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


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 …

Data-based Lesson

I was lucky enough to be able to test a data-based learning segment on a real live class. It is an 11th grade US History class, and the students were learning about the decade of the 1920’s. The topic of that day’s class was the African American experience in the 20’s; specifically the Great Migration …


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