December 11, 2023, College Park, Maryland—National History Day® (NHD) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are pleased to announce the publication of Building a More Perfect Union, Part II, the second edition of a collaboration between the two organizations. This new collection of lesson plans and essays supports the NEH’s special initiative to advance civic education and the study of U.S. history and culture in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. These classroom materials will help middle and high school social studies teachers engage students with unique primary sources and themes of democracy and citizenship throughout United States history.

Through two introductory essays and 15 primary source-rich lesson plans, this book explores events, legislative accomplishments, and civic actions across U.S. history that have collectively moved the country toward a more perfect union. Building a More Perfect Union and its supporting materials are available for free download at National History Day’s website at and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment website.

“We are proud to continue our collaboration with the National Endowment for the Humanities to produce this companion teacher resource book,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The benchmarks of National History Day classroom materials shine through in every lesson plan. Thanks to our longstanding partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the guiding principles offered by its ‘A More Perfect Union’ initiative, we have the unique opportunity both to further the NHD mission of improving the teaching and learning of history and to support the NEH’s enduring commitment to tell America’s story.”

“This collection of primary source materials and lesson plans allows teachers and students to engage directly with historical documents that have helped define our democracy and shed light on our nation’s continuing quest to create a more perfect union,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to partner with National History Day to make these educational resources available to students everywhere.” The resource includes two introductory essays authored separately by Dr. Prithi Kanakamedala, Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College & The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Kerry Sautner, the former Chief Learning Officer at the National Constitution Center. The lessons featured in the book include:

Fighting with Words and Deeds: Founding Mothers Breaking Stereotypes in Revolutionary America
Regina R. Lee
Vernon Center Middle School (Vernon, Connecticut)
Opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts
Rhett D. Carter
Plano East Senior High School (Plano, Texas)
Expanding the Vote in Jacksonian America
Tara Fugate
Richards Middle School (Fraser, Michigan)
“A Most Practical Movement”: The Civic Engagement of Black Americans during Reconstruction to Gain and Exercise Equal Rights
Liz Taylor
J.R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Buffalo Soldiers: Protecting the American West
Dawn M. Crone
Brownsburg High School (Brownsburg, Indiana)
The Language of Resistance: Native American Boarding Schools
Erin Sullivan
Cab Calloway School of the Arts (Wilmington, Delaware)
The Great Migration: Putting It All Together
Chuck Taft
University School of Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
National Parks: Perspectives on Preservation and Development
Christina Cote
Gardiner Public School (Gardiner, Montana)
“Separate but Unequal” Citizenship: Puerto Rico Since the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917
Tim Proskauer
Ramey School (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)
Doing Her Civic Duty: Anna Coleman Ladd and the American Red Cross
Bradley Liebrecht
West Valley High School (Yakima, Washington)
Then and Today: Mendez v. Westminster
Amy Trenkle
Alice Deal Middle School (Washington, D.C.)
Uncovering the Contributions of Bayard Rustin
Jeni Boulanger
Oak Hills High School (Oak Hills, California)
Exploring the Impact of U.S. Immigration Policy in the Twentieth Century
Greg Maigur
Holicong Middle School (Doylestown, Pennsylvania)
The Long Path Toward LGBTQ+ Rights
Craig A. Windt
Central High School (Bay City, Michigan)
Building a More Inclusive Electorate: The Voter Education Project 1966-1977
Courtney Major
Edina High School (Edina, Minnesota)

More information about the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “A More Perfect Union” initiative is available at

About National History Day® (NHD)

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by the 400 Years of African American History Commission, The Better Angels Society, the Bezos Family Foundation, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Park Service. For more information, visit

About EDSITEment

EDSITEment is a National Endowment for the Humanities project that offers free resources for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality K-12 humanities education materials in the subject areas of history and social studies, literature and language arts, foreign languages, arts, and culture. EDSITEment provides multimedia resources including the “Ask an NEH Expert” video series, access to databases and archives to assist with student research, and a range of other resources in support of every National History Day theme and project type. For more information, visit

About the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at


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