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.  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

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.

ED 456 syllabus Fall 18

ED 533E syllabus Fall 18


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




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


Memories of War

Students will utilize historical thinking skills in order to analyze primary documents. Students will work individually or in heterogeneous small groups to scaffold learning. Students will write a thesis addressing the question, how should our society view military service and its experiences in times of war. This thesis shall be supported by textual evidence. “All …

Music, Photos, and More – American Reactions to the Vietnam War

With documents including music, photographs, speeches, and letters from a variety of perspectives, this lesson helps students answer the essential question: How should citizens relate to their government? To examine this question, students will work in small groups to examine primary sources and respond to questions embedded throughout the Sway. This lesson could also serve as …


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



Contact Peter