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U.S. history is a fascinating and nuanced topic--TED-Ed Lessons offer videos covering much of the nation's history.

4 videos about the nation’s history


U.S. history is a fascinating and nuanced topic--TED-Ed Lessons offer videos covering much of the nation's history

Key points:

Whenever a national historical event or celebration rolls around, it inevitably raises questions about the nation’s history, why we observe the holiday, how different traditions formed, and what’s behind the celebration.

Though classrooms are closed, these TED-Ed Lessons explore a bit of the nation’s history when it comes to Independence Day.

The TED-Ed platform enables educators to build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video. Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.

If you’re already thinking ahead to the 2024-2025 school year, you might want to use these TED-Ed Lessons for brain breaks, to introduce new learning units, or to inject some fun and engaging conversation into your class.

1. The oddities of the first American election: How did George Washington become the first president of the United States in 1789? Who got to decide–or vote–who would become president, and how did they decide the winner? Kenneth C. Davis unveils the surprising story behind America’s first presidential election.

2. Why do Americans vote on Tuesdays? Since 1845, Americans have been voting on Tuesdays–but why? In this humorous talk, Jacob Soboroff shares the history of Election Day and shows how voting on a Tuesday affects voter turnout.

3. What you might not know about the Declaration of Independence: In June 1776, a little over a year after the start of the American Revolutionary War, the US Continental Congress huddled together in a hot room in Philadelphia to talk independence. Kenneth C. Davis dives into some of the lesser known facts about the process of writing the Declaration of Independence and questions one very controversial omission.

4. The making of the American Constitution: How did a meeting intended to revise the Articles of Confederation lead to the new Constitution for the United States? Discover how a handful of men–sitting in sweltering heat and shrouded by secrecy–changed the course of history for America in 1787.

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