History School

Spring 2021 History School

Building on the success of our summer and fall History School, we are pleased to offer free courses this spring for elementary, middle, and high school students. 

Master Teachers will present lessons anchored in primary source documents, many from the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s collection of more than 70,000 American history artifacts. The goal is to engage students and excite them about history so that they leave each lesson more knowledgeable about a new idea, theme, document, or pivotal moment in history.

The Gilder Lehrman History School is hosted on the video conference system Zoom. See the list below for classes, dates, and times. Recordings of each class session will be available for students, educators, and families to view on demand after the live sessions occur. For a more detailed description of each course please visit the corresponding class page.

For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email historyschool@gilderlehrman.org

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Spring 2021 History School Class Schedule

Course Class Overview Audience

Hamilton Cast Read Along  with Keisha Rembert (2019 Illinois History Teacher of the Year)

Hamilton cast members read children’s books on American history topics and themes with a history teacher. 

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Recordings will be posted on the course page on Fridays at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT starting March 12, 2021
Elementary-age students and families

Black Lives in the Founding Era with Jason Butler

Learn about Black Lives in the Founding Era through primary source documents. Each week students will examine a different historical figure—some famous and some little known—and their life, legacy, and accomplishments.

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Dates: March 9– April 27, 2021
  • Day/time: Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT
Upper elementary and middle school students (3rd–8th grade)

Who Will Tell Your Story? Get Creative with EduHam  with Gena Oppenheim (teacher at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn and Hamilton Education Program Senior Education Fellow)

Students who love Hamilton or want to learn about the dramatic potential of primary sources will be inspired by the cast and creative members of Hamilton as they share their insight into creating art from history. This course is open, but not limited to, students doing the Hamilton Education Program Online in school.

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Dates: March 13–May 15, 2021
  • Day/time: Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT

No class on March 27 and April 3

Middle and high school students (6th–12th grade)

The Cold War with Joe Welch (2018 National History Teacher of the Year)

Delve into the history of the Cold War and learn about wars that aren’t fought on the battlefield. Using the Gilder Lehrman Collection and videos from RetroReport.org, students will uncover information regarding executive power, spies, international relations, and trade wars.

  • Course Length: 4 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Dates: April 5–26, 2021
  • Day/time: Mondays 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT.

Middle and high school students (8th–12th grade)

AP United States History, Test Prep: 1890–Present with Sara Ziemnik (2017 National History Teacher of the Year)

This course will introduce students to the final three time periods (1890–Present) covered by the College Board’s AP United States History Curriculum. 

It is a continuation of AP United States History, Test Prep: 1492–1898 offered in Fall 2020.

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: approx. 1 hour 30 min.
  • Dates: March 6–May 8, 2021
  • Day/time: Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT

No class on April 3 and April 10

High school students (9th–12th grade)

The US Constitution: Looking Backward from 2021 to 1787 with Kevin Cline (2016 National History Teacher of the Year)

The US Constitution has been the bedrock of American government since it was first conceived in 1787, but it is far from a rigid document set in a bygone era. This class will focus on key aspects of the Constitution, the government it establishes, the freedoms it gives, and the questions it poses.

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Weekly Time Commitment: approx. 1 hour
  • Dates: March 10–May 5, 2021
  • Day/time: Wednesdays a 7:00 p.m. ET /4:00 p.m. PT

No class on April 7

High school students (9th–12th grade)

Attending a Class

Parents/guardians and students can register on the class page or on the calendar above. An email with the class link will be sent out upon registration. For students under 13, parents/guardians must register students. 

A note for teachers and other adults who wish to participate: Please note that some classes have limited capacity and in order to prioritize students, teachers and other adults are asked to watch recordings in place of signing up for a spot in a course. 

Protecting Privacy and Keeping Students Safe on Zooms

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is committed to making  History School a secure experience. In order to safeguard our program we have elected to put the following safety features into each History School class.

  • The chat feature will be monitored.
  • Cameras will automatically turn off.
  • Microphones will automatically turn off.
  • Gilder Lehrman staff will monitor each session.

If you have any questions or concerns about safety and security, please email us at historyschool@gilderlehrman.org