Lesson Plans

The SHAFR Lesson Plan Project grew out of the organization’s commitment to improve the quality of teaching about how the United States has interacted with the world from 1776 until today. The lessons are designed to provide middle and high school teachers a variety of resources and primary sources that can be adapted for the needs of their individual classes.

If you have comments on any of these lessons, or would like to create new ones or adapt your current lesson plans to share with your colleagues, please contact Prof. John Tully at [email protected].

Also, we realize that links often change unexpectedly. That can be very frustrating. If you find a broken link, please do let us know so we can find the new link or change the lesson plan. Thanks!! ([email protected])


Lesson Plans


Primary Documents and the History of United States Foreign Relations

The Jay Treaty

Louisiana Purchase

War of 1812

The United States and the Republic of Texas

Civil War Diplomacy

1876 World's Fair

Philippines After the Spanish-American War

Wilson and the Post WWI World

The Road to WWII, Bubble Gum Cards, and the “Horrors of War”

The Marshall Plan

The Space Race

Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam War

The United States and Iran: A Troubled History

Nixon and China

An Exercise on Using Primary Sources in the History of American Foreign Relations

Reagan and the End of the Cold War

How “Cold” was the Cold War?