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The Special Collections Research Center welcomes K-12 educators to access lesson plans created from our rare book and manuscript collection materials. These lesson plans were created with the help of students from Syracuse University's School of Education and School of Information Studies. They incorporate the New York State Standards, New York State Common Core Learning Standards, and AASL Standards for the 21st century Learner.

Would you like to create a lesson plan with SCRC materials? Please contact us at or call 315.443.2697.

Abolition Movement document

Abolition Movement

In this lesson, students will learn about the abolition movement from the Jerry Rescue, which was an illegal rescue of a fugitive slave by the citizens of Syracuse in 1851.

Abolition Movement Lesson Plan Grades 7-8 [PDF]

American Industrial Revolution photo

American Industrial Revolution

The American Industrial Revolution marked a new age of technological progress and commercial production. In this lesson, students will learn about the Industrial Revolution through archival photographs of child laborers.

Industrial Revolution Lesson Plan Grades 9-10 [PDF]

Ancient World Writing Systems: Cuneiform and Papyrus example

Ancient World Writing Systems: Cuneiform and Papyrus

This lesson uses examples of ancient writing systems to help students understand the history of written communication within a global context.

Ancient World Lesson Plan Grades 5-6 [PDF]

Civil War document

Civil War

As the tension between the North and South grew in the days that led up to the Civil War, it appeared inevitable that a conflict would soon occur. This lesson helps students imagine what it was like to be a Union Army Captain.

Civil War Lesson Plan Grades 6-8 [PDF]

Erie Canal document

Erie Canal

Explore the Erie Canal and how it transformed the way goods and people were transported between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.

Erie Canal Lesson Plan Grades 3-5 [PDF]

Harlem Renaissance document

Harlem Renaissance

In the 1920s, America was filled with economic prosperity, cultural rejuvenation, and artistic innovation. One particularly important cultural movement during this time was the Harlem Renaissance. Learn about the Harlem Renaissance through the poetry of Arna Bontemps.

Harlem Renaissance Lesson Plan Grades 9-12 [PDF]

Women's Suffrage Movement document

Women's Suffrage Movement

Learn about the suffragists through an original announcement for the 1874 National Woman Suffrage Association Conference.

Women's Suffrage Lesson Plan Grades 7-10 [PDF]

World War I photo

World War I

In this lesson, students will explore World War I through the scrapbooks of Syracuse University alumnus and American military surgeon, Edward Van Duyn.

WWI Lesson Plan Grades 9-12 [PDF]

World War II poster

World War II

Learn about the strategies and uses of government propaganda by examining two original World War II posters.

WWII Lesson Plan Grades 9-12 [PDF]

The Yellow Kid poster

The Yellow Kid

Prohibition, restrictions on monopolies, the implementation of income tax, voting reforms, immigration control, and the rapid growth of labor unions took place during the Progressive Era. In this lesson, students will learn about the anxieties of the rich, the critiques of the reformers, and the changing urban environment through R. F. Outcault's newspaper cartoon "The Yellow Kid."

Yellow Kid Lesson Plan Grades 10-12 [PDF]