• 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!

    August 17 Update: More course plans are here! Check out for new state-specific course plans for Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Texas, created by talented teachers with in-depth knowledge of their state’s standards. Scroll down (or click the map) to also find course plans for the following states: California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North…

    • 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
  • Looking Forward: Making Distance Learning Sustainable

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog series, crafted by online learning specialist Ian Usher, began in March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the shut-down of in-person learning across the United States. This is the final blog in an eight-part series. You can find the rest of the series in our Teaching at a Distance Center.

    Looking back and looking forward

    Can you remember the last lesson you taught to a full class in a classroom…

    • 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
  • Enriching Your Distanced Classroom Discussions

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog series, crafted by online learning specialist Ian Usher, began in March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the shut-down of in-person learning across the United States. This is the seventh blog in an eight-part series. You can find the rest of the series in our Teaching at a Distance Center.

    What does—or did—class-focused discussion between students look and feel like in your physical classroom…

    • 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
  • Asynchronous Tools for Deeper Engagement in the Digital Classroom

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog series, crafted by online learning specialist Ian Usher, began in March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the shut-down of in-person learning across the United States. This is the sixth blog in an eight-part series. You can find the rest of the series in our Teaching at a Distance Center.

    The real-time nature of synchronous discussions has a natural partner in episodic, asynchronous discussion…

    • 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
  • Re-creating Your Classroom from a Distance

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog series, crafted by online learning specialist Ian Usher, began in March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the shut-down of in-person learning across the United States. This is the fifth blog in an eight-part series. You can find the rest of the series in our Teaching at a Distance Center.

    Last week we discussed picking your platform for synchronous distance learning and practicing using it…

    • 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
  • Calculating Coronavirus: Simple Steps to Reading Data

    Marissa Major, OER Teacher
    Santa Cruz, USA

    What are you doing during this “shelter in place” crisis? Maybe you’re watching a lot of Netflix, or working—from home or out in the world in an essential job. Maybe you’re avoiding the news. If you’re anything like me, you’re reading, watching, or listening to a lot of news, and in the process, you’re probably seeing a lot of charts that represent data. Some of these charts can…

    • 16 Apr 2020
  • An Introduction to Synchronous Learning Tools

    By the OER Project Team

    This blog series, crafted by online learning specialist Ian Usher, began in March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the shut-down of in-person learning across the United States. This is the fourth blog in an eight-part series. You can find the rest of the series in our Teaching at a Distance Center.

    In this piece, Ian discusses tools for synchronous distance learning, and how these technologies can…

    • 15 Apr 2020
  • Wash Your Hands! Our Collective History of Hygiene

    Bridgette Byrd O’Connor, WHP Team
    Louisiana, USA

    Everyone—and I mean everyone—is telling you to wash your hands. And yes, handwashing and social distancing will help keep you healthy and prevent the spread of this coronavirus. But have you ever thought about why we wash our hands in the first place? The normal story we learn is that humans in the past were dirty, and we became cleaner over time as society became…

    • 9 Apr 2020
  • WHP: Now Available on Khan Academy!

    WHP Team

    We’ve got some exciting news! You can now find a version of the World History Project Origins course on Khan Academy. Before you dive in, we want to say something up front: WHP was designed for classrooms run by teachers. At the OER Project, we believe firmly that education is intended to happen in a classroom, with educators like you leading the way. But we recognize that there are times—such as now—when…

    • 8 Apr 2020