicine
- Work, Labor, and Economy
The Search page works via keywords and filters—including time period, resource type, classroom application, themes, units, and region—to help you find specific items.
USING WAMS IN YOUR CLASSROOM
WAMS is designed so that you can pick and choose materials to include in your lessons. Each Resource and Life Story page is split into three sections that can be printed individually or altogether. Primary source images and texts can also be printed individually or altogether. This will allow you to decide what information from each page you would like to provide to your students.
The site has also been designed to be mobile-friendly for smartphones and tablets.
- If you are interested in ways that WAMS materials can be folded into lessons, explore Lesson Plans that incorporate WAMS into a number of topics.
- If you are interested in interdisciplinary activities for your students, explore Art Activities that promote investigative discovery, creative thinking, and hands-on learning.
- If you are looking for educational videos to show your students, check out the Video Library.
- If you want to learn more about the history covered in WAMS, check out the Supplemental Materials section of each unit where you will find source notes and recommended readings.