This blog is supervised by Peter Pappas with contributions from his undergraduate / graduate social studies methods class ~ ED 456/533E at the University of Portland’s School of Education.

We utilize a practical, hands-on, project-based approach to mastering the art and science of teaching secondary social studies. More here. Our course goals:

  1. Learn to think like a historian (or other social scientist).
  2. Become a skillful instructional designer.
  3. Develop skills for reflection, growth and professional networking.

Peter also teaches ED 424 ~ Computers and Educational Technology at UP. When not teaching, he can be found blogging at Copy / Paste or lurking on Twitter @edteck


Visit our edMethods Teacher’s Tool Kit for resources in historical thinking, primary source archives, edtech tools, Google tools, teaching strategies and more.



Header image: “Letters forming a teach word.” Photo by Wokandapix. Photo via Good Free Photos


Exploring History Vol V: Six Document Based Lessons

We’re very pleased to share a new multi-touch iBook just published by our Social Studies Methods class. Exploring History: Vol V was our PBL capstone and is available free at iTunes in 51 countries around the world. It features these World and US History lessons: WWII Propaganda: Close Reading by Nancy Guidry The Limits of Leadership by Paxton …

Artifact Box Lesson

This lesson focuses on developing historical inference skills and allowing students to function as “archaeologists” in a fun, interactive environment that helps students and teachers get to know one another better. Prior to the lesson, ask students to create an “artifact box” about themselves: a box or bag filled with 4–6 “artifacts,” or objects that …


Peter Pappas, the instructor,  is a University of Portland-based educator, writer and instructional designer exploring frontiers of teaching, jazz, yoga, Macs, film, great books, and garlic.


He also teaches an undergrad edtech course at UP, blogs at Copy / Paste and lurks on Twitter @edteck