The resources collected here may be useful to educators and students exploring Tennessee history, American history, and the use of primary sources in the classroom. We're here to help you bring Tennessee history alive in your classroom! Contact us for more information!
Tools for Educators
The worksheets linked below are intended to provide educators and students with ideas about how to analyze and interpret specific types of primary resources.
- Broadside or Leaflet
- Motion Picture
- Political Cartoon
- Sheet Music
- Written Document
The following lesson plans were created by Tennessee teachers utilizing primary sources available digitally at the Tennessee State Library and Archives website. They link to the current Tennessee curriculum standards.
- Sequoyah and the Cherokee
- Changing Times and Changing Boundaries: Maps of Early TN
- Battle of Horseshoe Bend
- Slavery in Tennessee
- The Cotton Economy
- Tennesseans in the Abolitionist Movement
- United States Colored Troops
- Tennessee Civil War GIS Project
- Pap Singleton and the Migration West
- Reconstruction: Carpetbaggers & Scalawags
- Coal Creek Labor Saga
- World War I
- Women's Suffrage in Tennessee
- Scopes Trial
- Life in Oak Ridge during World War II
- Oak Ridge and The Manhattan Project: An Ethical Debate
- The New Deal through Primary Sources: A Unit Plan
- Red Scare, Highlander Folk School & Civil Rights
- Vietnam War
- Yellow Fever
Additionally, lesson plans are available utilizing the Tennessee Blue Book, a great resource for information about state government. These lesson plans link to the current Tennessee curriculum standards dealing with government and civics in elementary and high school. Visit the Blue Book Lesson Plan website for more information.
This hour-long program details some of the ways in which teachers and students can learn more about World War II through the study of one American POW's diary. The author of the diary, Hardy A. Mitchener, Jr., was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 509th Bombardment Squadron, 351st Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force, stationed in Polebrook, England, during World War II. He was shot down and captured on May 30, 1944, after a bombing mission in Oschersleben, Germany, and sent to Stalag Luft III shortly thereafter. During his stay at this POW camp in Sagan, Germany, Mitchener kept a diary of his experiences.
This diary can be found in the Tennessee Virtual Archive.
This hour-long program focuses on two Utopian communities that were established in Tennessee: Rugby and The Farm. Rugby, located in northern Morgan County, was established during the 1880s by English author and social reformer Thomas Hughes; he hoped to create a model community where young elite English men could work together with Americans, free from the traditional British upper class stigma against labor. The other site of interest, The Farm, is located in Lewis County, near Summertown, Tennessee. This intentional Utopian community was founded in 1971 by a small group of people with a spiritual commitment to simple living and self-reliance.
Learn more at our online exhibit, The Happiest Days of My Life: Searching for Utopia in Tennessee.