Classroom-Ready Lessons

The Zoom In online platform features 18 skill-focused, document-rich lessons that address every era of U.S. history. Each interactive inquiry engages students in reading documents closely, gathering evidence, and writing an argumentative or explanatory essay.

Created by historians and teachers

Educators and historians from EDC and the American Social History Project have created each lesson with all the materials you need to take students through a complete inquiry arc — a compelling hook, slides with essential context, a variety of historical sources, carefully designed reading materials, and discussion prompts and templates for writing well-structured essays.

With these linked supports, Zoom In lets you focus less on mechanics and more on helping students deepen their thinking and improve their skills. 

Challenging documents

Rich primary and secondary texts are at the core of Zoom In lessons, giving voice to multiple perspectives on key moments in U.S. history. Speeches, letters, political cartoons, oral histories, audio recordings, photographs and essays by historians — all have been edited or adapted to balance authenticity and challenge with accessibility for middle and high school readers.

Lesson Overview image for Lowell Mill Girls 

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“One of the strengths of Zoom In is the primary and secondary sources in the lessons. The political cartoons, along with the graphs, pictures, timeline, and music, are absolutely engaging. You have chosen some terrific resources in these lessons. They are fun to teach and understandable to the students.”

Jennifer Hesseltine, Seventh and Eighth Grade Social Studies Teacher, New York