Education Outreach: Classroom Resources

Classroom Resources

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!

Digital Breakouts 

Digital Breakouts are tools for educators that use primary and secondary sources to help students learn the concepts of specific Tennessee Social Studies curriculum standards. More digital breakouts are found here!

Elementary Breakouts (K-5)

Tennessee Symbols Digital BreakoutTennessee Symbols, K-2

Civil War Digital BreakoutCivil War with James Tall, 5th

Suffrage with Ida B. WellsSuffrage with Ida B. Wells, 3rd-5th

Middle/High Breakouts (6-12 & college)

1834 State Constitution Digital breakout1834 State Constitution, 8th

Civil War Digital BreakoutCivil War, 8th

Suffrage Showdown Digital BreakoutWoman Suffrage 6-12

Find more digital breakouts


Lesson Plans

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. The lesson plans are organized according to grade-level. 

4th Grade:

5th Grade:

8th Grade:

9th Grade:

11th Grade:

High School: 

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.

Tennessee Electronic Library

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is a collection of 40+ databases that provide access to over 400,000 magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, essays, podcasts, videos, e-books, primary source materials, and more! TEL is available free of charge to any Tennessee resident and is accessible 24/7 from any computer with access to the internet.

Gale in Context Middle School

Gale in Context High School

Note: Gale in Context databases are available only in the State of Tennessee through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).

TSLA Photograph Database

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is home to hundreds of thousands of photographs and images that depict the rich and diverse history of Tennessee, including historic events, houses, buildings, and prominent individuals. Although the present database provides access to a growing number of digitized images, only a fraction of the entire TSLA collection is available online.

Tennesseean Proquest Database

The Tennessean (1812-2002)

Digitized pages of The Tennessean (1812-2002) provide unique historical insight into the regional issues and concerns, such as local government, industrialization, prohibition, and racial struggles.

Chronicling America

This cooperative project with the Library of Congress provides Tennessee newspapers from the TSLA holdings in searchable digital format.

Volunteer Voices

Volunteer Voices is a state-wide digitization project that will provide access to primary sources that document Tennessee's rich history and culture. Volunteer Voices combines the collaborative efforts to Tennessee archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and schools.

Helpful Links