Teacher Center

Indiana Humanities is proud to support Indiana teachers and their students by providing educational news and links, lesson plan ideas and professional development opportunities.



Hoosiers and the American Story: U.S. History through the lens of state history

Are you ready to incorporate more Indiana stories into your American history classroom? Do you wonder how to engage and educate the next generation of Hoosier leaders? Join the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Humanities for a FREE one-day teacher workshop in preparation for the 2016 State Bicentennial. Get resources and content that will help you easily integrate Indiana history into your existing curricula. Together, we can help students learn about and love Indiana!

Thursday, Nov. 6,  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  Indianapolis
Thursday, Nov. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Wayne
Thursday, Nov. 20, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Madison

Register here.

Each one-day workshop features:

  • “Indiana History in the American Story,” Keynote Address delivered by Dr. James H. Madison.
  • Free copies of “Hoosiers and the American Story,” a new 300-page supplemental student text that explores Indiana examples of the topics taught in the American history classroom.
  • Destination Indiana for the Classroom, bringing you 300+ digital journeys across Indiana.
  • Using National History Day in Indiana as a student motivator, with regional, state and national awards as incentive.
  • Connecting with peers and discovering new local and state resources for teaching Indiana history.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and includes:

All workshop materials
$30 travel stipend
Books for you and your students
Certificate of Attendance reflecting seven hours of professional development
Substitute teacher pay, if needed

Space is limited, and registrations will be accepted on a rolling basis until each workshop fills.

Register here.


Integrate George Rogers Clark + Indiana History into your classroom

Looking for a fun (and free) way to integrate Indiana History and the George Rogers Clark story in your classes?  Students across Indiana are invited to submit questions to George Rogers Clark, British Col. Henry Hamilton, Father Pierre Gibault, and others involved in the 1779 capture of Fort Sackville. Learn more.


English/Language Arts/Art Student Contests

Letters About Literature:

Students in grade 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre (fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, etc.) explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or their self.  Click HERE for Entry Form.

December 15, 2014: Level III (Grades 9-12)
January 15, 2015: Level I (Grades 4-6) & Level II (Grades 7 & 8).

Prizes include $100 for First Place and entry into the national competition, $50 for Second Place, and $25 for Third Place. Several Honorable Mentions are chosen as well with prizes of $10.  All semifinalists and winners are invited to an award ceremony at the Indiana State Library and will get to meet nationally recognized author and illustrator, Troy Cummings.  Semifinalists and Winners are also invited to be included in the 2014-2015 Letters About Literature Anthology. For more information including a Teacher Guide visit http://www.in.gov/library/lal.htm.


River of Words: 

Students ages 5-19  are invited to submit poetry or 2-dimensional art to the national River of Words competition.  The contest focuses on watersheds as a central theme. This opportunity is designed to help youth express themselves through the arts, while exploring their environment and developing a sense of place and appreciation for discovery.

Deadline: December 1, 2014. 

Prizes include $50 for First Place Winners.  Winners are invited to an award ceremony at the Indiana State Library and will get to meet nationally recognized author and illustrator, Troy Cummings.  Winners are also invited to be included in the 2014-2015 Letters About Literature Anthology.  More information (including all entry forms).  River of Words is a program out of the Center for Environmental Literacy at St. Mary’s College of California.


Professional Development Opportunities

ALL-IN Educator Workshop

Join Indiana Humanities and WFYI on Sept. 17 from 4-5:30 p.m. for an introduction to an innovative, interdisciplinary new digitally based program called ALL-IN! This short workshop will include practical tips for classroom implementation and allow you to brainstorm ideas with your colleagues. Plus, fun after-school snacks will be served and you’ll earn 1.5 professional growth points!

This event is limited to 40 attendees and is perfect for creative educators who teach social studies/history and English/language arts for grades 7-12.  You’ll learn how to:

1. Integrate a brand-new, easy-to-use, digital resource into your classroom

2. Use this program as a leadership opportunity within your school

3. Localize your lesson plans by connecting to ALL-IN themes

4. Use the humanities to strengthen your work

At the event, you’ll hear from Shawnda Hamilton, a 7th grade teacher in Fort Wayne who used ALL-IN for a series of essay prompts for her students, and from Ted Frantz, an associate professor of history at the University of Indianapolis. Finally, you’ll learn about WFYI’s American Graduate Initiative and a number of additional resources from Indiana Humanities.

Can’t make it but still want to integrate ALL-IN into your classroom? Learn more.


America In Class Online Seminars

These $35 seminars focus on teaching with primary sources — historical documents, literary texts, visual images, and audio material. Emphasizing critical analysis and close reading, they address the skills of the Common Core State Standards while giving teachers the opportunity to deepen their content knowledge.  Learn more.

Topics include themes such as:

The Struggle for Woman Suffrage

Teaching The Great Gatsby

The Causes of The Great Depression

The Emergence of Jim Crow


Lesson Plans

Spirit of Competition Toolkits

Teacher toolkits developed by Indiana Humanities include resources and lesson plans for teachers on a variety of subjects like civility, rivalry, innovation, passion and failure and for a variety of themes, such as Black History Month or Women’s History Month.

Topics include staging a debate, writing your rival, learning about entrepreneurs like Madam C.J. Walker, inventors like Fort Wayne’s teen phenom Philo Farnsworth, and how to overcome obstacles like Colonel Eli Lilly.

Learn more at SpiritofCompetition.org.


Visit Indiana: 4th Grade Social Studies Curriculum

Fourth-grade teachers in Indiana have a new resource for helping students learn about the Hoosier state. The six-week course, based on the State of Indiana education standards, incorporates critical thinking and problem solving into the Indiana history curriculum.

From resources to activities, teachers will find a complete curriculum to teach Indiana history while integrating a variety of educational disciplines. Students will hone various skills while they learn about all the great places they can visit in their home state. Download the complete kit or individual resources, here.


What So Proudly We Hail

A one-stop source for free, literary-based curricula to aid in the classroom instruction of American history, civics, social studies, and language arts. Explore this site to find creative lesson plans, video seminars, primary resources, and much more.

The Curriculum link will lead you to “The Meaning of America” discussion guides and model seminars, the “The American Calendar” e-book collection, and the “Songs for Free Men and Women” compilation.

The site also includes a catalog of great American short stories, speeches, study guides, discussion videos, author biographies, and primary texts. Learn more.



Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.