• Keep learning going: The OER Conference for Social Studies

    Watch Yohuru Williams discuss what he describes as "The Lewis Doctrine" and the gift John Lewis left for social studies teachers.

    Spring 2020 was a difficult period for educators determined to keep learning going. By the end of March, it was clear that even by fall, students would not all be back in classrooms learning as usual. In conversations with groups like the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS…

    • 13 Aug 2020
  • BHP Big Skills: Thresholds of Increasing Complexity

    By the OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Too often history is just a long list of people, places, and things to memorize. Students struggle to put them together. They might learn about Ancient Greece and Rome, the great states and empires of Africa, or the contributions of Islamic scholars, but not how these topics connect to one another. Students might focus on a single primary source and even be able to provide details…

    • 12 Aug 2020
  • Human history and the environment

    By Bridgette Byrd O'Connor
    Louisiana, USA

    In the era of COVID, it is almost impossible to deny the connections that exist between humanity and the web of life and matter around us. It’s not just the virus that reminds us of these connections. It’s the wildlife that reclaim our streets and the way the air and water clear when we’re sheltering in place.

    These connections are, in many ways, the foundations…

    • 3 Aug 2020
  • A more coherent view of the past: Using frames in world history

    By Trevor R. Getz
    San Francisco, USA

    There’s a classroom problem we all face. There’s just too much history to teach, especially in a world history course covering hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years. On one level, that means we have to pick and choose. Which histories are the most important? Whose stories get told? There are all kinds of judgements to be made here about what is “world historical.” What were…

    • 3 Aug 2020
  • History is not set in stone

    By Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, OER Project Team
    Louisiana, USA

    The world is facing a reckoning. This summer, protesters in the US, Senegal, the UK, Barbados, New Zealand, South Korea, and Belgium, among many other regions, have taken to the streets to stand against systemic racism in their justice systems. As protesters seek to dismantle racism today, many are also tearing down vestiges of our racist past. One after…

    • 1 Jul 2020
  • Protests: They worked for South Africa… Can they work in the United States?

    By Trevor Getz
    San Francisco, USA

    As we watch the upheaval that has spread across the country following the killing of George Floyd, many of us find ourselves asking: “Do protests succeed in creating lasting, meaningful change?”

    Historians differ on their answer to this question, partly because different historical movements have had divergent outcomes. The 1848 uprisings in Europe yielded almost no results…

    • 25 Jun 2020
  • Getting ready for SY 20/21: OER Project course updates

    It’s summer, which means it’s time for the annual update! And wow. Do we have an update for you!

    In case you’re new to the OER Project, here’s a little context: Every year, we review our content, reflect on feedback from teachers, students, and our advisory board, and then make revisions and updates based on that feedback. Unlike textbooks, which don’t change (unless of course you buy a new edition), the…

    • 22 Jun 2020
  • New school year, new us: OER Project website migration

    Check out these resources to learn more about our move!

    The OER Project team has some exciting news to share — Big History Project (BHP) is on the move! As of June 22 at 9 am PDT, BHP has joined World History Project (WHP) on a unified platform. That’s right—as we continue to grow, we’re bringing both communities together into one big OER Project family!

    So what does this mean for you? You now…

    • 11 Jun 2020
  • Save the date: 2020 OER Project book club

    We are excited to announce our first-ever OER Project Book Club pick. This summer, Big History Project and World History Project teachers are invited to join us in reading The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Our community discussions about the book will officially kick off on July 6th in the OER Project Teacher Community. In the meantime, we ask that you save-the-date, grab a copy of the book (we suggest checking out…

    • 11 Jun 2020
  • The OER Conference for Social Studies

    Join us August 5, 6, and 7 for a free, virtual conference to log PD hours and keep the learning going

    Calling all K–12 social studies teachers! Have your summer professional development plans been canceled? Since the pandemic took hold, the OER Project team has been working to identify ways we can help students, educators, and schools continue to teach and learn, whether in or out of the classroom. As summer approached…

    • 10 Jun 2020
  • Using history to shape a better future

    By the OER Project Team

    A central principle of the OER Project is the idea that history should be usable, should help orient us to the present and see what is possible in the future. Americans today—like all people who live in times of upheaval—are trying each in our own ways to make sense of the moment in which we live and to try to build a better future. To do so, we must look to our nation’s past. The United States…

    • 8 Jun 2020
  • WHP and BHP 2020 summer reading list

    It’s been quite a year for teachers globally. We hope your well-deserved break this summer gives you some time to rest, rejuvenate, or even dive into a new book! When it comes to the latter, we’ve got your back. Without further ado here’s our annual list of teacher-curated book recommendations for summer 2020.

    Without further ado here’s our annual list of teacher-curated book recommendations for summer…

    • 1 Jun 2020
  • OER Project & standards alignment

    Click on a highlighted state to see standards alignment materials!

    July 31 Update: Course plans are here! We’re excited to unveil 11 new state-specific course plans, created by talented teachers with in-depth knowledge of their state’s standards. Scroll down (or click the map) to find course plans for the following states: California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Washington…

    • 26 May 2020
  • Bake like a Roman

    Bennett Sherry, OER Project Team
    Maine, USA

    As quarantine drags on, a lot of people have turned to bread making. Seriously, do a quick search for “sourdough starter” on Twitter or Instagram—people are getting weird about their bread.

    Water, flour, and time. That’s all you need to make bread, though humans have added flourishes through history. Bread making is an old art. How old? You might think that…

    • 21 May 2020
  • It ain’t the 5G, people!

    Trevor Getz, OER Project Team
    San Francisco, USA

    What causes COVID-19?

    Is 5G radio technology causing or exacerbating the epidemic of COVID-19 that is currently sweeping the globe?

    Of course not. 

    We know 5G isn’t the cause because we can use the scientific method to establish a chain of evidence that connects a corona-shaped virus—SARS CoV-2—to the symptoms that we experience as COVID-19. The scientific basis for establishing…

    • 14 May 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 8

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the eighth and final episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. …

    • 13 May 2020
  • Student Responses to COVID-19 and Distance Learning

    While our students are focused on learning history, they are also living it. And the first few months of 2020 have proved to be quite the time to live through. We reached out to a few Big History and World History Project teachers who had asked their students to journal about their experiences with COVID-19, sheltering in place, and distance learning. The comments we received floored us, it’s clear that students are thinking…

    • 7 May 2020
  • The Classroom in Your Home(Room) – Week 7

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the seventh episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (You can read…

    • 6 May 2020
  • What's next?

    Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, BHP Team Member
    Louisiana, USA

    In the words of the ‘90s band Blur, “And it looks like we might have made it / Yes it looks like we’ve made it to the end.” It’s certainly been a strange school year. For some, it might be a more welcoming or disheartening sight than usual, considering the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this blog post, we’re going to do something different and transform…

    • 5 May 2020
  • Introducing our free, online PD: Teaching World History!

    WHP Team
    Washington, USA

    Everyone—from Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa to Frodo from Lord of the Rings—would likely agree: When you’re about to embark on an exciting journey into new waters, it’s good to have a map. Imagine if our fearless protagonist had a map of Middle-earth rather than having to consult the creature named Gollum for directions to Mordor. It would have been a game changer.…

    • 4 May 2020
  • A Raise? In This Economy?!

    By Bennett Sherry, WHP Team
    Maine, USA

    There’s a myth about this pandemic. You might have heard news anchors or politicians mention that COVID-19 is “the great leveler,” that it makes no distinction between rich and poor. But that’s nonsense. Evidence suggests that the poor are more likely to catch COVID-19, and they’re more likely to die of it. In the United States, people of color suffer disproportionately…

    • 30 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 6

    OER Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the sixth episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (You can read Episode…

    • 29 Apr 2020
  • A Splinter-Free History of Toilet Paper

    By Bennett Sherry, WHP Team
    Maine, USA

    Life under a pandemic is serious. We're all dealing with difficult times right now. The WHP blog provides plenty of serious material on COVID-19, but we also want to leave room for levity from time to time. So keep an eye out for the occasional lighter post, where we dig into the history behind some of the more surprising human reactions to the pandemic.

    This pandemic is a bummer…

    • 23 Apr 2020
  • From the Classroom to the Home(Room) - Week 5

    OER Team
    Washington, USA

    Note: All of us have been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're doing everything we can to keep learning accessible throughout the pandemic. Learn more about those efforts here.

    This is the fifth episode of our Teaching at a Distance series, in which Ian Usher will help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming roster of digital learning resources. (Find past episodes…

    • 22 Apr 2020
  • “Continuity and Gains Over Time”: An OER Project Fitness Series

    OER Project Team
    Washington, USA

    As we all spend more time at home, you might find yourself doing something you don’t do much as a teacher: sitting. Get up and move!

    Join Mike Skomba (OER Project teacher extraordinaire and the 2020 New Jersey Strength Coach of the Year), along with other OER Project teachers and team members, for a weekly movement session. Mike is hosting a free, 4-week online fitness series for World…

    • 20 Apr 2020